5 Go-to-Market Tips for Product Marketing Stardom
To paraphrase a famous movie adage: if you launch it, will they come? They will––as long as you have a solid go-to-market (GTM) strategy in place beforehand. McKinsey states that “sales organizations that embrace a more agile, data-driven go-to-market approach can improve conversion rates and lower the cost to serve by 5 to 15%.”
To help your new product or offering get noticed, Aventi Group COO and Co-Founder Sridhar Ramanathan gave a live session for the Product Marketing Alliance on five tips to make a successful GTM strategy. Read on for a summary of his suggestions, or watch the full session here.
Tip #1: Define who you are engaging––and why they should engage with you
A good go-to-market plan includes everything that happens post-product development, including sales, marketing, social media, analyst and media relations, and a channel strategy. The success of these efforts hinges on your research and core messaging, which needs to answer two crucial questions: the who and the why.
Who is your ideal customer?
When creating your GTM strategy, make sure the ways in which you’re describing your ideal customer are both objective and validatable. So if a company describes their ideal customer as “ambitious,” for example, that’s a fairly subjective term––how do you define what qualifies someone as ambitious? And what metrics can you use to back up that claim?
On the same note, be rigorous around identifying the specific stakeholders you’re speaking to. The Harvard Business Review reports that an average of 6.8 people are involved in today’s B2B solution purchases, and these decision makers come from a wide set of roles within their companies. So your research needs to include a deep examination of the relevant stakeholders’ job titles, pain points, goals, and personality types, along with which events they go to, which publications they read, etc. A CIO or CISO is going to be looking for different deliverables and messaging than a salesperson, for example, which is important to keep in mind when crafting go-to-market personas and assets.
Why should that customer engage with you?
Another thing to keep in mind when defining your go-to-market strategy is that you want to give your prospects a reason to engage with your content and marketing programs. Whether your assets are intended to be educational, entertaining, or to give your prospects a sense of community, you should always be thinking about what value it is adding for them. Why should they engage with your asset? How will it benefit them? This will help you create messaging that appeals to your prospects.
Tip #2: Be strategic with your go-to-market content
Timing is a critical piece of crafting a successful go-to-market strategy. It’s not enough to just create a ton of content and throw it out there––you need an overarching campaign or thought leadership framework to determine how and when your messaging will be the most effective in reaching your prospects.
Remember the buyer’s journey
Where a prospect stands in their buyer’s journey is a big factor in how your go-to-market assets will land. Someone at the top of the funnel, for example, is still in the awareness phase of their journey, so educational, informative, or even funny content will get a lot more traction and engagement. Later on, when your prospect is getting to a decision point, assets like a product demo or an explanation video will help the prospect make their purchase justification.
Tip #3: Equip your salespeople to achieve go-to-market excellence
As product marketing leaders, you own GTM strategy––but it’s important to remember that a big part of that GTM strategy is sales. To ensure that your go-to-market plan leads to sales, give your salespeople the tools and assets they need to make their conversations easy, informative, and productive.
Keep your go-to-market content highly differentiated
Salespeople don’t want to approach their existing or potential customers with lengthy, generalized claims full of marketing hype and superlatives. Instead, give your salespeople very specific content that is clearly differentiated from your competitors’. Keep it short and to the point, and arm them with ways to handle objections as well as insights into your competitors’ biggest weaknesses.
Sales playbooks that work
One of the most popular marketing deliverables for your go-to-market strategy is a sales playbook. Make sure that your playbook includes the following:
- Scannable, easily digestible content
- Discovery questions
- Answers to three whys: why buy, why now, why us?
- How to handle objections (as above)
- Competitive traps (as above)
- Up-to-date info
- Clear calls to action
Since all of this information is subject to sudden change, make sure to update your playbook at least once a month, if not more often. To learn more about creating winning sales playbooks, visit our earlier post on the subject here.
Tip #4: Use social media to listen as well as talk
If part of your go-to-market strategy is social media marketing––and it should be––go beyond paid advertising. Find out who the leaders and influencers are in your target market, read what they are blogging or posting about, and then engage with them meaningfully and sincerely.
Again, this is about adding value, not just making a sale. Approach social media as you would an in-person conversation, by keeping the customer front of mind and listening to what they are talking about.
Tip #5: Use your go-to-market strategy to enable your channel partners
Your company might plan on working with channel partners as part of its go-to-market, allowing sales to drive business both through and with those partners. But remember to ask: what’s in it for them? You might be one of thirty or forty vendors a partner company works with, so they will always have other options. How can you stand out from the crowd?
To learn about how to win over your channel partners’ sales rep, check out this blog post.
Give in order to get
Along similar lines to the above, the focus of any partnership conversation needs to be on their needs, not your own. Discuss how you can be of help to them, whether by driving leads, closing the first ten leads for them, or even investing in their company. And above all, help drive their own sales cycle by making sure your messaging puts their company in a good light as well as your own.
Ensure go-to-market excellence
By following the above suggestions, your go-to-market strategy will remain focused on and responsive to the needs of your customers. (And for even more detail on how to build a winning go-to-market strategy, please see our previous blog post.) If you listen to what people are saying, tailor your messaging accordingly, and make sure that your salespeople are fully equipped with what they need to close on leads, you will find that prospects and channel partners are both more likely to engage with you during your go-to-market phase and beyond.