You have an idea for a great new product or service. You might have already invested time and money developing the solution. But, how do you get the word out?

Whenever launching a new product or service, the last thing you want is to waste time and resources investing in marketing tactics that don’t work. To avoid this, it’s important to craft an intentional plan that will help you rise above the noise and reach potential customers.

7 Steps to Develop Your Go-to-Market Strategy

Here are seven steps you can take to develop your go-to-market strategy for a new product or service:

  1. Identify your specific decision-makers and buyers. First and foremost, it’s important to define who you’re trying to serve (and who you’re not) with this new product or service. Knowing your ideal customer is foundational for marketing in ways that resonate with them. Everyone on your sales and marketing teams should take time to identify as much information as you possibly can about your target audience.
  2. Determine the specific pain points and messages that resonate with buyers. Knowing your ideal customer and their pain points are essential for determining the messages that will resonate with them. Before you launch your product, your sales and marketing should know (and agree) on exactly who you’re trying to reach and how you are uniquely positioned to help them.
  3. Understand your buyer’s journey. Intentionally considering the experience you’re creating for potential customers during the buying process is one of the most valuable things you can do before launching a product or service and is one of the best ways to spend your time. Not only will this help you create a buyer’s journey that potential customers actually enjoy, but it will also help you define the processes and systems you’ll need to create it.
  4. Define the relationship between sales and marketing. Marketing and sales teams should work together to achieve your goal. Without absolute clarity on the business objectives or specific products/service lines you want to grow, both sales and marketing teams are left guessing what will actually move the needle. This is true for businesses at any point in time but is especially important when launching a new product or service.
  5. Generate interest and develop a plan to increase brand awareness. Once you’ve laid the initial groundwork, it’s time to start thinking about your specific marketing tactics. Whenever you’re thinking about brand awareness, don’t neglect the simple but often overlooked ways to reach customers. Take time to learn from the successful campaigns and mistakes other brands make when it comes to brand awareness.
  6. Create content that connects emotionally with potential customers. How do you create content that cuts through the noise and actually gets read? Consider how you can use content to create emotional connections with potential customers. Begin weaving these strategies into your marketing efforts to appeal to their emotions. Brands and products that evoke our emotions—such as Apple, Disney, and Google—are always effective when launching new products or services.
  7. Determine how you will leverage data to evaluate and optimize your efforts. Now that you have a plan in place, the final question is: How are you going to measure and optimize along the way? Creating a data-driven marketing culture is essential for the long-term success of your product. Without knowing what you will measure before you start, you won’t know how to improve your marketing efforts along the way.

Without taking the time to think through these seven steps, it’s impossible to know if you’re chasing the wrong audience, you’re too early or too late to the market, or the market is already too saturated with similar solutions.