Business Model Vs. Go To Market

Where a business model is a holistic framework intended to explain the various building blocks that make up an organization and how it keeps its competitive edge, a go-to-market strategy is focused on launching new products and services to market, and therefore get the business through the first stage of traction and growth. A successful go-to-market strategy helps build a solid business model.

ScenarioBusiness ModelGo-To-Market (GTM) Strategy
DefinitionA business model outlines how a company plans to create, deliver, and capture value, including revenue generation and cost structure.GTM strategy outlines how a company plans to reach its target audience and effectively promote its products or services to customers.
ScopeBusiness model addresses the broader framework of the entire business, including its value proposition, customer segments, and revenue streams.GTM strategy is more focused on the tactics and actions needed to bring a product or service to market successfully.
ComponentsComponents of a business model include value proposition, customer segments, channels, revenue streams, and cost structure.Components of a GTM strategy include target market selection, distribution channels, pricing, promotion, and sales tactics.
Long-Term VisionBusiness model provides a long-term vision for how the company plans to sustain and grow its business over time.GTM strategy is often more short-term and focuses on immediate actions to achieve market entry and sales goals.
Revenue GenerationBusiness model defines the company’s overall revenue generation approach, such as subscription, licensing, or sales-based models.GTM strategy includes specific tactics for generating initial sales and market adoption.
Customer SegmentationBusiness model identifies the target customer segments the company intends to serve and the value proposition for each segment.GTM strategy specifies how to approach and engage with different customer segments through marketing and sales efforts.
Market EntryBusiness model may include considerations for market entry but is not solely focused on initial market penetration.GTM strategy is primarily concerned with entering a new market successfully and gaining traction.
Risk and Resource AllocationBusiness model assesses the overall risk profile of the business and allocates resources accordingly for long-term sustainability.GTM strategy manages the specific risks associated with market entry, competition, and customer adoption, often with a focus on resource efficiency.
AdaptabilityBusiness model may evolve over time but tends to remain relatively stable compared to GTM strategy.GTM strategy requires adaptability to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer feedback.
Strategic FocusBusiness model provides a strategic foundation for the entire business, including product development and overall company direction.GTM strategy is primarily concerned with tactics for selling and distributing products or services.
Customer AcquisitionBusiness model may specify how customer acquisition fits into the broader revenue generation approach but not detailed tactics.GTM strategy includes specific plans for acquiring customers through marketing campaigns, sales channels, and distribution efforts.
Market PositioningBusiness model defines the company’s value proposition and positioning in the market but may not include detailed positioning tactics.GTM strategy determines how the company positions itself in the market relative to competitors and communicates this positioning.
Measurement of SuccessBusiness model success is often measured by long-term sustainability, revenue growth, and profitability.GTM strategy success is measured by short-term goals, such as market share, customer acquisition, and sales performance.
Alignment with Product DevelopmentBusiness model provides a framework for product development but may not specify product features or launch details.GTM strategy aligns closely with product development to ensure products meet market needs and can be effectively launched.
Resource Allocation for GrowthBusiness model considers resource allocation for overall business growth but does not necessarily prioritize initial market entry.GTM strategy focuses on resource allocation for immediate market entry, expansion, and customer acquisition.
Scale and ExpansionBusiness model encompasses long-term scaling and expansion plans for the entire business.GTM strategy focuses on immediate market entry and may lead to the development of new strategies for each target market.

A business model is a framework for finding a systematic way to unlock long-term value for an organization while delivering value to customers and capturing value through monetization strategies. A business model is a holistic framework to understand, design, and test your business assumptions in the marketplace.
A tech business model is made of four main components: value model (value propositions, mission, vision), technological model (R&D management), distribution model (sales and marketing organizational structure), and financial model (revenue modeling, cost structure, profitability and cash generation/management). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build a solid tech business model.
A go-to-market strategy represents how companies market their new products to reach target customers in a scalable and repeatable way. It starts with how new products/services get developed to how these organizations target potential customers (via sales and marketing models) to enable their value proposition to be delivered to create a competitive advantage.

Business Model:

  • Definition: A business model is a comprehensive framework that outlines how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. It encompasses various building blocks that describe the key components of the business, including its value proposition, target customer segments, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, and cost structure.
  • Scope: The business model provides a strategic understanding of how the organization intends to operate and sustain itself in the market, ensuring long-term profitability and growth.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of a business model is to establish a systematic approach to create and deliver value to customers while achieving sustainable competitive advantage and financial success.
  • Example: For instance, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model may involve offering a cloud-based software product to a specific target market on a subscription basis, with a focus on recurring revenue and customer retention.

