Sales · · 9 min read

Scalable Go-to-Market Strategy Guide: Examples + Best Practices

A go-to-market strategy provides a roadmap of actionable steps for ensuring sustainable and scalable growth from market research to marketing execution.

go to market strategy

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy identifies gaps in the market you can penetrate, who your ideal customers are, and the channels that best communicate your value proposition.

We’re here to walk you through the basics of go-to-market, from research to execution. By the end of this guide, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of a go-to-market GTM strategy
  • GTM vs. marketing plan
  • 5-step GTM strategy 
  • GTM best practices 

What is a Go-to-Market Strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a series of actionable steps designed to introduce a product or service to the market. It covers everything from market research to distribution. 

GTMs help businesses, especially those in the early startup stages: 

  • Identify the target audience who gets the most value from their solutions
  • Position products as the ultimate solution to pain points
  • Establish a competitive pricing model
  • Understand the sales cycles of their prospects
  • Find the most cost-effective marketing channel for scaling outreach

Go-to-Market Strategy Vs. Marketing Plan

Understanding the nuances between a go-to-market strategy and a marketing plan establishes a more holistic approach to any sales engagement process

A marketing plan is an outline. You could think of it as a goal you want to achieve. For example, your marketing plan could involve “using cold email for prospecting.”

A go-to-market strategy includes crafting your value proposition, identifying the market segment you can penetrate, and how you can communicate your value through cold emails. 

5-Step Guide For A Holistic go-to-market Strategy

Establishing a holistic go-to-market strategy enables you to confidently execute marketing campaigns that drive the needle for your business. Here’s a step-by-step guide that covers everything from market research to marketing execution: 

Step 1: Understand Your Market Segment

Businesses often focus too much on marketing activities, such as what ads to run, the best business proposal email copy, or scripts for cold calling.

These yield lackluster results if you don’t understand the market. 

Your products can fall into three types of markets: small, medium, and enterprise. Knowing where you fit helps you build your pricing strategy, customer profiles, and messaging. 

Products with plug-and-play solutions are often found in the small and medium markets. Enterprise requires customization and access to specific tech stacks that meet unique needs. 

To quickly identify which market segment you belong to, answer this question: “Does this market segment have an urgent problem that your product or service solves?” 

Step 2: Identify Competitive Dynamic

Understanding the competitive dynamic within a market segment helps you differentiate your product from the competition. Let’s use Instantly as an example. 

Most small and medium businesses need help scaling outreach campaigns. Instantly solves this problem by offering cold email marketing automation solutions that can be easily scaled. 

The issue is that there’s already tons of competition in the market that offers cold email automation. 

Instantly differentiates itself by offering unlimited warmups, unlimited email accounts, and access to lead intelligence and lead management tools that streamline business development

How your products differentiate can help you create better value propositions, craft cohesive brand messaging, and understand the most prevalent sales process in a market segment.  

Step 3: Establish Clear Targeting Criteria

After understanding where your product fits within a market segment and identifying the competitive dynamic, you should have a clear indication of who your ideal customers are. 

“Who’s getting the greatest value from your products or services?” Establishing clear targeting criteria helps you answer this question, streamline targeted selling, and build your ideal customer profile (ICP).

Here are 10 of the most popular targeting criteria for building a solid ICP: 

  • Demographics 
  • Psychographics
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Revenue and budget
  • Existing tech stack
  • Biggest pain points
  • How fast do prospects need solutions to pain points
  • Can your product provide immediate solutions to these pain points
  • Do your prospects need one-off solutions or continuous support?

Your ICP serves as a template for identifying prospects worth pursuing. But remember, even with an ICP, you still need to segment and qualify prospects to personalize your messaging. 

Step 4: Create Brand Messaging

Your brand messaging communicates your value proposition across all platforms. It defines the copy in lead capture pages, social media posts, blogs, or cold email copy. 

The value proposition could be one or two sentences explaining what your product or service solves, what differentiates you from the competition, and why customers should switch now. 

Let’s use Instantly again as an example. Instantly is a cold email marketing tool that helps businesses scale outreach campaigns through sustainable cold outreach and automation. 

You can see this immediately when you land on Instantly’s homepage. The first text you read is: “10x your leads, meetings, and deals. Instantly scales your outreach campaigns with unlimited email sending accounts & warmup, b2b lead database, and generative AI.” 

go to market strategies

With those two simple sentences, you already know what Instantly’s all about, the problems we’re trying to solve, and how we differentiate ourselves from the competition. 

This value proposition is echoed throughout the communities we’ve built, our strategic narrative, and our marketing activities.  

Step 5: Executing Marketing Activities

The last step is communicating your brand messaging to your target market through various marketing activities, such as blogs, social media ads, or email marketing campaigns

You can categorize marketing activities as inbound or outbound. Inbound marketing includes SEO, content marketing, and organic social media posts, while outbound covers cold email outreach, paid ads, or cold calling. 

Both inbound and outbound campaigns are essential for building a holistic marketing campaign and establishing a brand image. The most significant difference between them is speed.

How fast can a marketing activity move the needle for your business? More importantly, how fast can you get feedback? 

For example, SEO is essential for generating authority, but it can take up to six months before you can see feedback. Paid ads directly target your ICPs but are expensive to scale. 

Enter cold email outreach. It’s a cost-effective and scalable marketing activity that provides instant feedback, enabling you to iterate on winning strategies faster and more efficiently. 

