Even if you put a lot of effort, time, money, and resources into developing a new product or service, a poorly planned go-to-market strategy can cause your project to fail.

Some of the biggest brands have even experienced go-to-market errors. Take Apple, for example. In the 1980s, decades before Steve Jobs launched the groundbreaking iPhone, he led one of Apple’s biggest flops: the Apple Lisa computer.

Even though Lisa had the best graphics technology of its time, only 10,000 units were sold. Critics attribute the failure to Lisa’s misleading ads and the high price tag despite the poor processing power.

Overall, many say the computer itself and the messages around it were not valuable to potential Apple customers. The release was such a disaster that it reportedly resulted in Jobs temporarily leaving Apple.

While Apple and Steve Jobs bounced back, smaller businesses could have a lot more to lose if they launch a product with a bad plan. Whenever you’re developing something new, it’s important to also come up with a go-to-market strategy that is tailored to your budget and buyer personality.

We saw two main methods for developing a go-to-market strategy: the funnel and the flywheel. While the traditional, one-off funnel method focuses on getting leads and getting them to sell, the flywheel approach uses inbound marketing and other strategies to build long-term customer relationships.

While the funnel focuses on the awareness, observation, and decision-making phases of the customer journey, the circular flywheel focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting potential customers, prospects, and customers.

When a lead becomes a customer, the flywheel continues as the company’s job is to attract, retain, and re-engage them with solid customer experiences, new content, and potentially new offers.

Whether you’ve taken over the flywheel or prefer to stick with the funnel, your planning process should include these steps.

  1. Differentiate your buyer personality (s).
  2. Fill in the value matrix yourself.
  3. Define your content and your lead gen strategy.
  4. Adjust and iterate as you go.
  5. Retain and inspire your customers.

To learn more about the first three steps, here is a detailed explanation.

We’ve created a basic template to fill in the blanks to help you get started with a killer go-to-market strategy. Specifically, it’s about creating a persona, mapping a customer matrix, and brainstorming a content go-to-market strategy.

Copy the following template into a document and adapt it to your product or service.

Go-to-market plan template

Go-to-market strategy for ______________

Step 1: Distinguish your buyer personality (s).

Before you start planning your strategy, do a little research and identify your buyer personality. You can have more than one, but make sure each is precise, clear, and different from the others.

Here is a free tool to help you develop your persona (s), as well as a list of questions to ask yourself while creating.

Step 2: Fill in the value matrix yourself.

The following table contains each piece of the value matrix as well as an example person. Use the first example as a guide as you fill in the lines below.

Persona name (Think of something fun like Marketing Mary.)

Pain points (Challenges and hassles that
your persona faces.)

Product value
(How does your product help?)

Embassy
(What are you going to say to convey this to the customer?)
Example Eddy A process he uses costs too much time and money The service costs less time and money. This service works
____, which saves companies time and money.

Step 3: define your content and lead gen strategy.

Create a content and lead creation plan based on your client’s journey. Because some prefer the flywheel and others prefer the funnel, the template is broken down into phases one, two, and three, and provides pointers on where to be in the flywheel and funnel cycles.

Phase one:

Funnel stage: awareness

Flywheel target: Attract prospects

What type of content will you be creating to attract potential customers in similar industries? Make a table like this one below.

Type of content theme Promo strategy Lead generation
blog entry What is Sales AI? Content is shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and in
weekly newsletter.
A CTA in the mail encourages readers to sign up for our next webinar.

Phase two:

Funnel stage: Recital

Flywheel goals: Attract and engage leads

At this stage, your audience may know your service or do research on products related to your service. What types of content do you create to bring your service to the fore?

Type of content theme Promo strategy Lead generation
Webinar How Sales AI can increase productivity Social and email advertising will be linked to the login page. A thank you email will contain a link to request a demo.

Phase three:

Funnel stage: decision

Flywheel goals: Win and promote customers / Win and inspire customers

Your audience is really interested in your service. How are you going to use content to sell it?

Type of content theme Promo strategy Lead generation
Demo or tutorial Use our Sales AI tool to extract dark data Demo registration links are shared in webinar follow-up emails, newsletters, etc.
The website.
Those who participate in the demos will contact a direct sales / support representative.


Step 4: adjust and iterate as you go.

Go back to areas of your plan that aren’t working and tweak them. Make a note of the things that work and think about how you can expand them.

Step 5: Retain and inspire your customers.

In this phase, you will focus on maintaining your customer relationships and spreading word of mouth. This is where a flywheel strategy can be much more helpful than the funnel that ends in sale. This ultimate guide will give you an in-depth look at the indulgence phase and beyond.

While different products may require different startup strategies, the template and steps above should be used to create a solid starter plan that can be customized along the way.

Marketing plan template