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What is a go-to market app strategy? How to build one in 7 steps

TL;DR: You’ve labored for months (or maybe even years) to bring your app to life. You believe in your product and know it will resonate with the end user. But how do you get your app into the right hands?  A well-thought-out marketing strategy is *a must* when it comes to setting yourself up for success and growing your audience share. In a landscape cluttered with competitors, our go-to-market insights will help you get to the heart of how to make your app stand out.

In this article, we’ll go through the key steps to developing an effective go-to-market strategy for your app. But to save you time, here’s a quick synopsis of what you’ll be learning below:

  • Why is a go-to-market strategy key to your app’s ongoing success?
    It helps you thoughtfully navigate complexities in the market, create strong brand presence, and effectively reach and engage your target audience.
  • Why is a deep understanding of your audience non-negotiable?
    Competition is fierce in the app world, but honing in on what makes your audience really tick may be the edge you need to truly set yourself apart. The deeper you dig, the more effective your campaigns will be.
  • How can good app marketing can actually save you money?
    We walk you through the key steps to developing an effective GTM strategy, from creating compelling product benefits to optimizing your app store entry, and testing and measuring success. The best part? Your own strategy will help you make decisions about how and where to direct your resources so you get the biggest bang for your buck.
  • Does an app go-to-market strategy have an end date?
    Your GTM strategy will set your course in the right direction, but good marketing requires constant review. You’ll read about how to set long-term S.M.A.R.T. goals to track progress and how the launch date is only a small (but important!) first step is your app’s upward-trending journey.

At a high-level, we’ll explore the whys and hows of a good GTM strategy, and share key considerations as you look to launch or relaunch your app.

Why is having a go-to-market strategy so important for your business’ growth?

You’ve built an app, and done the hard work of developing, testing, and publishing it. Now what?

If you’re not seeing an uptick in users and downloads on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, chances are you’ve missed an important step: following a bullet-proof marketing strategy that ensures your app is found and grows a fanbase.

But what is a go-to-market (GTM) strategy and why do you need one?

At a high level, a GTM strategy is a step-by-step plan for launching a new product or expanding into a new market. An important segment of your long-term marketing plan, a GTM strategy is tailored specifically to launch and helps you decide when, how, and who you’ll be targeting when your app first hits the market.

While using your intuition and subject matter expertise will certainly get you pointed in the right direction, putting in the time and effort to develop a thoughtful launch strategy is sure to take your app performance to greater heights.

Do you really need a go-to-market mobile app strategy? Quite simply: yes!

Your go-to-market strategy will serve as your roadmap and help you clearly articulate why your audience will benefit from your mobile app. This targeted approach will help drive success on a number of key fronts, including:

  • Building brand visibility and loyalty:  Developing consistent messaging helps your brand stand out, get recognized, and be viewed as more trustworthy.
  • Maximizing market penetration: Your GTM strategy will help you understand your audience and then ensure you’re reaching them at the right time with the right message.
  • Optimizing your resources: You’ll focus on the most promising channels and tactics, align teams and resources, and mitigate risks by considering potential challenges and anticipating hurdles.
  • Supporting long-term growth: Your GTM strategy will consider your product’s growth over time. Insights gathered from your tactics will inform ongoing marketing, feature updates, and product expansion, as well.

Setting the foundation for go-to-market success: Ask the tough questions

Before diving headfirst into your GTM strategy, there are a few fundamental aspects of your app and business that you’ll need to get clarity on first. Define your:

  • Target audience: Who is your product made for and what makes them unique?
  • Product and problems: What solutions does your app provide to your customers, and why should they care?
  • Markets: Where do people in your target audience spend their time (think both online and IRL)?
  • Tactics: How will you effectively and consistently reach your audience?

The answers to these important questions will help you create a solid foundation from which you can kick-start your strategy.  

Do those sound like some lofty promises? With a well-crafted strategy, you’ll be driving downloads in no time. But what precisely does creating a strategy entail? We describe the seven most important steps to creating a winning strategy below.

1. Know your audience - inside and out

Picture your audience as people and ask yourself what’s important to them. Do your best to put yourself in their shoes to help unearth what drives their decisions, the problems they want to solve, and where they see real value.

Ask yourself: Who is your audience, and what do they care about? 

Create comprehensive buyer persona(s) to help you understand who they are, and outline their:

  • Demographic: If you’re selling to individuals, define what sets them apart. If you’re selling to businesses, clearly identify your target industry.
  • Preferences: Describe their likes, habits, preferred shopping methods, and other insights that might help you better connect with them.
  • Pain Points: How is your app going to help eliminate frustrations for your customers?
  • Values: Beyond the functionality of your product, how can your brand and marketing align with what’s important to your audience? Think: If you’re an app that helps hikers plan a new route, your audience may also be interested in nature conservation. How do you align with what matters to them?
  • Decision-making factors: What is your audience’s budget, how influenced are they by app reviews/ratings, and how swayed are they by recommendations from peers?

Once that research is done, give your persona an overarching name if it helps you imagine the pain points they may be experiencing, and how your app can solve them. 

And remember: that not all members of your target audience are the same. Consider how each person’s unique experiences, values, and goals may drive their purchase decisions and factor those differences into your research.

Tip: Knowing your audience will help you create a marketing campaign that resonates with the audiences, and helps them quickly understand the value you're providing via your app.

2. *Really* know your product and sing its benefits

Conduct a competitive market analysis to identify what differentiates your app from the rest. Based on your research, and understanding of your target audience, craft a compelling value proposition that resonates with your app's users and clearly articulates the problem your app is addressing — and differentiates clearly from your competitors.

