Imagine, a sports magazine publishing house plans to launch a new app with the hottest tennis news. Just introducing it to the public can result in a big success, but that is something that the publisher will not know at the outset. That is why they need a go-to-market plan.

Imagine this: Ben Wilbert is the editor-in-chief of a popular tennis magazine. He has a great idea: a free, hip app with the hottest tennis news which will enhance customer loyalty enormously. Does that sound like something that customers might want to download and use?

Make a Plan!

Yes, I think this can be a huge success, but at the same time, I would never invest my money only on a hunch. Likewise, our fictional hero, Ben Wilbert, should look before he leaps. If Ben would hire me as a business consultant, I would advise him to write a go-to-market plan to study the viability of his new proposition.

A go-to-market plan is an action plan that indicates how a company can reach its target group and gain a competitive advantage. The goal is to provide a blueprint for delivering a product or service to the end customer taking into account factors such as pricing and distribution.

Why You Need a Go-To-Market Plan

When developing a new product, there are 3 reasons why you need to develop a go-to-market plan (whether you are Ben Wilbert or somebody else):

  1. The right people are involved from the beginning.

This not only results in a diversity of viewpoints but is also a way to engage all stakeholders in the organization.

  1. You optimize the customer experience.

A good plan anticipates every step in the customer journey. Hence, early on in the process, an answer is sought for all the needs of the customer which increases the chances of success.

  1. You consider all options before you commit.

In a go-to-market plan, various options are considered in areas such as competitors, value proposition, services that will be offered, and onboarding. If you make the proper choices at the beginning of the process, much time and money can be saved later.

How to Create a Go-To-Market Plan

Let’s return to our friend Ben again. The innovative editor-in-chief’s go-to-market plan should feature the following 8 elements:

  • Executive summary: This is the synopsis for the C-level executives of Ben’s publishing house.
  • Product definition: This is a description of the tennis app, and why Ben has reason to believe customers will want it.
  • Client acquisition and channel mix: The tennis app will be available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. The tennis magazine’s website will feature download buttons for these channels.
  • Marketing strategy: How should awareness be generated for the app? The new product will be promoted in the magazine (hardcopy and online), on social media, and through free publicity.
  • Customer experience: How do Ben and his team make and keep his customers happy? This section will be about possible hurdles on the customer journey. Of course, users of the app should be supported. Furthermore, new technological developments that will impact the user experience should be anticipated.
  • Technical requirements: Is the in-house technological know-how sufficient to build this app, or should Ben hire an outside agency?
  • Evaluation: How should success be defined? In this instance, Ben will provide a specific number of downloads as his first KPI. The second one is a specific number of additional sales of the hardcopy magazine.
  • Timeline and implementation: Which steps have to be taken, by whom and when?

Once your go-to-market plan is setup it’s time to test and validate your idea. Don’t jump in with everything you have at once. But build an MVP and see if customers like and want your product.

Are you someone like Ben, and do you have great ideas that benefit your organization? It is insightful to see if your business has what it takes to make your ideas into reality. Our Innovation Readiness Benchmark is designed to do this and to identify the key improvement areas your organization needs to address to become a best-in-class innovator. Click here to test the innovation power of your organization!