The Best Go-To-Market Strategy for Your SaaS Company.

Go to market strategy. Your plan to success
Go to market strategy describes
your plan of bringing your product or service to market.
six parts of every go to market strategy
1. Product market fit means validating your idea upfront.
2. Market definition
3. Target audience
4. Distribution
5. Messaging
6. Price

What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?

The service you want to provide solves a customer problem – Great!
You have done your competitor analysis – well done!
People are telling you they cannot wait to use your service – excellent!

But how are you going to bring your service or your product to market? What is your plan to not just reach potential customers but also acquire customers and keep them?

The Go-To-Market Strategy describes your plan of bringing your product or service to market. It is a plan of action that shows all steps needed to reach customers and achieve a competitive advantage. A Go-To-Market Strategy can be helpful in a variety of use cases. For example, when you want to enter the market with your new product, enter a new market with your existing product, or test new products in different markets to discover growth potential.

But what strategy brings you the best odds of having success? For example, should you use Product-Led Growth, Marketing-Led Growth, Sales-Led Growth, Community-Led Growth, or even a hybrid model? In short, picking the right Go-To-Market Strategy is essential to make your SaaS journey a success.

This article will show you the definitions and strategies behind the different Go-To-Market models and helps you find out which Go-To-Market Strategy is best for you to turn your SaaS business into a growth machine.

But let's start from the beginning.

Why is a Go-To-Market Strategy so important?

90% of Startups fail, and starting a successful SaaS business is no simple task. There are many important things to keep in mind, and if you have not planned all parts of the journey upfront, it will reduce your chances of success.

A Go-To-Market Strategy (GTM strategy) forces you to think through all your business components – for example, your target audience, your messaging, and the marketing channels you will use. Instead of waking up one day and finding yourself in a position where nobody wants to buy your product, a GTM strategy gives you the chance to rethink and iterate until you know you are heading in the right direction. When you work with a team or stakeholders, a GTM strategy helps you build a roadmap that everyone can rely on.

In addition, a GTM strategy can also, to some extent, predict the success rate your upcoming product/service will have, based on market research and data regarding the competitive landscape. For instance, if you find out that there are already a ton of solid competitors out there and you cannot niche down, you want to learn about this as soon as possible to save time and money.

The six parts of having an excellent Go-To-Market Strategy

A Go-To-Market Strategy is like a business plan but much narrower. In a business plan, you have factors like funding, investments, and 5-year forecasts. All these things are unnecessary for a Go-To-Market Strategy.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but in general, a Go-To-Market plan includes these six factors:
Product market fit. The first step to a successful product.
Product market fit means
validating your idea upfront before investing more resources into your product.
Product-market fit
Pursuing your idea is excellent, but you are heading for a risky business without validating your idea through product-market fit. Should you find out that your solution brings no value to customers, you better find out early.

Validating your idea is especially important if your product is entirely new to the market, with no role model/competitor who has already validated the idea before. Product-market fit is here to prove that your product solves a specific user pain, that people see value in your solution and are ready to pay for it.

You can see product-market fit when people regularly use your service and recommend it to their friends. Gathering this kind of feedback right in the beginning, before even investing more time and money on your idea, is the most crucial part when you build your Startup and the best insurance against failure.

I remember when I joined a Startup six years ago. Everybody in our team loved the idea we were working on, and we were convinced that the idea was worth our effort. We were so convinced that validating the concept did not seem necessary. We invested time and money and did our best, but the idea failed because of a lack of customers. Had we done our market research and validated the service upfront, we would have noticed that the product did not solve a real customer pain point. We might have been able to pivot or even abandon the idea altogether without too many losses. Lesson learned. Don't make the same mistake as I did.

The best way to gather early feedback is by doing user research (direct customer interviews early on) or having Net Promoter Score surveys. However, customer interviews might bring more valuable data than just using the NPS if you have just started.

