The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Go-To Marketing Plan for Your B2B Business

by Debra Andrews | June 22, 2023

“Marketing just feels like a waste of time and money.”

As marketing consultants, we’ve heard this many times, and we’ll probably hear it many more. Often, when they don’t see an immediate value or return on their marketing investment, business owners decide that it wasn’t even worth it in the first place. If you’ve said something similar yourself, know you’re not alone — in a survey by Rakuten Marketing, respondents estimated that they wasted an average of 26% of their budget on ineffective channels and strategies thanks to their B2B marketing plan (or lack thereof). Even John Wanamaker, marketing pioneer, said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

Which, if you’re the glass half full kind of person, means that half of it isn’t wasted. But how do you ensure that your go to marketing strategy is batting higher than 50%? How do you create a strategic marketing plan that not only successfully launches your new product or service, but can be tracked, analyzed and evolved to meet your industry’s ever-changing landscape? How do you hold it—and your marketing partner—accountable? And what is bad marketing, and how do you make it…well, good?

At a very basic level, “bad” marketing is marketing that isn’t strategic. It lacks a solid foundation and doesn’t base its conception upon research. And it can’t adjust to changes and be flexible along the way. 

Oftentimes, it leaves you wondering why you even bothered. 

Bad marketing will always exist. But by using a cohesive and adaptable plan based on analytics, we can discover which half of our marketing dollars are wasted and optimize those funds towards initiatives that are working. We can refuse to have a short-sighted view of marketing, track marketing KPIs and revel in a long-term increase in revenue. 

When it comes to creating your go to marketing plan, you may think you can’t afford to create one, but in reality…you can’t afford not to. 

Understanding Go to Market Strategies

What is a go to market strategy? A go to market strategy is a plan that outlines how a company will bring a product or service to market and reach its target customers. It involves understanding the intricacies of your target market, identifying the unique value proposition of the product or service and determining the best way to reach and engage with potential customers. And it’s essential for any business looking to enter a new market, grow its customer base and/or gain a competitive advantage. 

The objectives of a go to market strategy include:

  • Create awareness of your product or service
  • Define and segment the target market
  • Coordinate company goals and objectives
  • Generate leads and convert them into customers 
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Outperform and protect the current market share against competitors
  • Strengthen your brand 
  • Reduce costs and optimize profits

Importance of Go to Market Strategies in B2B Marketing

survey we conducted back in 2017 revealed that 32% of respondents’ companies did not have a formal marketing plan.

Given some business owners’ perception of marketing, this isn’t exactly a shock. 

But what is shocking is how big of a disservice this is to their businesses and their ROIs. Market strategies are particularly important for B2B marketing, as they help businesses define their target market and tailor their efforts to reach it. 

Since B2B marketing is all about building relationships with potential customers, a go to market strategy serves as the foundation for developing those relationships. The purpose of B2B marketing is to make other businesses familiar with your brand name, the value of your product or service and convert them into customers. By understanding the needs and pain points of your target market, you can create messaging that speaks directly to them and positions your product or service as the differentiated solution they need.

A go to market strategy framework also helps you focus in on your business goals and gives you a blueprint to measure and quantify results. It allows you to develop more effective promotions by tracking analytics and making adjustments along the way.

Key Components of a Go to Market Strategy Framework

A go to market strategy typically includes several key components, including market research, target market identification, product positioning, messaging and content creation, sales and distribution channels, pricing strategy and marketing KPIs.

Each of these components is critical to the success of the strategy and should be carefully considered and planned:

  1. Target Audience: Identifying the specific group of customers and buyer personas who will benefit most from your product or service, and understanding their pain points, preferences and willingness to pay.
  2. Product-Market Fit: Determining the unique value proposition that sets the product or service apart from competitors for that target audience, and addresses a specific problem or need for them.
  3. Market Demand and Competition: Researching the market landscape, including existing competitors and the level of demand for your product or service.
  4. Distribution Channels and Pricing: Identifying the most effective means of delivering the product or service to potential customers, and setting a pricing strategy that supports the product’s unique value proposition (UVP) and market position.
  5. Marketing Strategies: Creating a strategic marketing plan that outlines the tactics and channels to be used to reach prospective customers in your target market and generate awareness, leads and sales.
  6. Sales and Customer Support: Ensure that sales and customer support teams are aligned with the go to market strategy and provide them with the necessary training and resources to sell the product or service effectively.
  7. Performance and Optimization: Track marketing KPIs to measure the success of the go to market strategy and optimize towards driving more impact to the business based on data and insights.

Identifying Marketing KPIs

One of the most important parts of a go to market plan is measuring success with marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators. KPIs are key to optimizing future marketing efforts.

Some common marketing KPIs include:

  • Customer acquisition cost for a SaaS business
  • Return on investment
  • Website traffic
  • Lead generation
  • Conversion rates (leads to customers)
  • Length of sales cycle
  • Customer lifetime value 
  • Revenue growth
  • Market share 

KPIs help you track the success of your marketing efforts so you can identify areas where your strategy is working well and areas where you need to make adjustments. 

Slack: A Go to Market Strategy Success

There are many examples of successful go to market strategies, but one that stands out is Slack’s. When Butterfield and his team decided to share their internal communications platform with the world, they knew they had something big. However, they had to figure out how to convince the people who were tired of email to give them a try.

