Ben Rawnsley-Johnson

AMA: Atlassian Head of Product Marketing Craft, Ben Rawnsley-Johnson on Go-To-Market Strategy

July 26 @ 10:00AM PST
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Atlassian Head of Product Marketing Craft, Ben Rawnsley-Johnson on Go-To-Market Strategy
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Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Atlassian Head of Product MarketingJuly 26
A go-to-market strategy is at its heart, an exercise in alignment. A good B2B GTM plan maximizes your exposure to growth by drawing a through-line across your market and its needs, your company, and its offerings in the most efficient way possible. It is built around 3 pillars: * Market Opportunity: Expressed as TAM/SAM/SOM, outlining where the fertile areas of opportunity exist where you can make money (Segments, industry verticals, buying centers/Line of Business) * Positioning: Your company's products / Solutions, expressed through value propositions that align with your buyer/user's most important needs and problem areas. * Distribution & Campaign: Outlining Route-to-market, channels, and investment/returns, as well as the competitive, messaging, and positioning needed to build compelling content and creative. As for alignment internally, this comes down to good teamwork and hygiene, starting with: * Many fingerprints: bringing in your cross-functional contributors, from GTM, as well as Product early and often will ensure you're building a strategy that everyone not only understands but believes in and is committed to. * Define what "done" looks like Establishing a shared understanding of success should be your number one goal in executing a new strategy. Clearly defined, shared goals keep everyone focussed on the money. As a general rule, I want my marketers to feel a level of discomfort in owning a big goal, such as a business's growth rate, revenue goal, or other indicators of business health. Vanity metrics that feel comfortable to marketing such as pipeline, or satisfaction rates can be helpful for measuring certain activities, but the measure of whether a GTM strategy is successful MUST be expressed in business outcomes - usually $$$ * Do the extra work to ensure understanding: Folks often recommend offering training sessions or resources to help team members understand the GTM strategy and their role in its execution. This is a good idea, but too often people misunderstand and seek to justify the quality of a strategy through too much detail. A folder of decks, or lengthy documents will remain unread, and poorly understood. Instead, take the time to craft your articulation of the strategy the way you would work customer-facing content and messaging. Shipping a 5-minute loom, supported by a well-crafted document will be infinitely more impactful in driving a shared understanding than the world's best essay or PowerPoint.
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Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Atlassian Head of Product MarketingJuly 26
GTM at an early-stage venture is hard to describe - it's probably almost never described as GTM, and is almost universally not led by a marketer. With anything prior to Product-Market-Fit, and even for a good while afterward - the act of positioning the solution, speaking with prospects and users, establishing the value drivers, and driving revenue is such a valuable learning exercise for the rest of the business that you can expect that Founders, CEOs, CPO and Head of Engineering may be either driving or heavily involved in those motions. While it's true at all stages of maturity, the GTM Motion is most valuable when it is doing the two most important jobs: 1. Selling what we built successfully, and 2. helping us build what we sell. The best strategy to unlock that is by being disciplined about testing hypotheses, proving or disproving assumptions, and iterating our product or distribution strategy as a result of that learning. The difficulty tends to come later as you try to scale that discipline, with all of the complexity that comes with bigger teams, bigger targets, more complexity, and less alignment of intent.
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Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Atlassian Head of Product MarketingJuly 26
Too often I see folks trying to assemble the broadest ICP possible. The logic is that by inflating my TAM/SAM/SOM to the biggest number possible, I am increasing my odds of success. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE big markets. I want markets big enough, that even if we f*ck it up, we can still be successful. It is infinitely easier to build a healthy business that is 1-5% of an enormous market than it is to build the same size business by capturing 80% of a much smaller market. The value of an ICP is that it gives you information to inform core PMM work such as positioning, messaging, distribution, and even product strategy. When you make Ideal Customer Profiles too broad, spanning many industries, role types, or firmographic segments, it leads to weak messaging, poor targeting, a higher CAC, lower conversion, and higher churn. Your challenge as a Product Marketer is to assemble ICPs big enough that they are worth pursuing, but specific enough that they help you pull in a perspective of the buyer, their challenges, and the things they care about into your product and GTM strategy. Finally, prove them in the real world, and iterate them based on learning.
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Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Ben Rawnsley-Johnson
Atlassian Head of Product MarketingJuly 26
Philosophically, I think Marketers can be very insecure, and use metrics and KPIs to demonstrate capability or establish credibility. The truth is, no one is questioning the role of marketing. And if they are, a dashboard of metrics is not the solution. In my experience, there are two categories of KPI that actually matter... As marketers, its up to you to build the connection of all of your work to these things. 1. Revenue & Growth. The buck stops here, it is the great unifier, it is the common measure of success for everyone in the company. While plenty of companies went broke while making money, no great company today doesn't make money. 2. Conversion, Usage & Adoption rates, together with churn. Particularly for early-stage ventures, there is a nebulous cloud of vanity metrics or "signal" that is often used to make boards and investors happy about a chart that goes up and to the right. At the end of the day though, software businesses enjoy the valuations they do because of the near-infinite potential for monetization. If a product is not being used more, then the value it is imparting isn't increasing, which means you're in trouble - see 1 above.
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