If you have Product Market Fit, you don't naturally have GTM fit.
GTM fit is about having a replicable motion either driven by demand gen, product or sales.

Arthur Nobel
B2B SaaS Investor at Knight Capital
Market definition. 5 Questions to better understand your market.
Market definition means
defining what market you want to sell your service or product in and what the addressable market size is.
Ask yourself: What market do you want to sell your service in? Why exactly this market? Who are the decision makers in this specific market?
Market definition
Before investing in your product development, take a step back and think about the potential addressable market first. A good starting point to get a better understanding of the market you want to jump in is to start with market research and by answering the following questions:

• In what market do you want to sell your service/product?
• What is the addressable market size?
• Why this market?
• How much are people willing to pay for your service in this market?
• What are the specifics of this market?
• What has worked before, what has not?
• Why did it not work before?
• Who are my most significant competitors in this specific market?
• How am I going to differentiate myself from my competitors?
• Who are the decision-makers in this specific market?
The right target audience. How to save time and money.
Start focusing on specific personas.
Ask yourself
What keeps my customers up at night? Finding out what frustrates your customers is key to understanding the actual problem and crafting a compelling solution.
What motivates my customers to solve their problem?
Whats the desired future state for my customers?
Target audience
If you want to craft a compelling solution, you need to know your customers. Instead of providing a service for "everyone," start focusing on specific buyer Personas. Personas are the sound foundation for every successful service and will help you make thought-out decisions.

Therefore, you need to understand what your target audience is trying to achieve and what success means to them. This way, you can focus on the proper marketing channels and communicate effectively. To learn more about your target group, answer these powerful questions:

• What keeps my customers up at night?
• What motivates my customers to solve their problems?
• What's the desired future state for my customers?

The key to a successful acquisition is not to find as many customers as possible but to find the right ones. Getting the right customers is a 2-step process – figuring out who your customers are and where your customers are. Skip these steps, and you will develop a service nobody uses.
Download the Free Go-To-Market Worksheet
Go to market. Finding marketing channels to reach customers.
Ask yourself.
What marketing channels are you going to use to reach potential customers?
Pro tip: Use the bullseye framework to identify the best marketing channels for your business.
Getting customers is tough and many SaaS companies and Start-ups fail because of a lack of new customers. Hence, it is necessary to identify marketing channels that bring you customers. One of the best frameworks to identify the channels to best reach your customer is the “Bullseye Framework”, developed by Gabriel Weinberg. Gabriel has identified these 19 traction channels:

• Viral marketing
• Public relations
• Unconventional PR
• Social and Display Ads
• Offline Ads
• Content marketing
• Email marketing
• Engineering as marketing
• Target Market blogs
• Business development
• Sales
• Affiliate programs
• Existing platforms
• Trade shows
• Offline events
• Speaking engagements
• Community building

Each of these channels has already worked for SaaS and Start-up companies before, but not every channel will show the same results for different companies. However, there will be at least one channel that brings traction to your business.
Need help in finding the best marketing channel? This is for you!
Go to market. How to save time and money.
Providing a service for everyone
providing a service for no one
Ask yourself
What messaging and design resonates best with your potential customers?
Your messaging and design are key to attracting the right people to your business. Only if you have defined your Personas you can frame the design and messaging in a way your target audience finds appealing.

When developing messaging for your product, think about the value your product brings to the table and how you stand out from your competitors. Thinking back on the target audience questions we asked before (What keeps my customers up at night? What's the desired future state for my customers?) - answer these questions in your message to show your customers the value they are getting.

Remember the last time you watched a car commercial? Did you ever notice that 90% of the time of a 1-minute commercial, they talk about the azure blue oceans you can reach with this car, the exclusive beaches you can see, and only 10% of the time about the extra features they provide?

Great messaging is about showing your customers what they will get, what dreams they can fulfill, what experience they can have. Having persuasive messaging means talking about benefits rather than features.