So, they positioned themselves as the go-to team communication tool that does away with confusing email threads. This is how “the email killer” was born.

The company identified that internal communication was a huge problem for many companies, even if they didn’t know it. They focused on selling Slack as a fun, easy-to-use and highly convenient solution that keeps communication straightforward. 

The popular workplace communication tool Slack successfully entered the market with a strategy that targeted early adopters, offering them a freemium model and providing outstanding customer support through a Customer Development Team that listens to users and implements solutions accordingly. Their strategic marketing plan included content marketing, social media marketing and influencer partnerships to raise awareness and generate buzz.

The results have been fantastic so far, including a rise in value from $0 to $4 billion in just four years, 3.5x growth in daily active users over a single year without a marketing team, and an eventual sale to Salesforce for $27 billion.

How Marketri Develops Your Strategic Marketing Plan 

The biggest issue with “wasted marketing” is that it lacks strategizing, monitoring, analyzing, adjusting and then adjusting again. Often, marketing not led with a well-thought-out strategy is spent putting the cart before the horse and then trying to figure out why you’re not moving forward.

But not here at Marketri. Marketri empowers companies to achieve predictable, profitable growth through data-driven B2B marketing strategies and executions. We create rigorous marketing plans that successfully drive revenue growth and make a measurable impact.

We call this process our Marketri Momentum Model (M3)®.

Our innovative approach unlocks each business’s potential through a research-backed strategic marketing plan that drives them to meet and exceed their goals. Every step of the way, our experienced marketing professionals are tracking and optimizing your plan—so you can go from “How can we use marketing to drive our growth?” to “I can’t believe the results we’re seeing.” 

This framework is designed to develop a customized strategic marketing plan that generates outstanding bottom-line results. The M3 follows six proven steps that generate measurable results across various industries.

  1. Discovery & Assessment process, where our strategists immerse themselves into your company and industry to gain insights and data that we need to build an effective plan. The M3 discovery process is tailored to your business, drawing from effective techniques like interviews with your clients and internal stakeholders, a competitor analysis, a SWOT analysis, a review of the industry landscape, and an assessment of your digital footprint.
  2. Strategic Marketing & Growth Plan, where your Marketri team leverages our discovery findings and analysis to create a custom, actionable roadmap that’s informed by research, grounded in strategy, and aligned with your goals. It outlines your ideal buyers, strategic approach, targeted marketing tactics, execution timeline, technologies, budget, and KPIs we’ll measure against. We also begin to map out positioning and high-level messaging that ensures your marketing resonates with buyers and moves them to act.
  3. Quick Wins to achieve immediate results while planning for the future. The Marketri discovery and planning process is extensive and comprehensive—which is why we look for quick-win opportunities that can make an immediate impact, such as a contact re-engagement campaign to drive some sales qualified opportunities, website optimizations to enhance conversions, or clearer messaging to generate a stronger connection with your ideal customers and prospects.
  4. Brand & Website. You can’t engage in effective growth marketing without a sound brand strategy and a website that is easy to navigate while delivering your unique value proposition to visitors. If needed, we’ll guide you through productive branding exercises, develop or update your brand identity, or revamp your website with more compelling messaging, a robust repository of content that attracts leads, and more effective navigation that moves buyers along the right path.
  5. Marketing Technology. Scaling your marketing, assessing whether it’s working, and doing more of what’s performing best is made possible through having the right marketing technology. We’ll guide you in choosing, implementing, and getting acclimated with the tools that enable you to scale, measure, and optimize your marketing for the strongest ROI. No more lost opportunities. No more guessing about what’s working well. And no more wondering what kind of results your budget is generating.
  6. Execution & Analytics. Marketing plans and technologies form the foundation. Now, it’s time to execute flawlessly. Your Marketri team will execute your marketing plan with precision and urgency, taking a proactive and agile approach to driving your marketing campaigns, directing your social engagement, ensuring your website is working hard 24/7, and more. They’ll leverage analytics and insights to focus on the metrics that matter to your business goals—assessing your marketing results against your KPIs, identifying improvement opportunities, and fine-tuning your marketing for the greatest impact.

Discover Your Business’ Potential with Marketri

In today’s competitive business environment, a go-to-market strategy is essential for any business looking to launch a new product or service, enter a new market, or grow its customer base. By understanding your target market, identifying your unique value proposition, and developing a comprehensive marketing plan, you can position your business for success.

And we are here to help every step of the way. While Marketri understands that marketing plans and technologies are essential, how they are executed is just as important. Through our proprietary Marketri Momentum Model (M3), we develop strategies that have always been and always will be grounded in research and data. Our team takes a proactive and agile approach to ensure that your marketing goals are met every time, using our leading-edge technologies and tools to ensure your success is repeatable, sustainable, and predictable. And you’ll be able to see your big wins through our advanced analytics that track, measure and optimize your go to marketing plan. 

Here, we’re fully committed to providing strategic, cost-effective marketing that accelerates your growth, delivers a high ROI and works hard every minute of every day — marketing that even John Wanamaker would certainly say is 100% not a waste. 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level with a go-to-market strategy? Schedule a call with our CEO Deb Andrews to start building your business’ momentum.

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