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • Definition: A go-to-market strategy outlines how a company plans to introduce and promote its new products or services to its target market. It involves the planning and execution of marketing and sales activities to achieve market penetration and gain initial traction.
  • Scope: The go-to-market strategy is specifically focused on the launch of new products or services, addressing questions such as target audience, positioning, distribution channels, pricing, and promotional activities.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of a go-to-market strategy is to successfully enter the market with a new offering, create awareness among potential customers, and establish a strong initial customer base.
  • Example: For example, a technology startup launching a new mobile app may use a go-to-market strategy that includes targeted online advertising, influencer marketing, and app store optimization to reach its intended audience and drive downloads.

Relationship between Business Model and Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • Interconnection: A successful go-to-market strategy is essential for the initial launch and growth of a business, especially when introducing new products or services. It is a crucial step in turning the business model into a reality and generating revenue.
  • Alignment: The go-to-market strategy should align with the broader business model to ensure that the value proposition and competitive advantages identified in the business model are effectively communicated to the target market.
  • Iterative Process: As the business evolves and expands, the go-to-market strategy may need to be adjusted to align with the evolving business model, market dynamics, and customer needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • A business model provides a comprehensive framework for long-term value creation and competitive advantage, encompassing various aspects of the business.
  • A go-to-market strategy is specifically focused on successfully launching and marketing new products or services to reach the target audience and achieve initial traction and growth.
  • The go-to-market strategy is an integral part of turning the business model into reality and generating revenue.
  • The two concepts are interconnected and should be aligned to ensure effective communication of the value proposition and competitive advantages to the target market.

Case Studies

1. Streaming Services:

Business Model:

  • Netflix: Netflix’s primary business model is a subscription-based streaming service where users pay a monthly fee to access a vast library of films and television shows.
  • Components: Value proposition (original content), technological model (streaming technology), distribution model (apps on multiple devices), and financial model (subscription revenue).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • When Netflix decided to expand outside the US, they partnered with local content producers, optimized their content library for regional preferences, and ran localized marketing campaigns.

2. Ride-Sharing Platforms:

Business Model:

  • Uber: Connects drivers with riders via an app, taking a commission from each ride.
  • Components: Value proposition (convenient rides), technological model (app-based platform), distribution model (direct to consumer via app), financial model (commission-based revenue).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • Uber launches in new cities by offering promotions to both drivers and riders to quickly gain a user base and then adjusts pricing based on demand.

3. E-Commerce Platforms:

Business Model:

  • Amazon: Online marketplace selling products ranging from books to electronics.
  • Components: Value proposition (vast selection, quick delivery), technological model (online platform, AI for recommendations), distribution model (online, with physical fulfillment centers), financial model (sales, subscription for Prime members).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • When launching Amazon Prime, they promoted the value of free two-day shipping and exclusive access to movies, music, and books to entice subscriptions.

4. Direct-to-Consumer Brands:

Business Model:

  • Warby Parker: Sells eyeglasses directly to consumers online, bypassing intermediaries.
  • Components: Value proposition (affordable, stylish eyewear), technological model (online try-on tools), distribution model (online sales, few physical stores), financial model (product sales).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • Warby Parker introduced the “Home Try-On” program, where customers could select five frames to try on at home for free, making it easy for customers to transition from traditional eyewear shopping.

5. Software Solutions:

Business Model:

  • Slack: A communication platform for teams.
  • Components: Value proposition (improved team communication), technological model (cloud-based platform), distribution model (direct to businesses via online), financial model (tiered subscription pricing).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • Slack initially targeted tech startups and offered a freemium model. They relied on word-of-mouth and the platform’s inherent virality (as users invited other team members) to grow.

6. Fitness Companies:

Business Model:

  • Peloton: Offers exercise equipment integrated with a subscription-based workout class streaming service.
  • Components: Value proposition (high-end home workouts), technological model (hardware-software integration), distribution model (direct to consumer), financial model (equipment sales and subscription revenue).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • Peloton positioned itself as a luxury fitness brand, leveraging influencer partnerships and high-quality advertising to target affluent consumers.

7. Food Delivery Services:

Business Model:

  • DoorDash: Connects people with the best in their cities and helps local businesses grow.
  • Components: Value proposition (convenience), technological model (app-based platform), distribution model (partnerships with restaurants), financial model (commission and delivery fees).

Go-to-Market Strategy:

  • DoorDash often launches in new cities with promotions and partnerships with popular local restaurants to quickly acquire users.

Read Next: Business Models, Tech Business Models, Go-To-Market Strategy.

More Strategy Tools: Porter’s Five ForcesPESTEL AnalysisSWOTPorter’s Diamond ModelAnsoffTechnology Adoption CurveTOWSSOARBalanced ScorecardOKRAgile MethodologyValue PropositionVTDF Framework.

