Once there's not only product market fit (which almost all companies prematurely declare victory around - sorry but it's totally true) but also determination and commitment that a given industry or industies are the decided way to GTM. If products are horizontal and sales teams are horizontal then having just the marketers aligned vertically spells trouble. An industry-first approach has to be resourced beyond marketing, dabbling's not going to get anyone anywhere.
We establish multiple listening channels ranging from our field to direct customer conversations to engagements with analysts. The insights we receive from these channels allow us to then identify the general areas of opportunity which we then partner with engineering on researching further through qualitative and quantitative research. This allows us to priortize the highest areas of opportunity which get added to the product roadmap.
Data should always inform decisions, though it’s OK to supplement it with some qualitative insights driven by observations of market trends. It’s not good enough to simply let the most senior person define the segmentation. Segmentation is relatively easy if you are focused on one specific vertical but gets much more complex for companies that serve across horizontals. This is where the value of data comes in to drive your decision.
Building an audience. It's hard when your company is new and people don't know what you're about, why they should care and often very little credibility. Best way to combat that is to start building an audience earlier than your launch. Start talking about the problem you are solving with your product. You don't have to talk about your product. But you can establish thought leadership for your brand by doing this. Maybe it's just LinkedIn, or maybe a podcast or maybe something else. But your launch won't work if you don't have an audience to go share the news with.
Most often when you're launching the company's first product, you're most likely launching the company as well. The challenge there is its the first for everything. So, make sure you have a comprehensive launch plan as there are a lot of moving parts.
Plus, make sure you define the key metrics to define success, often times this can be a challenge for team.
How do you think about:
Awareness: organic search traffic, PR/comms strategy, social engagement
Growth: KPIs for the business around MQLs, demos, website conversions, etc
Impact: Revenue, retention, etc.
Getting all teams to hum along is the hardest part. A successful product launch is not just a product marketer’s job. It’s a team activity. Product marketing plays the quarterback, with support from Customer Success, Sales, Product, Support, and the rest of marketing. Getting everyone on the same page and sending a cohesive experience to your audience is a tough challenge. Influencing other teams and leading without authority is an important career skill for product marketers to develop.
I would argue that, if you think the "buyer profile is the same" when there are so many important differences, that you need to refine (or redefine) what the buyer profile actually is. Properly defining the buyer profile in and of itself should account for many of these factors. Often, answering (or partially answering) the question of what problem you solve for each stakeholder is instrumental in developing that profile because you'll discover certain patterns that help in doing so.
Not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Could you elaborate? Companies like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft have to deal with what I think is your challenge: come up with a corporate level message even though they serve very distinct market segments.
What is the common thread the 3 distinct segments have in common?
Work backwards. Develop very targeted (10,000 foot) messaging for each of the three. Then analyze those stories and find the idea(s) you can use to tie them together, or reconcile them with one another. That is now your 30,000 foot story. As far as the market is concerned, that's what you started with, and from there the targeted messaging was derived, instead of the other way around. That 30,000 foot story can be where your brand message comes from, whithin which you have distinct value propositions for three segements.