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How do you start with a GTM strategy?

6 Answers
Arianna Schatzki-Mcclain
Arianna Schatzki-Mcclain
Lyra Health Group Manager, Product MarketingAugust 3

I strongly believe that every GTM strategy should start with researching and understanding the market, competitive, and buyer/prospect needs. Above, I mentioned more details about what types of data might be interesting to look at for verticle prioritization, but this list can also apply here. Combining market and more internal business data together helps inform your business case, which ideally happens and comes together before a decision is made to prioritize an offering onto the roadmap. If for whatever reason the business case step was skipped early on or not fully completed, you can still complete it. Better surface potential risks/opportunities before launch than wait and learn after the fact.   

Beyond starting with research, I recommend spending some time establishing a structure and plan to set yourself, your team, and your company up for a successful launch. This probably includes:

  • Identifying your key stakeholders and hosting a kickoff
  • Aligning on a framework/process with clear stage-gates
  • Decide how you want to communicate and share updates, will you meet weekly, bi-weekly? Is there a slack channel or will you use email?
  • Set goals and decide how you will track progress as a team
  • Align on who is the final decision maker on key decisions, who is responsible for each GTM task, who is contributing and pitching in, and who needs to stay informed. Often times the "informed" group may be executives so consider how you will share updates with your executive team. 
6129 Views
Mary Sheehan
Mary Sheehan
Adobe Head of Lightroom Product MarketingJanuary 18

The best way to start with a GTM strategy is to assess your strategic readiness before building out the plan. For example, do you know the audience you are targeting, the positioning, the packaging and pricing? Have you assembled your core internal GTM team? Have you established the key goals and metrics for your launch?

Once you have these key items answered, it makes it much easier to build out the plan.  

6267 Views
Hien Phan
Hien Phan
Pinecone Head of Product Marketing, Partner, and Customer MarketingMarch 15

1. Diagnosis - what's my opportunity? What's the pain I'm solving? What's the problem?  

2. Guiding Principles - given the above. How should I address this problem? This section arent' tactics. 

3. Coherent Actions - your tactics. 

Remember, if #1#1 isn't clear, focused, and concise, then #2#2 isn't either, which means #3#3 isn't as effective. 

I highly recommend a book called Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt. 

1322 Views
Jesse Lopez
Jesse Lopez
Dandy Director of Product MarketingMarch 24

Start any GTM strategy by anchoring on the four critical components of any go-to-market initiative.

  1. What: What software or offering are you selling? What problems does it help solve? What makes your product unique vs. alternatives?
  2. Who: Who is your ideal customer profile, and why? What are their pain points, and how does your product help them solve them? Why should these customers choose your product over alternatives?
  3. Where: Where do customers learn about products in your category? What channels are most effective at each stage of the buying journey based on historical data or competitive offerings?
  4. How: How do customers typically buy products in your product category? What factors and/or criteria help drive their buying journey? How can you help educate customers on your product along the journey? 

Net-net: There is no magic formula to starting a GTM strategy, but rather a set of questions you should continually use to guide your GTM decisions. Rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach, I encourage you to craft a GTM strategy with your x-functional partners (Sales, Product, Marketing) that anchors on the what, who, where, and how aspects of your GTM iniatitive.

3332 Views
David Bressler
David Bressler
BackBox Director, Product MarketingFebruary 28

Where is the strategy coming from? Leadership? The field? Your own idea? That dictates how you start. If it's your own idea, you may need KPIs up front to set goals and get leadership buy-in. If it's field-driven, you already have a champion, you just need to deliver on their ideas (with your own influence and expertise). In that case, if the champion is successful others will follow.

Other thoughts:

Field Driven GTM Campaign

  • Is it repeatable?

  • Is is regional?

  • How can you use your champion to be most effective?

Leadership Driven GTM Campaign

  • You may have to do some research and develop some analysis on their targets / ideas

  • You may have more "finesse required" to influence their ideas... I just had one where an exec came up with a great idea... it just didn't apply to our product (directly) and I had to pivot what they wanted so it was relevant.

  • Pick a channel to execute through; they often see the big picture, but GTM campaigns (at least at smaller companies) might be most effective when focused more specifically.

Your own Idea for a Campaign

  • Get peer buy-in; I'm in product marketing, so I definitely want demand gen on board before I start to run an idea

  • Socialize it! Work the phones like you're running for an election.

  • Put a stake in the ground when it comes to results. And results should align with other's objectives so it's a real team effort.

One final idea...

I've worked at big companies where they'd take months to develop a GTM idea into a strategy and campaign. That's too slow (IMO). I came up with this idea of MVP - minimum viable play, where similar to how it works on the engineering side, you do the minimum possible to test the GTM approach and if it resonates, you double down. You only need to start with the top of the sales funnel - get a prospect from zero to stage 1... anything more, likely shouldn't be part of the MVP. If you see that it's working, gets people to stage 1, then you need to get ahead of the opportunity in the funnel with more content / ideas, and maybe need to tweak the first part to optimize.

244 Views
David Bressler
David Bressler
BackBox Director, Product MarketingFebruary 28

Where is the strategy coming from? Leadership? The field? Your own idea? That dictates how you start. If it's your own idea, you may need KPIs up front to set goals and get leadership buy-in. If it's field-driven, you already have a champion, you just need to deliver on their ideas (with your own influence and expertise). In that case, if the champion is successful others will follow.

Other thoughts:

Field Driven GTM Campaign

  • Is it repeatable?

  • Is is regional?

  • How can you use your champion to be most effective?

Leadership Driven GTM Campaign

  • You may have to do some research and develop some analysis on their targets / ideas

  • You may have more "finesse required" to influence their ideas... I just had one where an exec came up with a great idea... it just didn't apply to our product (directly) and I had to pivot what they wanted so it was relevant.

  • Pick a channel to execute through; they often see the big picture, but GTM campaigns (at least at smaller companies) might be most effective when focused more specifically.

Your own Idea for a Campaign

  • Get peer buy-in; I'm in product marketing, so I definitely want demand gen on board before I start to run an idea

  • Socialize it! Work the phones like you're running for an election.

  • Put a stake in the ground when it comes to results. And results should align with other's objectives so it's a real team effort.

One final idea...

I've worked at big companies where they'd take months to develop a GTM idea into a strategy and campaign. That's too slow (IMO). I came up with this idea of MVP - minimum viable play, where similar to how it works on the engineering side, you do the minimum possible to test the GTM approach and if it resonates, you double down. You only need to start with the top of the sales funnel - get a prospect from zero to stage 1... anything more, likely shouldn't be part of the MVP. If you see that it's working, gets people to stage 1, then you need to get ahead of the opportunity in the funnel with more content / ideas, and maybe need to tweak the first part to optimize.

243 Views
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