The 3 Go-to-Market Mistakes Tech Product Providers Make

Most of the time, being a tech CEO means wearing many hats and rolling up your sleeves to make the shift from product strategy to business development, even if that was wildly out of your comfort zone. 

When launching a new product, the last thing you want is to have an improper go-to-market (GTM) strategy. But when it comes to getting products in front of the right people, things can get muddled. You might even feel if the product is well-executed, marketing strategies just aren't all that important. Build it, and they will come… right? 

But this only leads to disaster.

In this article, we’ll set the basic foundations of a successful go-to-market (GTM) strategy and share the 3 most common mistakes tech product companies make. 

Let's get started.

What is a Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy?

It is an action plan outlining the steps a company needs to take to succeed in a new market or with a new audience which helps improve their users’ experience. It clearly specifies:

  • The reason you are launching a new product
  •  Who it's for
  •  How you are going to do it
  •  The issues customers will face 

A Killer GTM strategy Boils Down to 6 Essential Areas

Define target market

You need to clearly define exactly who your target market is, which is why creating a buyer persona and an ideal buyer profile is crucial. They represent your ideal customer base and are essential for prospecting and lead-generation stages. Research and analyze the types of potential customers that your product will help solve their problems. Narrow down your focus with the help of variables like demographic, psychographic, geographical, etc. 

Create product messaging and value proposition

In order to zero in on product-centric messaging that best connects with the problem your product solves, you'll need to create a value matrix. List the challenges faced by each buyer persona and how your product solves these challenges. Identify what's different about your solution when compared to other products in the market.

Outline distribution model

How do you plan on delivering your product to the customer? Using both the value matrix and buyer personas, define the funnel your sales team will use to move potential customers through.   

Select pricing strategy

Decide on an appropriate pricing strategy for each customer group that best fits your needs, market, and business model.

Determine product demand generation approach

Decide on whether you want to use inbound or outbound marketing efforts. Inbound sales personalize the sales process to the needs and desires of the buyer. An optimal way to do so is through content marketing based on your value matrix and the stages of the buyer's journey. On the other hand, an outbound strategy focuses on those who have not yet already expressed interest in your product.

Set a customer retention plan 

Acquiring a new customer can cost x5 retaining an existing one. Use marketing techniques like upselling and loyalty programs to incentivize repeat business and build long-term customer relationships.

Having a solid strategy in place means:

  • Less product launch time
  • Less financial risk of a failed launch
  • Positive user experience
  • Clear plan for all team members
  • Clear growth strategy

3 Go-to-market (GTM) Mistakes Tech Product Companies Make

Mistake #1 Lack of product-centric messaging

The difference between a product perceived as excellent rather than good by customers is a direct result of product messaging and positioning. Your marketing positioning should focus on the most significant pain points to respond directly to those concerns leading with the value, not just features. And by the value of your product, we mean less about the tactical solution it can achieve and more about the tactical solution in terms of goal attainment. This helps you understand how your product differs from that of your competitors too.

Once you've settled on your product's core value, demonstrate what it looks like in real life. Reviews, companies you work with, ratings, and case studies are great examples of strong reasons to develop trust for why your product is the best way to solve a problem.

Based on what you learn from this step, you can determine what type of customer or business will gain similar value and benefit from your product.

Find out how your product can help your personas and, most importantly, who will be making the purchasing decision? Identifying your end-user will help you figure out the way to convince them to make the purchase.

As you learn more about your potential customers, you'll be able to refine your ideal customer profile (ICP) based on the ones that have the most success with your product.

 This takes us to the second mistake on our list...

Mistake #2 Going for a broad audience

While many people believe you have to reach as many people as possible, tech product marketing is most effective when it is targeted.

There are tons of examples of product launch campaigns that fail because companies fail to understand their target demographic. As a result, they lost both loyal customers and the target demographic they sought to reach. Understanding who you are communicating with will help you understand how to communicate with them, which impacts potential customers' buying decisions.

It's impossible to build a product that solves every pain point and pleases every customer. But be aware of getting stuck in the "something for everyone" trap. Instead, identify those most excited and ready to solve their pain points with a product like yours. As you collect data, you'll start to recognize patterns of pain points. The more the product addresses the most severe of these patterns, the more likely the customers are to act on that discomfort and make a purchase. 

To get there, focus on one persona. Create a customer canvas that includes variables like:

  • Demographics 
  • Motivations 
  • Pain points 
  • Purchasing power 
  • Interests
  • Habits 

Use the data to assess who will be the first target persona. 

Mistake #3 Lack of a structured approach for acquiring new customers 

As product marketing becomes more expensive, customers are becoming less trustworthy of brands. While customer acquisition may sound as simple as its name, the process is less of a side quest and more of a hero's journey. The goal is to create a systematic, sustainable approach that can evolve with new trends and changes.

According to the State of Product Marketing report, 56% of product marketers are measured on how much new revenue they generate. 

Customer acquisition strategies target consumers who have become aware of your product and are considering buying it. There are free strategies, paid strategies, inbound and outbound strategies, and the sky's the limit. But for maximum impact and longevity, even the strongest strategies need optimization. 

  • Invest in a sustainable, long-term strategy.
  • Ensure a flexible approach that responds to market trends.
  • Tailor your approach to a narrowed-down target market. 

Marketing a tech product is only half the battle

Marketing a tech product often feels like do-or-die, but with a solid go-to-market strategy avoiding the mistakes we just outlined, you should be able to play chess while the competition is playing checkers.

Edwin - Growth Strategist

Technology can be a huge differentiator but leveraging emerging technologies can be challenging. After my degree in Business Information Technology I decided to work on the provider side of Technology, because I believe Technology providers play an important role in guiding enterprises on their digital journey. Besides helping tech businesses to optimize their growth and go-to-market strategies, I also like to write about the topic. I hope you find it useful!