Keep in mind that the first version of your messaging does not have to be perfect. Develop the first version of your messaging, test it with potential customers, iterate, and understand which version resonates with your audience.
Go to market. Finding the right price for your service.
Should you set your price higher than your competition?
Should you set your price lower than your competition?
Most of the time
your price should reflect the value and the position you want to take in the market and not the cost plus your markup
Depending on your target audience, your pricing needs to be appropriate. Should you be cheaper than your competition? Should you go higher than your competition? Are people even willing to pay premium prices for that product?

The problem with pricing is that people might not buy it if you demand a premium price. However, if your price is too low, you run out of business. So, the goal is to find the sweet spot to make enough money but not leave people behind.

Most of the time, your price should reflect the value and the position you want to take in the market and not the manufacturing costs, plus your markup.

With these six essential factors in mind, you can craft an effective Go-To-Market Strategy that brings the odds in your favor of creating a successful business.
Get your Free Go-To-Market Worksheet

The different Go-To-Market Strategies and growth engines

Have you ever heard of Product-Led Growth, Community-Led Growth, Marketing-Led Growth, or Sales-Led Growth? These are all Go-To-Market concepts that have been proven successful before. Let's have a closer look at these models and find out what approach works best for you.
Product led growth. Your way to massive growth.
Product led growth means that all parts of your business are driven primarily by the product itself.
The goal of product led growth is to
let people experience the product themselves and
help them become successful.
2 advantages of product led growth
1: Your free product creates a user base right from the start
2: helps you reduce your customer acquisition cost
Metrics: time to value, expansion revenue, customer lifetime value, customer churn, revenue churn

What is Product-Led Growth, and what does it mean

Product-Led Led Growth is a Go-To-Market Strategy that has been around for many years but has only recently gained popularity. Product-Led Growth (PLG) means the product itself drives all parts of your business.

Here, all business parts like acquisition, retention, and referral are included. Before the rise of PLG, companies relied on taking the customers further down the funnel and bringing them from point A to point B. In Product-Led Growth, the goal is to let people experience the product themselves and help them become successful.

Product-Led Growth mostly starts with a free trial version, true to the motto "try before you buy." It's about delivering a fantastic user experience and if people like your product, upgrading to a paid plan is the most logical step. Therefore, the product should do the selling itself.

Product-Led Growth has been out there for many years. Did you ever buy a car without a test drive? Did you ever rent an apartment without checking it first? I guess not.

Nowadays, more and more companies see the benefits of having Product-Led Growth as the critical driver for a product's success. Letting people try out your product for free, building a customer base, and then helping them to upgrade to paid plans with added value is the goal.

Hey, check this out: I have written an in-depth article about Product-Led Growth where you can also download a free framework to build a product that sells itself.
Product Led Growth Infographic

Why should you use Product-Led Growth, and what are its benefits?

One of the significant advantages of Product-Led Growth is that companies who use this strategy can grow faster because their free product creates a user base right in the beginning. If the product is valuable, these free users will then convert into paying customers. PLG does not just mean try before you buy. When you live PLG, every part of your business influences the product and aims to create the best customer experience possible.

For example, the customer success team will consider ways to provide additional value to existing customers to help them become successful. The design team will think of ways to improve the overall user experience and make the UX as flawless as possible to get people to the AHA moment. The product team will look at new ways and features to further support customers and increase the product's value. Every team focuses on the product.

The benefits of having a PLG model do not apply only to your users. Providing a fabulous customer experience will make your users stick longer with your service, reducing customer churn and increasing the customer lifetime value. Furthermore, your customer acquisition costs will drastically decrease without a long sales cycle and lead generation.

What are some examples of Product-Led Growth companies?

Two well-known companies that use Product-Led Growth to the maximum are Slack and Dropbox. When you think about why you started using these services, it was not because you read long pitch decks or had a sales pitch with one of their representatives. Instead, I assume you downloaded the software and tried it out yourself.