Craft your marketing efforts around how your app solves real pain points and challenges your audience experiences on a frequent basis. Don’t forget to describe the unique benefits and features that your app offers with direct, accessible language that puts them and their immediate needs at the forefront.

Quick Tip: Nail down your elevator pitch, and make sure it resonates with the real people who will be using your product. A little effort at the outset will set you up with strong key messages that will carry you well into the future.

Got all that? Great! You’re one step closer to success. But before you mark your official launch date on the calendar…

SIDEBAR: Why do some apps fail? Mostly because of these easy-to-fix reasons: 1. They aren't backed by a clear product release and rollout plan. 2. The app creators haven’t thought ahead about how to monetize the app in the long term. 3. Their success relies on non-impact marketing plans. 4. They simply don’t know how to talk about the value of the app.

3. Don’t leave revenue to chance

While the initial idea and development of your app are vital, a sustainable revenue model is equally crucial to long-term success. In fact, a substantial number of apps fail to achieve financial success – often due to inadequate monetization strategies. 

So, be sure to think carefully about pricing models, such as in-app purchases or subscriptions, that encourage engagement without deterring potential users. Ad revenue is another option for generating cash, but be sure to consider your user experience when deciding on ad placement as they can be annoying, especially if ads are pushed to paid subscribers. 

By planning your road to consistent revenue in advance, you’re less likely to be left with an app that falls below the “app poverty line.” 

Key takeaway: Prioritize creating value for your users while simultaneously generating stable, viable revenue.

4. Don’t forget to test, test, test

Before launching a comprehensive marketing campaign, ensure that your app is fully functional and devoid of bugs. A buggy app can seriously undermine the success of your marketing efforts by leaving a bad taste in your users’ mouths. 

Leverage tools like Median App Studio to help build, test, and publish your app on both Android and iOS platforms to ensure a seamless user experience before launch. 

Key Takeaway: A good first impression goes a long way so make sure your app is putting its best foot forward when it hits the market!

5. Optimize your app store entries 

Your app’s presence in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store is pivotal for its discoverability. Each element of your app store entry, from descriptions and screenshots to ratings and reviews, play a crucial role in attracting users. So don’t skimp out on developing a compelling and comprehensive product page.

Ensure your entry is complete, adheres to app store guidelines, and resonates with your brand identity to make your product truly stand out. Don’t forget to use relevant keywords to enhance search visibility and garner trust with well-written descriptions. And don’t forget to include your app’s top reviews for added credibility. 

Need some help making your app store entry really sing? Consider using services like Median’s publishing service to streamline this process. We’ve successfully published thousands of apps and offer a 100% money-back publishing guarantee ensuring your app will successfully hit the market.

Key takeaway: Your app store entry is like your product’s resume: it should answer all the important questions, and clearly describe why your app is the best fit for the job. 

6. Pick your channels and craft compelling campaigns 

By now you have a deep understanding of both your product and audience, and some solid benefit-first phrases and copy have emerged from your research. You also know how your app is going to generate revenue, and you’ve nailed down your product pain. 

Now is the time to craft campaigns that leverage your knowledge and messaging in a multichannel way. 

Use email, social media, website banners, in-app advertising, and other insights-driven options to reach your audience in a way that feels authentic to them.  Research has shown that targeted messaging that speaks to your audience’s pain points is the most effective way to drive traffic and boost downloads. 

Key takeaway: It’s easy to get caught up in the “more is more” mentality. But your marketing strategy will be the most successful when you hone in on the channels where your audience is most active, and focus your efforts on delivering consistent, well-crafted, audience-first messaging.

7. Know your goals and measure, measure, measure 

You can’t assess success without identifying goals. Is it tied to revenue, to number of downloads, or something else? In whichever way you’ll be measuring it, make sure success is clearly defined and easy to track over time. The more specific the better: 

Consider using SMART goals (which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) to set benchmarks, track progress, and narrow in on where adjustments to your strategy might be needed.

Don’t forget to use analytics tools provided by platforms like X, Meta, and Google Firebase to track user engagement, monitor your metrics, and optimize your strategy based on real-time date. 

While it's important to note which tactics are working, it's even more pressing to focus on the metrics that indicate what isn't working. Ultimately, you can take the latter, action it, and test out new engagement and reach strategies that may better resonate with your potential app users.

Fact: Know your growth goals, tactics, and measurements of success in advance of launching any go-to-market app campaign. Keep a close and frequent eye on what engagement metrics are telling you, and pivot accordingly.

Get your app ready to go to market

In essence, a well-crafted go-to-market strategy serves as the foundation for your product’s success. It ensures that your efforts are aligned with your business goals, minimizes risks and maximizes your chances of capturing your target audience’s attention and loyalty.

Are you interested in learning more ways to maximize your app’s performance and expand its reach? (formerly can help, via its growing library of mobile app resources. If you want to keep reading, check out a few of these related articles:

1. Push notification metrics:  How to analyze the success of your campaign

2. Best practices for increasing your e-commerce app’s conversion rates and sales

3. How to write push notification copy that engages and converts: a guide

*DISCLAIMER: This content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not exhaustive and may not be relevant for your requirements. While we have obtained and compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. This content is not to be considered professional advice and does not form a professional relationship of any kind between you and LLC or its affiliates. is the industry-leading end-to-end solution for developing, publishing, and maintaining native mobile apps for iOS and Android powered by web content. When considering any technology vendor we recommend that you conduct detailed research and “read the fine print” before using their services.*
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