Why Cold Email is the Best Channel For GTM Execution

Most businesses don’t realize that success isn’t guaranteed, even if you have a solid go-to-market strategy. A GTM strategy improves our chances of success. But it’s all theory. 

We need to execute our GTM strategy, track progress using data-driven insights, and iterate on winning practices. Think of it as a feedback loop. 

As mentioned, cold email outreach is the best marketing channel to achieve this feedback loop. Here are three reasons why:

Fast and Direct Feedback

Email marketing metrics show you exactly what needs improvement. If delivery rates are low, you should warm up sending accounts. Low open rates mean subject lines need work. 

With tools like Instantly, not only can you see these key metrics in real-time, but you can also A/B test multiple elements of your campaign.

Instantly also has an auto-optimization feature that scales down poor-performing emails and sends winning emails to the remainder of your lead list. 

It’s More Cost-Effective to Scale

The best cold email marketing books preach the same thing—cold email is the most cost-effective way to scale your business. 

As long as you’ve built your go-to-market strategy, you can target leads and personalize your messaging better than paid advertising at a fraction of the cost. 

Cold email is also easy to scale. If you’ve developed a solid GTM strategy, all that’s left is to add more leads to your campaigns, add more sending accounts, and send emails at larger volumes. 

It Works Across All Market Segments

Cold email outreach can work for you, whether you’re a small company looking for more customers or an enterprise-level business. That’s because the fundamentals of cold email are the same across the board. 

What differs is the messaging in your sales emails, the number of steps in your sales cadence, and your target audience (which should already be defined in your GTM strategy).  

Go-to-Market Strategy Examples

Now that we’ve clearly defined what a go-to-market strategy is let’s see how it works in action with real-life examples:

TaxJar: Mastering Competitor Differentiation


TaxJar is a sales tax compliance platform that focused its GTM strategy on establishing itself as an authority in a relatively new market segment. 

Market segment: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Competitive dynamics: Providing in-depth, high-quality, and valuable content on sales tax. 

Targeting criteria: Businesses and entrepreneurs confused about sales tax.

Brand messaging: “With innovative technology and award-winning support, we simplify sales tax compliance so you can grow with ease.”

Execution: SEO and educational blogs. 

Slack: Viral Product-led GTM

team communication

Slack is a communication channel that aims to “kill email in the office.” It focused on product-led GTM, gaining traction through a free platform and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Market segment: Small to Enterprise businesses.

Competitive dynamics: Faster, better organized, and more secure than email.

Targeting criteria: Businesses looking for a streamlined team communication platform.

Brand messaging: “By bringing people together to work as one unified team, Slack transforms how organizations communicate.”

Execution: Viral word-of-mouth and product-led marketing

Apple iPhone: Disrupting the Mobile Industry

apples marketing strategy

Apple transformed the mobile industry when it launched the first iPhone in 2007. Here’s how it executed its GTM strategy. 

Market segment: Mobile phone users 

Competitive dynamics: Internet connectivity, multimedia access, powerful operating system. 

Targeting criteria: Early tech adopters, enthusiasts, professionals, and general consumers.

Brand messaging: “iPhone is a revolutionary mobile phone.”

Execution: Exclusive partnership with AT&T for focused marketing and distribution

Go-to-Market Strategy Best Practices

Consider these best practices to ensure that your go-to-market strategy has the highest chance of moving the needle for your business: 

Define Your Pricing Strategy 

Your pricing strategy should consider the market segment your product falls in, how much your competitors are charging for similar products, and how much the market is willing to pay. 

Remember to set pricing based on your business objectives. If the market is saturated, pricing can be used to penetrate the market. 

You can set the price similar to your competitors’, go higher and differentiate your product as premium with better features, or go lower to penetrate the market more easily. 

Go Niche, Then Scale

A broader target market doesn’t mean more business. It just leaves your marketing out of focus. Instead, try to go niche. Find a specific segment to pursue, identify how you differentiate from competitors, and execute your GTM strategy. 

Smaller niches mean faster testing and iteration. Once you’ve figured out what works best for your niche, you can scale the process to new demographics. 

Focusing on smaller niches allows you to become an authority within that niche. TaxJar did that with its GTM strategy. It niched down into sales tax and provided better educational content to its audience. 

Set Key Performance Indicators and Monitor Data

Always consider a business goal when creating your GTM strategy. These goals will determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) you must monitor. 

Monitoring KPIs provides data-driven insights, enabling you to adjust your strategy as you iterate. 

For example, if your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is higher than how much you sell your product for, you’d want to scale down or look for more cost-effective strategies. 

Key Takeaways

If you’re launching a new product or service, a go-to-market strategy provides a roadmap that can help measure the viability of your product’s success in specific market segments. To recap, here are the five steps to creating your own GTM strategy: 

  • Understand your market segment: Find where your product fits in the market.
  • Identify competitive dynamic: How can you differentiate from the competition?
  • Establish clear target criteria: Who gets the most value from your products?
  • Create brand messaging: One or two-sentence value proposition.
  • Executing marketing activities: How can you best communicate your value proposition?

Cold email marketing is the fastest, most cost-effective, and most scalable way to communicate your value proposition directly to your target audience. Streamline and automate your GTM strategy execution today with Instantly

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10x your leads, meetings and deals.

Instantly scales your outreach campaigns with unlimited email sending accounts, email warmup, B2B lead database and generative AI