If the freemium model is valuable, you continuously use it and upgrade to a higher plan if needed. Therefore, the basic version (freemium model) must provide good enough value to make people stick around. Additional features should then offer additional value so that people upgrade to higher plans.

Jakob Knutzen, CEO at Butter even stresses that Product-Led Growth is not something that you artificially engineer, but rather a well-thought-out process you need to keep in mind right in the beginning.

Product-Led Growth is not something that you artificially engineer.
You need to build the very foundations of the product in a way that incentivizes people to share the product and engage with others within it. Only then will your product lead your growth.

Jakob Knutzen
Co-Founder & CEO at Butter
To make your PLG-SaaS driven company a success, three critical tactics and strategies are required.

Product-Led Growth tactics and strategies

AHA Moment
The AHA moment is the moment when customers first realize the value of your service. This moment decides whether your customers engage further or churn. The AHA moment is an emotional event that should happen early in the customer journey. Keep in mind that the longer your time to value is, the more likely it is that people will churn.
How to find your services' AHA moment
To find your services' AHA moment, first reach out to your top customers and ask, what is most valuable to them. It is important to know that it is likely that each persona will have an individual journey to their own AHA moment.

After evaluating customer feedback, create a list of behaviors that correlate with customer retention. Use this list to define your activation-metrics. These metrics are individual and vary from service to service. Examples for activation metrics are "10 app usages per month" or "adding 2 friends within the first week".

Ask yourself if customers who regularly use your service
• finish the onboarding process?
• interact with the core feature?
• connect with other customers?

Once you complement your customer feedback with your analytics data, it should be clear where people find value in your service. One of the best methods to bring customers fast to the AHA moment is onboarding.
Find out what the AHA moment is for your product and then get people to it as quickly as possible.
Onboarding means introducing users to your service and helping them quickly finding value in your service. Often times, onboarding is defined as the design flow that shows the user a guided introduction to the product. However, Onboarding does not start with the product tour in an app. It starts with the first touch point your users have with your service – and first impressions matter.

Your first touch point could either be a social media ad, a Google ad or via your blog. User onboarding can make the difference between churn and retention and it is not enough to have an easy to use product. If you want to make your users successful (what you should), you need to show the value they receive. To create an amazing onboarding experience, think of it as a 3 part process.

1. Guide users fast to the magic moment, the AHA moment.
2. Reduce complexity and barriers to your service as much as possible.
This might mean leaving out unnecessary forms, sign-ups or long tutorials.
3. Use different channels to guide users to success.

Having a great onboarding flow in place not only reduces the churn rate but also your acquisition cost due to the fact that people will know how to use your service and will not feel the need to call your support team. In addition if people quickly find value in your service, they will develop a habit around it and use it regularly, which will further increase your customer lifetime value.
Help users reach the next step in their journey
To help people find value in your service, think about the different channels you can use to reach your users. For example, if a user just downloaded your app and does not know how to activate his account, send him an email/in app notification how he can solve his problem. Or, when you see that a recently registered user did not open your app within the last week (and never reached the AHA moment in your app), reach out to him and help him reach the AHA moment.

When you use emails as a way to reach your customers, keep in mind to only send emails that are currently helping them on their individual journey. If you don't time emails based on user behavior, you will not only lose them but also displease them. Other channels to reach out to users are mobile notifications within the app, SMS or direct calls.

However, since these channels are very personal, be sensible if these channels make sense for your service and your target audience.

Product-Led Growth KPIs & metrics

In Product-Led Growth, there are different metrics that show you, how effective your strategy is. Here are some of the most important metrics to keep track of:

• Time to value
• Expansion revenue
• Customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV)
• Customer acquisition cost
• Revenue churn-Viral coefficient
• Viral cycle time
• Conversion Rate
Free Worksheet: Find the best Go-To-Market Strategy
Community led growth. 3 benefits of having a strong community.
Community led growth means using your community as the main driver for acquisition.
Community led growth is about
building long term relationships with your customers
and helping your audience connect
3 advantages of community led growth
1: enables you to interact personally with customers
2: helps you to get early feedback for your service
3: reduces your customer acquisition cost through referrals

What is Community-Led Growth, and what does it mean

Community-Led Growth is a Go-To-Market Strategy that uses your community as the critical driver for acquisition, retention, and expansion. Every SaaS company aims to have a growing user base with active and engaged users. Getting new customers is expensive, but when you have a user base who loves and supports your service, it is only natural that they recommend it to their friends and family.

