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What is the best way to prepare a mock Go-To-Market plan for a product in a very precise and concise way, when asked in an interview?

I usually come across an interview round wherein I am handed the task of preparing a mock GTM plan for a product. I find it pretty vague as expectations vary widely and I am usually confused about what all to include and how to represent. Is there any example?
11 Answers
Kavya Nath
Kavya Nath
Meta Product Marketing, Reality LabsMarch 25

This is a great question and something I’ve also used when interviewing candidates. I completely see how it can be daunting and spans varying levels of expectations. Personally, the thing I try to emphasize as part of this task is that I’m not looking for a perfect deck or designed project plan. But what I’m interested in seeing is how you strategize and think through a GTM approach. From research on market and competitors, to aligning internal stakeholders around packaging, pricing, positioning, internal/sales enablement, collateral creation through to campaign execution. If you’re able to talk through a GTM using a framework in which you see yourself strategizing and executing against that’s a win in my book.

I would also highly recommend asking questions of the interviewer/hiring manager on what level of detail they’re expecting to see and use information gathered in the interview process to formalize your plan. For example, If a company is clearly focused on user adoption as a huge initiative include that in your launch plan, etc.

Kevin Zentmeyer
Kevin Zentmeyer
Square Global Product Marketing LeadApril 27

Mock GTM plans are typically done two ways in PMM interviews. One is a live question in the interview and the other is a project typically in the form of a PowerPoint.

If it is a project, you should recognize this as an opportunity. If you want this role, and you should if you are applying, then this is a high leverage moment to achieve or obtain what you want at the next stage your career. You should go get it. Consider whatever the recruiter or hiring manager indicates is the amount of time that you "should" spend on the project as a lowball offer. You need to beat all of the other candidates to get this role and many of them will spend the amount of time that they've been told to spend on it - which is great for the hiring manager, but not for you. Hiring managers want a fair way to evaluate candidates. You don't want fair. You want to win! Spend as much time as you need to have insightful answers to their prompts in your presentation and understand their business well enough to make clever and relevant suggestions. I have done three interview projects and have gotten all three jobs. Do the work so you can get what you want.

If it's a straight interview format where the interviewer gives you some details about a product or feature and asks you to create a GTM question, then your problem will be limited time.

It's important to establish expectations for how much of the interview session will be spent on this prompt and if they have any follow up questions so you know how long to talk - and how long you can take to think, before you start talking - which is absolutely something you should do. This question is a trap that some people fall into by talking before they know what they want to say and then they're brain needs to multi-task and catch up. Take at least a few seconds first!

Now that we've mastered the format of the question, the way to handle the meat of it is to 1) ask questions to understand what problems this product solves 2) who the target market is and 3) what is unique about this one. If you know these things, then you can run your standard GTM playbook with modifications to account for how the three questions are answered.

Sherry Wu
Sherry Wu
Gong Director of Product MarketingSeptember 1

Homework exercises will vary, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer here.

As an interviewer I usually look for a few things:

  • Tie the GTM plan back to the business priorities. Tell me why the launch matters and what business impact it is expected to have. Tell me how you would measure the impact.

  • Be clear on your target audience. Tell me how you selected that audience -- tell me your thought process.

  • Account for the market / competitive landscape in your positioning. Do some light research on the other players in the market, and be able to speak to your decisions on why you've chosen to position the product in a certain way.

  • Ability to estimate resources and timelines required. PMMs need to be able to pull together resources across many teams. Sequencing and planning are very important. Tell me how you'd approach sequencing of activities and show me a timeline.

The company you're interviewing with should be able to provide specific questions they're looking to answer. Make sure you answer those ;) And if you have questions, do NOT hesitate to reach out to the hiring manager! Homework assignments are an evaluation of core PMM skills, including your ability to develop clarity in the face of ambiguity.

Think of the presentation as a pitch deck. I usually find it helpful to block out my key points in slides. I try to figure out -- what is the story I want to tell about this launch, what is the information I need? What do I want the audience to walk away with? And then I'll work in the actual content as I do my research. This helps me make sure I'm covering all my bases and answering the questions that the interviewer wants to have answered.

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Christine Sotelo-Dag
ThoughtSpot Director of Product Marketing & Customer MarketingApril 20

If I were assigning this work, I'd expect to see the common elements of a GTM plan outlined (not necessarily the content, but the outline for sure). I'd look for elements such as 

  • Who is the core audience 
  • What is their current pain (before using your product)
  • How does your product solve that pain (what value does your product provide) 
  • What are the reasons the audience should believe you (proof points) 
  • What strategies will you implement to reach this audience based on what you know about them 
  • What do need to know about the competition 

There's probably a lot more, but the key idea here is that most GTM plans have very similar core content that looks like a variation of the above, so be prepared to speak to these bullet and how you'd define them for your GTM plan. 

Ryan Goldman
Ryan Goldman
Moloco Global VP MarketingMay 6

As a candidate, you're never expected by the interviewer to have all the context. So it's an impossible expectation to put on yourself (unless you're an internal candidate or have an insider hookup). So you should re-frame the exercise as less about arriving at the right answer and more about demonstrating your abilities as a problem-solver and effective planner.

