Go-to-Market Plan

[Product Name]

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Contents

  • Positioning Statement
  • Early Adopter Segments
  • Branding
  • Channel Strategy
  • Initial Marketing Methods
  • Testing Plan
  • LTV/CAC

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Positioning Statement

Use the 1-2 sentence description of target customers, their unmet needs, and your proposed solution from your PRD.

We suggest you use the positioning statement from Crossing the Chasm, i.e., “For [target customer segment] who must [problem to be solved], our product is a new [category name] that provides [solution to the problem]. Unlike [current solutions], we offer [key differentiating factor].”

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Early Adopter Segments

Describe your early adopter segment(s) in whatever terms are relevant: demographics, distinctive unmet needs, behaviors (e.g., usage of existing solutions), psychographics, etc.

What do these segmentation criteria imply about your ability to deliver marketing messages in a targeted manner, i.e., to identify and isolate potential early adopters without wasting marketing efforts on individuals who don’t meet your criteria?

If your customers are part of a multi-party decision making unit, describe the end users, economic buyers, and key influencers.

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Branding

If you think branding is a secondary concern for your product, skip this section.

What do you see as the strengths and limitations of your product name?

If you have doubts about your product name, what other names have you considered?

List some words that you’d like to see associated with your brand. Consider displaying some images that evoke the emotional connections you want to make.

Consider listing some brands that have positioning similar to your aspirations.

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Channel Strategy

If your channel strategy is obvious -- e.g., if you are an online retailer selling through your own website, or a mobile app provider distributing solely through the iOS and Android app stores -- then skip this section.

What channels will you use to sell to end customers? If you plan to use a hybrid approach, what mix do you anticipate between:

  • Your own website
  • Your own sales force (if you employ one, what will be the mix between inside sales and field sales?)
  • Channel partners (e.g., retailers, value added resellers)

If you plan to rely on channel partners, who will be responsible for educating prospects; closing sales; delivering and configuring the product; and after-sales service? How much margin will channel partners earn? Will this be enough to motivate them?

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Initial Marketing Methods

Early-stage startups often experiment with many marketing methods then find that a few are most productive for them. What is your hypothesis about the three marketing methods that will prove most productive, once you achieve product-market fit?

What are the strengths and potential weaknesses of these marketing methods, given your early adopter segments, your value proposition, and your likely competition? Criteria you might consider: expected cost of to acquire a customer; management time required to master/manage the method; the cycle time to turn prospects acquired through the method into customers; the scalability of the method; and the risk of cost escalation and/or saturation of the pool of prospects available through the method.

For each method, what metrics will you use to track performance?

What other marketing methods have you considered, and why have you rejected these methods or made them secondary priorities?

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Testing Plan

Describe the results of any tests of marketing methods that you have completed to date.

Describe tests that you will undertake over the next three months to learn about the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing methods that you are considering. What hypotheses, metrics, and sampling approach will you use? How much will you spend on these tests?

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LTV/CAC

After you achieve product-market fit, what are your targets for customer lifetime value and customer acquisition cost for customers acquired via paid marketing methods?

  • LTV: What average annual revenue do you expect, per customer? What variable contribution margin? What annual retention rate/average customer life?
  • CAC for paid marketing methods: What share of customers do you expect to acquire through free methods (word-of-mouth referrals, etc.) versus paid marketing methods (e.g., SEM, affiliates)? What viral coefficient do you expect to achieve? If you have CAC projections for different paid marketing methods, please share them.

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Go-to-Market Plan Template - Google Slides