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Product Strategy

How to Create a Go-To-Market Strategy for Startups

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
July 3, 2023
How to Create a Go-To-Market Strategy for Startups generated by Dalle

OneSeven has been fortunate to work with many early stage companies, and to be fair, we still consider ourselves one. If anything has become clear, it's that a crisp go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a key ingredient in early success. Let’s dive into our learnings.

When it comes to GTM strategy, product-focused startups have a lot to consider. After all, their product is the star of the show and needs to be front-and-center in all marketing and sales efforts. 

The good news is, there are definitive things product-focused startups can do to make sure their GTM strategy is on point. We've found that there are four key areas that give a strategy substance:

  1. Target market: who are we selling to?
  2. Value proposition: why should they buy from us?
  3. Go-to-market plan: how are we going to reach them?
  4. Testing and measurement: how do we know if it’s working?

Let's look at each of these in more depth.

1. Define your target market.

The first step in any GTM strategy is to clearly define your target market. This is especially important for product-focused startups, as they need to make sure they are delivering the right solution to the right people.

A target market sits at the intersection of:

  • The concrete problem your product solves
  • The people who have, and are aware of, that problem
  • The people who are willing to pay to solve it

Research helps lead you to potential target markets by identifying people’s needs and how your product solves them. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups are all methods you can use to validate your target market.

If you can describe your target market in a way that is clear, concise, and corresponds with data, then you should feel confident in moving on to the other parts of your strategy.

2. Create a strong value proposition.

Once you’ve defined your target market, it’s time to craft a strong value proposition. This is the one sentence or phrase that sums up what your product does and why someone should buy it.

Creating a strong value proposition is important for any GTM strategy, but it’s especially critical for product-focused startups. That’s because their value proposition needs to be clear, concise, and compelling enough to convince people to buy their product.

For more insight take a look at this HBS article with deeper detail into the value proposition process.

3. Develop a go-to-market plan.

With a target market and value proposition in hand, it’s time to develop a go-to-market plan. This plan should detail how you’re going to reach your target market and sell them on your product.

There are a number of different channels you can use to reach your target market, so it’s important to choose the ones that make the most sense for your product and your budget. Once you’ve selected your channels, you can start developing your marketing and sales materials. You can find templates on a go-to-market plan in places like Miro, found here.

4. Test, measure, and adjust.

Once you’ve launched your go-to-market strategy, it’s important to test, measure, and adjust. This will help you see what’s working and what’s not so you can make necessary changes to improve your results.

To do this, startups should track their progress against key metrics, such as sales, web traffic, and customer acquisition costs. They should also set up A/B tests to compare different versions of their marketing and sales materials.


By following these tips, product-focused startups can develop a go-to-market strategy that will help them reach their target market and sell their product. 

Feel free to leave comments or reach out directly—we’re here to help you on your journey!

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