Connected Strategy Frameworks


The ADKAR model is a management tool designed to assist employees and businesses in transitioning through organizational change. To maximize the chances of employees embracing change, the ADKAR model was developed by author and engineer Jeff Hiatt in 2003. The model seeks to guide people through the change process and importantly, ensure that people do not revert to habitual ways of operating after some time has passed.

Ansoff Matrix

You can use the Ansoff Matrix as a strategic framework to understand what growth strategy is more suited based on the market context. Developed by mathematician and business manager Igor Ansoff, it assumes a growth strategy can be derived from whether the market is new or existing, and whether the product is new or existing.

Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas is a framework proposed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in Busines Model Generation enabling the design of business models through nine building blocks comprising: key partners, key activities, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, critical resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams.

Lean Startup Canvas

The lean startup canvas is an adaptation by Ash Maurya of the business model canvas by Alexander Osterwalder, which adds a layer that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics, unfair advantage based, and a unique value proposition. Thus, starting from mastering the problem rather than the solution.

Blitzscaling Canvas

The Blitzscaling business model canvas is a model based on the concept of Blitzscaling, which is a particular process of massive growth under uncertainty, and that prioritizes speed over efficiency and focuses on market domination to create a first-scaler advantage in a scenario of uncertainty.

Blue Ocean Strategy

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

Business Analysis Framework

Business analysis is a research discipline that helps driving change within an organization by identifying the key elements and processes that drive value. Business analysis can also be used in Identifying new business opportunities or how to take advantage of existing business opportunities to grow your business in the marketplace.

BCG Matrix

In the 1970s, Bruce D. Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, came up with The Product Portfolio (aka BCG Matrix, or Growth-share Matrix), which would look at a successful business product portfolio based on potential growth and market shares. It divided products into four main categories: cash cows, pets (dogs), question marks, and stars.

Balanced Scorecard

First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.

Blue Ocean Strategy 

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

GAP Analysis

A gap analysis helps an organization assess its alignment with strategic objectives to determine whether the current execution is in line with the company’s mission and long-term vision. Gap analyses then help reach a target performance by assisting organizations to use their resources better. A good gap analysis is a powerful tool to improve execution.

GE McKinsey Model

The GE McKinsey Matrix was developed in the 1970s after General Electric asked its consultant McKinsey to develop a portfolio management model. This matrix is a strategy tool that provides guidance on how a corporation should prioritize its investments among its business units, leading to three possible scenarios: invest, protect, harvest, and divest.

McKinsey 7-S Model

The McKinsey 7-S Model was developed in the late 1970s by Robert Waterman and Thomas Peters, who were consultants at McKinsey & Company. Waterman and Peters created seven key internal elements that inform a business of how well positioned it is to achieve its goals, based on three hard elements and four soft elements.

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth is a strategy tool. Developed by partners at McKinsey and Company, the tool helps businesses understand which opportunities will contribute to expansion, and therefore it helps to prioritize those initiatives.

McKinsey Horizon Model

The McKinsey Horizon Model helps a business focus on innovation and growth. The model is a strategy framework divided into three broad categories, otherwise known as horizons. Thus, the framework is sometimes referred to as McKinsey’s Three Horizons of Growth.

Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces is a model that helps organizations to gain a better understanding of their industries and competition. Published for the first time by Professor Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Strategy” in the 1980s. The model breaks down industries and markets by analyzing them through five forces.

Porter’s Generic Strategies

According to Michael Porter, a competitive advantage, in a given industry could be pursued in two key ways: low cost (cost leadership), or differentiation. A third generic strategy is focus. According to Porter a failure to do so would end up stuck in the middle scenario, where the company will not retain a long-term competitive advantage.

Porter’s Value Chain Model

In his 1985 book Competitive Advantage, Porter explains that a value chain is a collection of processes that a company performs to create value for its consumers. As a result, he asserts that value chain analysis is directly linked to competitive advantage. Porter’s Value Chain Model is a strategic management tool developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. The tool analyses a company’s value chain – defined as the combination of processes that the company uses to make money.

Porter’s Diamond Model

Porter’s Diamond Model is a diamond-shaped framework that explains why specific industries in a nation become internationally competitive while those in other nations do not. The model was first published in Michael Porter’s 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations. This framework looks at the firm strategy, structure/rivalry, factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business‘s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

PESTEL Analysis


Scenario Planning

Businesses use scenario planning to make assumptions on future events and how their respective business environments may change in response to those future events. Therefore, scenario planning identifies specific uncertainties – or different realities and how they might affect future business operations. Scenario planning attempts at better strategic decision making by avoiding two pitfalls: underprediction, and overprediction.

STEEPLE Analysis

The STEEPLE analysis is a variation of the STEEP analysis. Where the step analysis comprises socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political factors as the base of the analysis. The STEEPLE analysis adds other two factors such as Legal and Ethical.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

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