Community building is about growing your network, building long-term relationships with your customers, and helping your audience connect. Communities give you the chance to interact with potential customers and get early feedback for your service. Implementing this feedback will turn customers into evangelists who will recommend your service and bring more people to the community.

Community building has become more and more relevant for businesses, especially since social media has taken over. Human-to-human interaction is king, and people don't want to engage with brands but want to connect with the product's founder and community. Keep in mind that people care about the shared mission rather than the community's platform.

Before choosing a platform for your community, think about how people want to communicate, what media have worked before, and how people can derive the most value out of it.
Community Led Growth Infographic

Why should you use Community-Led Growth, and what are its benefits?

People have been gathering around the fire for over 2 million years. Therefore, it only seems logical to take this concept into the modern world of growth. Community-Led Growth is about having a thriving community that supports your service and your mission. The chances of having formidable competitors in the area you are operating in are high.

Having a solid and engaged community that supports each other and provides additional value to your brand is your moat and can make the difference when people decide on which solution they use.

A community can support you in accelerating growth in different ways: It can help, for example, by providing valuable feedback which you can use to improve your service further, by answering user questions within a Q&A forum, by liking and sharing your marketing efforts, providing you with testimonials or by recommending your service to friends and this way acquiring new users. This will not only reduce your customer acquisition cost but also reduce your customer churn rate.

Community-Led Growth can be the primary driver for your business. However, combining CLG with other growth engines like Product-Led Growth can become a multiplier that accelerates your success. True to the motto - come for the community and the product, stay for the community and the product.

What are some examples of Community-Led Growth companies?

One of the prime companies that utilize Community-Led Growth is Apple. People are willing to wait for hours in a queue to get the newest iPhone. These evangelists spread the word, which reduces Apple's customer acquisition cost. In addition, people create forums, discuss the latest features and hacks, and provide additional value to Apple users.

Another company that uses Community-Led Growth is GitHub, a version control tool for developers. The value in this community lies within reaching out to other developers, asking for help, and exchanging knowledge about the newest trends and solutions.

Besides Apple and GitHub, more and more companies see the power of communities and start growing their own. However, keep in mind not to misuse your community to promote your service. Instead, consider it a chance to provide value, talk to group members, and learn about the challenges they face. It is about value, not promotion.

Metrics & KPIs for Community Building

Depending on the way you build your community, different metrics and KPIs come into place. Before you start, it is important to ask yourself, how a thriving community would look like and how it will contribute to your company's success. For example, if a flourishing community means that people recommend your service and get new people to your service, viral metrics like viral cycle time and viral coefficient are essential.

If you want to get more people into your community – for example, in your Facebook or Slack group – there are a few fundamental metrics to track. Those are total community members, new members this month, active vs. inactive members, engagements on posts (likes, shares, comments), and member posts. Tracking all metrics is not helpful, and if you want to monitor them all, you will get lost. These four steps help you find the metrics that affect your business success:

1. Define your companies' goal
2. Define what metrics will help reach this goal
3. Rank metrics based on business impact and viability
4. Create action steps to improve the underlying metrics

Monitoring the right metrics requires a sound business strategy. First, ask yourself what your companies' goal is. Here, it is vital to be as precise as possible. For example, "improving our community" is a poorly drafted goal since everybody has a different opinion of what that contains precisely. However, if you state it like "getting 5.000 more people in our Facebook Group till the end of this year because the number of community members influences our sales", it is clear what you are trying to achieve.

