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Could you share best practice tips for integrating market research into various stages of GTM, from business case justification through to launch readiness and post-launch adoption?

6 Answers
Daniel Palay
Daniel Palay
3Gtms Head Of Product MarketingMarch 30

The part I am most experienced with is the business case justification. Indeed, I tend to build business case justifications and personas into a single narrative in order to make my story lines speak to the issues most important to each stakeholder. Primary market research (1:1 interviews) is the best way to build personas (that inform what stakeholders think about most/most often, and the incentives they're responding to). The resulting personas/profiles are by far the greatest driver of the ultimate business case.

The information in those personas can also inform my colleagues in Content and Growth about what to write/produce and where to distribute it. 

Alissa Lydon
Alissa Lydon
Dovetail Product Marketing LeadApril 27

I think with anything you do in Product Marketing, you first have to understand what your goals are to avoid being completely consumed by the task at hand. This includes understanding who your audience is, how the information will be used, and most importantly how you will measure success. The same goes with market research. Doing that little bit of prep work and reflection beforehand can really help focus your efforts so you're getting the most out of it.

When I am approaching market and competitive research throughout the GTM process, another question I ask early on is, "Who else has an opinion about this?" Product Marketing is the best job because it is cross functional by nature, so don't lose that spirit when tasked with market analysis. Interview stakeholders from sales, marketing, product, and more. Test out your positioning with trusted peers across your organization for feedback (I always tell them that they are "keeping me honest"). Don't put the weight of market research on your shoulders alone. There are plenty of others who can help carry the load, and your program will be better for it in the long run!

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Udemy Product & Instructor Marketing, DirectorDecember 15

Tactically, you can apply the learnings in pretty much any way - from sourcing to targeting. However, in many case, you'll want to make sure other teams are aware of this information so that they can use it even if you personally aren't involved. With that in mind, think about how you can socialize important information that you collect broadly. Some tactical ideas:

  • Make the doc easily accessible - keep the doc on 'open' view access to everyone in the company
  • Post it on your internal wiki, if one exists. 
  • Share on relevant team slack channels and invite questions
  • Host internal roadshows and tailor slides for different audiences 
  • Reference it frequently - cross-link to your doc(s) as a source, add it as a source in the comments in other docs. 
  • Create a schedule to update, and continue build

The trick with any material piece of research is to remind people that it exists. In addition to getting more traction, it helps the organization operate more efficiently and avoid redundancy. Oftentimes, people are re-inventing reports simply because they are unaware that someone has already done it.

Morgan (Molnar) Lehmann
Morgan (Molnar) Lehmann
SurveyMonkey Senior Director, Head of Product & Solutions MarketingMarch 23

Here is where market research can and should fit into the GTM life cycle:

Exploration / business case justification:

  • Market sizing; TAM analysis
  • Market trends analysis
  • Usage & Attitudes study (incl identifying use cases)
  • Competitive intelligence

Product development:

  • Shopper insights
  • Persona development
  • Idea screening
  • Feature prioritization
  • Concept testing
  • UX research
  • Price optimization

Launch / introduction:

  • Package testing
  • Name testing
  • Message testing
  • Campaign creative testing

Adoption & growth:

  • Brand & product awareness tracking
  • Ongoing competitive intelligence
  • Market research to inform thought leadership content & proof points
  • VoC & CX research, incl recruiting for case studies
  • Feature prioritization for product improvements

Tips for integrating market research into the stages above:

  1. Make sure it is an agreed-upon part of your GTM process. For example, I just created a GTM launch framework that included things like product name research and validation, message testing, etc. I got input and feedback from cross-functional leaders and now these things will be expected to move forward with any launch at our company.
  2. If your organization is newer to market research, you can start by creating a research plan to get buy-in. This would include things like the business context, research objective, how the research will inform a decsion you will make / action you will take, potential business impact, plus any research you've done on the tools/vendors you may need to onboard to make it happen. 
  3. Create a DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributor, Informed) for who will own each of the research projects you intend to implement. You may find that it will make sense for strategy, product, product design, UX research, PMM, growth, brand, etc. to share the load. PMM should definitely not be responsible for everything listed above!
  4. If you get buy-in for a project, be sure to follow-up with leadership on the results and impact of doing the research. Consistent exposure of the work will start to make it an expected part of the GTM process.
Sophia (Fox) Le
Sophia (Fox) Le
Glassdoor Director, Product MarketingSeptember 27

From my, Patti (Head of Consumer PMM) and Bonnie’s (Head of Market Insights) point of view, a successful GTM launch requires early PMM/market research involvement in the product development lifecycle.

  1. At the pre launch stage, and ideally during product development:
    1. Talk to your target audience
    2. Validate product/market fit based on the market research conducted; be sure to get clarity on who you are solving for and what their JTBD or Pain Points are.
    3. Once validated, go into message testing/value prop testing to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward in messaging that resonates with your target audience.
    4. Now it’s time to pull together a GTM launch brief.
  2. Getting ready for launch:
    1. Shop your brief and value props with reasons-to-believe with key stakeholders across the org (i.e., product, brand/creative, GTM leaders, marketing, comms, business operations, rev ops and/or legal as needed). Your brief should have your market research insights infused in your recommendations. From your creative assets and copywriting to which audiences we want to target on which channels, you will ideally have data to back up your suggestions.
    2. Iterate
    3. Go!
  3. Post-launch
    1. Collaborate with product on engagement metrics/adoption metrics
    2. Test outcome of the launch with the target audience (this part is super hard but possible. At Glassdoor, we leverage our brand tracker and site survey to keep a pulse and report on marketing effectiveness.

Bonnie’s pro tip: Identify the pain point you’re activating against (ideally before you build anything) and use it as your north star throughout the entire process. Build for it. Message to it. Measure against it. Lean into feedback from respondents who feel that particular pain point most acutely.

Desiree Motamedi
Desiree Motamedi
Shopify VP Global Head of Product MarketingNovember 16

Google did a great job with this as they are rigorous when it comes to alphas, betas, and general availability. They conduct regular market research through the different stages. To get the signal that we were on the right track with an early alpha, we met with customers regularly to see if the product was a good market fit and tweaked the product accordingly based on that feedback. Beta involved a larger cohort for feedback, looking more broadly at regional product market fit. Post-GA, we received feedback on performance. Ideally, this process is a 3-phased approach where feedback allows you to adjust the product roadmap for the future, prioritizing key features.

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