Plan a B2B go-to-market strategy

1. Begin to build your audience as early as you can, before your product launches, preferably via an email list.

For example, start a blog on a topic at the intersection of your target audience’s interest and your product’s use case, or build an email newsletter or LinkedIn following by curating and synthesizing industry news.

2. Get user feedback early and often. Show prototypes to your prospective buyers. Buy them coffee and understand their pain points.

Do whatever it takes to spend as much time with your target audience as you can before you launch your company or product. Keep doing this — forever.

3. Research your top 10 competitors and compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Also consider their ability to influence consumer perception of their brand based on product characteristics, price, quality, and application.

4. Write your unique value proposition. Describe the benefits you offer, how you provide solutions, what distinguishes you from your competition, and why a prospect should buy from you.

5. Create your buyer persona. List your buyer persona’s unique attributes, including job title, company size, location, industry, pain points, concerns about their job, and challenges they're trying to solve.

What are their goals? What would it take for them to get promoted?

6. Create a spreadsheet of where your target buyer hangs out, who they listen to, and what other products and tools they use. Include potential influencers, target publications, and partners.

Interview prospects, send out surveys, and search forums, user groups, and trade associations for your industry. Use tools like Google Trends and SparkToro. Make notes on these locations to determine their fit for your launch marketing efforts—publications to pitch, partners for co-marketing, potential places for targeted advertising.

7. Synthesize your persona research and your audience location research and develop a go-to-market channel strategy, focusing on quality, not quantity of channels.

Based on your research and understanding of your target buyer, pick channels you believe most likely to reach your target audience in an authentic, targeted manner. For example, consider buying a dedicated email from a mid-sized email newsletter over buying Facebook ads. Aim for launching with 3-5 channels. This is enough that you have several chances to succeed, but not so many as to overwhelm your team or decrease the quality of efforts in each channel.

8. Conduct a series of launches, interspersed with feedback-gathering and rapid iteration.

Expect things to go wrong and have a backup plan. Examples may include bad press, bugs, or channels that don’t work as you’d hoped.