Then, based on your overall goal, start creating key performance indicators. Key performance indicators (KPIs) represent the most critical metrics in your company and help you measure your growth. This goal may be to increase sales, reduce costs, or expand into a new market. KPIs are metrics that move the needle; therefore, keep their number limited.

After you have defined your KPIs, ask yourself what underlying metrics will help you reach your goal. For example, your goal could be to improve your customer lifetime by three months by the end of this year. A possible underlying metric that could directly influence this goal is the engagement rate within your community group.

Once you have a list of underlying metrics, start prioritizing these metrics based on impact and viability. For example, if you have three different metrics that could impact your KPI, think about which has the highest impact and is easiest to achieve.
Sales led growth. 2 reasons why sales led growth is still viable
sales led growth is a growth strategy that relies on your sales team to be the key driver for revenue
the most important thing in sales led growth
make sure your marketing and sales team are in sync to not lose dozens of leads due to bad communication
2 advantages of sales led growth
1: allows you to close high lifetime value customers
2: helps you build long term relationships with customers

What is Sales-Led Growth, and what does it mean?

Sales-Led Growth is a growth strategy that relies on your sales team to be the key driver for revenue. Companies with B2B clients often use Sales-Led Growth as their sales cycles are long, and customers need hands-on guidance with the product itself. With this growth strategy, your companies' success directly depends on how well your sales team performs.

The marketing team tries to get new leads with campaigns, but in the end, the salespeople are the guys who close the deals. One problem is that this depends to a considerable extent on how well these two teams work together. If your marketing and sales team are not in sync and roles are unclear, you will lose dozens of hot leads because of poor communication. Therefore, these teams need to work in tight alignment.

Another challenge with Sales-Led Growth is that the whole process lacks focus on customer success or its product.  Many salespeople try to make the sale and therefore over-promise. If there is a value gap between the sales team's promises and the features your product offers, customers immediately churn.

Here is the thing: I am not saying that all Sales-Led Growth companies disregard their customers, but achieving one's quota at the end of the year/month is a genuine concern. As a result, a sale may be made even though your product may not be a good fit for the customer. One way to solve this problem is by combining Sales-Led Growth with other growth strategies, like PLG or Community-Led Growth. Sales-Led Growth per se is nothing bad, and very successful companies like Microsoft or Salesforce have been using this strategy. However, if you want to have sustainable growth and reduce your customer churn, do not over-promise but show your potential customers the value you offer right away.

Another common issue with Sales-Led Growth is scaling. A salesperson can only make that amount of phone calls per day. More revenue, therefore, means hiring more salespeople.  According to statistics, the conversion rate for cold calling is around 3% (3% of the people you call are ready to buy immediately). In other words, if you want to acquire more customers, you have to make more calls.

However, great sales teams are expensive, which means that your CAC is constantly high. Your CLV has to be high enough to regain the investments you made to get the customer to make this a profitable business.
Sales Led Growth Infographic

Why should you use Sales-Led Growth, and what are its benefits?

One of the prime benefits of Sales-Led Growth is that it allows you to close high lifetime value customers. If you focus on B2B and have a complex product or service, sales cycles can become quite long, and customers often need hands-on guidance to become successful. With a Sales-Led approach and a specific sales guy allocated to the lead, your team can make the lead become a sale.

Having high lifetime value customers is exemplary. However, keep in mind to avoid poor revenue diversity. For example, if you have three to four clients who make a large portion of your overall revenue, your business can fail even if just one or two of those high-value customers churn.

Another reason to go for the Sales-Led Growth approach is if you are targeting a niche market. Product-Led Growth and Community-Led Growth especially bloom when you have a broad audience. On the other hand, if your target audience is small, directly contacting your leads might seem more tempting. Also, if you are seen as the expert in this field, building long-term relationships with potential customers is easier this way.

In addition, a direct approach works better if your product is new to the market. If you build a service that people have never seen before, potential customers need to be educated. Trying to do this with a Product-Led approach and letting people try on their own could lead to customer churn because they don't understand your product.