Here are the biggest tricks to getting this right:

  • Start by clearly articulating the actual, often underlying, business objective
  • Create a framework or skeletal outline that has as little detail as possible
  • Write down all your assumptions and risks

Briefly, the underlying business objective is the outcome the company as a whole wants to achieve by taking something to market. Understanding this is really key! Is it acquring a specific type of user? Retaining the users you have? Increasing conversion to paid? Preventing churn? Upselling to a higher tier? Cross-selling existing customers to a value-added product?

And, to answer your specific question about dealing with the ambiguity of the question, lean into assumptions! You have to make some leaps of faith in order to move forward. But as you make those leaps, clearly capture what the assumptions are, why you made them, and what challenges they may create for you later.

Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career CoachJune 12

Usually, they're testing to see if you understand how to launch a product but you are right, different hiring managers look for different things. 

My recommendation is that rather than listing a long list of activities to try to catch every single item, you focus on the ones that you believe will drive the most impact. Start with trying to understand the goal (it's not always revenue) and then define the relevant KPIs and metrics. You'll want to show that you understand the difference between the strategic aspects of the plan (personas, messaging, segmentation, competitors) vs. the tactical execution components (comms, demand generation, content, etc.) 

Whatever you do, ensure that you include measuring performance. How will you know that you are actually making progress to the goal that was set out? 

Sara Miteva
Sara Miteva Product MarketerFebruary 9

For my last interview, I was asked to prepare a GTM plan for a big feature release. I had only the feature name and the market segmentation and had to "imagine" everything else myself.

I created a Notion project that contained the following: 

  1. Intro page: What is the feature, target market, type of tier
  2. Goals breakdown
  3. Competitive landscape page
  4. Target audience page
  5. Messaging doc
  6. List of activities
  7. Launch timeline 
  8. Simulated task tracking board
  9. Kick-off meeting agenda
  10. Post-mortem activities

Aside from the feature name and segmentation, I came up with everything else myself and added disclaimers that this is a simulated situation. 

I tried not to get too much in-depth with the feature description and concrete activities and to rather do a high-level overview of the process I would use. I think the point is to list all the steps that you would take and describe how you would do them, who you would meet, who would be accountable...etc. You don't need to go into too many details for each step.

I also added several "If...then" sentences, to show how I would act in different situations. 

Hope this helps! 

Ranna Unthank
Ranna Unthank
Robo Head of Product MarketingJuly 31

The way I have answered this question by being brief and yet covering the main components of the GTM is as follows:

Creating a GTM plan is a collaborative effort of working with cross-functional (product, sales, marketing, customer survey) teams as well as with customers.
GTM has components of What, Why, Who, How, Where and When

1) First is to understand What is the product (new product or existing (big rock features)
The Why - e.g.: Is it a new product to fill a gap in Product portfolio? Or is created due to the need in the market and customer pain-points have not been addressed or even properly addressed? Or is the product being re-vamped and so a re-launch?
What features and benefits does the product have that brings value to customers to solve their pain-points as well as increase time to market?
This would provide you with a product-market fit.

2) Then WHO are the 2 Cs - customers and competitors? - Who are the target audience and target markets or even segments and who would be the top 3 or 5 competitors the product will go up against? Eg: If this is a new product, then Is there a "blue-ocean"/untapped market for this product? Market segmentation.

3) The HOW is Sales channels - how will we reach the defined target customers and how will we sell - Direct sales, Channel partners etc.

4) Then finally the Where and When is the Marketing and Launching of the product.

When to launch the product?
Where will it be marketed to create awareness and sales pipeline?

Creating a Marketing Plan of promoting the product with various activities such as: Website, Blogs, Social media, AR/PR, Events, Demos, Videos, Collateral, Thought leadership articles etc.

And one of the most important parts is Outcome - i.e What are the Goals? (increase market share, awareness, sales pipeline, combat competition etc).

Div Manickam
Div Manickam
Mentor : Career | Leadership | Product MarketingJuly 25

Sharing GTM experiences and learnings with y'all. Best way in my experience is to spend no more than 4-5 hours on the project and approach at a 30,000 foot view on what approaches to navigate GTM strategy and execution.
What does GTM look like? Each team, company and product is unique, so GTM is unique, but that doesn’t take away the fact that GTM can make or break your company growth and product adoption.

Horacio Zambrano
Horacio Zambrano
Truu, Inc. CMO, ; B2B GTM/PMM AdvisorJune 9

GTM is very broad and can mean so many things in industry. Strategic analysis and more marketing plan like, PPPP (packaging, pricing, placement, etc.), messaging/positioning

You have to pick one, find a good framework and cover all the basis. Most likely they will think it's more academic than not. 

That said, do alot of competitive intelligence / research and that will speak more than the framework you pick. 

Some references: Kotler marketing, christianson (HBS 5 forces), SWOT analysis, templates on marketing plan

I'll likely build a course on this soon so stay tuned.

Rahul Pandey
Rahul Pandey
SS Supply Chains Senior Product Marketing ManagerApril 19

GTM creation is an extensive exercise and involves a lot of time, research and market knowledge. Instead of creating a mock GTM, a framework for creating a GTM can be suggested based on in-depth product knowledge. 

This GTM should include the following:

1) Target market your a looking to enter (TAM, SAM, SOM)

2) Buyer Persona

3) Messaging

4) Region X Industry X Use case mapping

5) Buyer journey mapping

6) Lead gen approach with sales funnel

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