However, with a Sales-Led Growth approach, you can directly communicate with leads and better understand their pain points and how success would look like for them.

What are some examples of Sales-Led Growth companies?

Well-established companies like Microsoft or Salesforce use Sales-Led as one of their key drivers for growth. These companies have long sales cycles (regarding the B2B context), and customers may need many touchpoints before buying the service. It is important to note that these companies do not solely rely on Sales-Led, but combine it with other growth engines like Product-Led Growth and Marketing-Led Growth.

Metrics & KPIs for Sales-Led Growth

• Marketing qualified leads & sales qualified leads (MQL & SQL)
• Quality of leads
• Closing Rate
Marketing led growth. how to get customers for free
Marketing led growth means relying on marketing to acquire new customers
the goal of marketing led growth is to
make people aware of your product and
provide valuable content to help them find value in your offer
2 advantages of marketing led growth
1: helps you build trust with potential customers
2: helps you to stay in your prospects minds
pro tip: start to share your journey early on and be consistent with your marketing.

What is Marketing-Led Growth, and what does it mean?

Marketing-Led Growth means relying on marketing to acquire new customers through content marketing via blogs on your website, social media marketing, or ads. In Marketing-Led Growth the key is to hook your customers early on and have them remember your service. The goal of Marketing-Led Growth is to make people aware of your product, get them to your website, provide unique content and show them the value you offer.

Often, Marketing-Led Growth starts with a lead magnet. A lead magnet is valuable information that potential customers can download in return for their email addresses. These email addresses are then used for lead nurturing campaigns.

Marketing-Led Growth is a marathon, not a sprint. If you are looking for immediate results, MLG is not your way to go. The best tip I would give to anybody who starts their Startup or SaaS company is to start early on with marketing. One of the prime mistakes is to build your product, release it, and then start marketing. The issue here is that marketing will not get you the immediate results you desire.

However, if you share your journey early on – even before your product is ready – you have the chance to get people interested in your offer right away. Once you release your product, the chance of getting people to sign up will skyrocket. In addition, sharing your journey early on helps you gain valuable customer feedback on your ideas, which in return will help you to improve your service and engage with your community.

But how can you do early marketing if your product is not yet available? For instance, let's imagine your startup/SaaS company is an app. Sharing your sketches/dribbles or wireframes with your social media community could be one approach. Thereby, people can see your progress and give you valuable feedback right away.

Another good way to start your marketing early on is by providing a landing page with your service, where people can sign up for your newsletter to get regular updates on the progress of your app. Then, once you release your app, you can let them know by sending them a special thank-you email.

So, if you wish to use social media marketing to draw attention to your service, first think about your target audience and how to reach them best. Running your marketing efforts on every social media platform there is makes little sense. Nowadays, there are too many social media platforms, and if you don't want to burn your marketing budget and time, you need to decide upfront.

Are your customers founders and CEOs? Go for LinkedIn. Are your customers in the US? Think about Twitter. Are your customers children and teenagers? Think about TikTok. When you choose Marketing-Led Growth as your primary way to grow, keep in mind to track your individual marketing campaigns to see which marketing campaign drives the best results. For example, if you try one channel and do not see the expected results, try another one. Stay in this experimental mindset, and you will find the channel that works best for you.
Marketing Led Growth Infographic

Why should you use Marketing-Led Growth, and what are its benefits?

Marketing-Led Growth is a marathon, and it takes time to get the necessary results. However, if you stick to it and provide value to your community, it eventually will return your investment 10x. Think of it this way: Putting valuable content on your blog that people like will make your post stay forever. Even in five years, people will still find your post online, and if they find value in your offer, they become a customer.

We talked about Sales-Led Growth and how an increase in revenue often implies an increase in salespeople. If you want more customers with Marketing-Led Growth, your goal is to create unique content that leads to your product.

To do so, first think about what questions your potential customers have. What do they type into Google to find a solution? What keywords do they use? Then, based on their needs, create valuable content that immediately helps people and shows the value in your service. Combining this approach with Product-Led Growth, where people visit your website and can test the product for free, your chances of getting new customers increase. You no longer need to recruit more people.

Metrics & KPIs for Marketing-Led Growth

Whether you are using social media marketing or trying to get people to your website with blog posts, the most important thing is to track your marketing efforts. Without monitoring your metrics, you will not know which approach works best and which marketing effort is wasted. Some key metrics to track when using Marketing-Led Growth are:

• Likes, shares, comments, impressions on social media

With a good content marketing strategy for social media, you can get the word out and attract people to your business. However, posting content without measuring the likes, shares, comments, and impressions, you will not know which post attracts possible customers. To track those metrics, you can use a spreadsheet where you put in your social media posts and the precise results of each post.

I recommend doing a monthly or even weekly review to see what works and what does not work. Rinse and repeat is the best way to improve those metrics. Once you know what kind of content your audience loves, keep posting similar content to improve those metrics.

• Click-through rate on social media
• Conversion rate on your website
• Marketing qualified leads & sales qualified leads (MQL & SQL)
• Dwell time
• Bounce rate
Go to market strategy. Hybrid Model Infographic

Hybrid model

As we have already discussed, each Go-To-Market Strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. A hybrid model – as the name implies – mixes the different Go-To-Market Strategies to use the distinct advantages. Therefore, combining these approaches and using a hybrid model could be your way to success.

Let's say you are going to release an app and want to use Product-Led Growth to acquire new customers. If you are putting your website out there and waiting for customers to come in, you will have a hard time. Relying on one Go-To-Market Strategy can be dangerous. In fact, having multiple Go-To-Market Strategies in place and combining them can reduce your risk.

Therefore, whether you use a Product-Led Growth approach, a Sales-Led Growth approach, or Community-Led Growth, I would always combine it with a Marketing-Led plan to make people aware of your service.

What Go-To-Market Strategy should you use for your product?

Now that we have discussed the different Go-To-Market Strategies, it is time to ask yourself what approach you should choose. Here is the thing: What Go-To-Market Strategy you will use should not be decided by you but by the product/service you create. There is little sense in forcing yourself to use a specific approach, even if there is no sense in using it. Instead, it would help if you thought about what strategy makes sense for your product and what plan could pan out in the long term.

As business goes, strategies shift. So, keep in mind that you can move your strategy whenever you feel the need. For example, if you think that Product-Led Growth is not working out, try using a different method. A Go-To-Market Strategy is not a 10-year plan that you commit to but rather guidance where your focus could be.
Key driver
Sales team
All parts of your business are driven primarily by the product itself
Hooking customers and keeping your service in your customers minds with amazing content.
Sales-Led Growth is a growth strategy that relies on your sales team to be the key driver for revenue
Using your community as the main driver for acquisition, retention and expansion.
Your free product creates a user base right in the beginning

CAC will dramatically be reduced
Reduces CAC once established

Helps you make people aware of your product right in the beginning
Allows you to close high lifetime value customers

Helps you build long term relationships with customers
Enables you to interact personally with customers

Helps you to get early feedback for your service
Little growth, if people cannot immediately find the value in your product
Marketing-Led growth is a marathon, not a sprint. If you are looking for immediate results, MLG is not your way to go
Major dependencies on how well your marketing and sales team work together

More revenue  means more sales people
Takes time to build a strong and engaging community
Pro Tips
Use great onboarding to get people fast to the AHA Moment & make it easy for customers to upgrade to higher plans.
Start to share your journey early on – even before your product is finished – and be consistent with your marketing.
Combine Sales-Led Growth with Marketing-Led Growth or Product-Led Growth to enable scalability
Make the community a part of the overall customer experience

Offer valuable, exclusive content

Have a shared mission within the community
build a product that sells itself with plg