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What core elements must it encompass?
6 answers
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Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Developer Services & Hyperforce at Salesforce April 4
  1. How does your company think of its 'market'? This is essentially a segmentation exercise but sometimes the hardest part. This requires alignment between sales, product, and marketing and is a great starting point for PMM to make an impact. Decide on the GTM 'vector' early - ie. verticals, company size, revenue band, geo, use case, needs based. Decide on the definitions of each and write them down
  2. For a given release or launch, what are the priority segments?. Not everything is going to be equally important to every segment and the core of GTM is to make those prioritization decisions. E.g. a launch that's aimed at Financial Services companies vs. Health providers or a major release that's targeting Enterprise customers vs. SMB. For this exercise, you also need to understand product intent. Are we trying to capture new share, fix bugs and rescue CSAT, open up a new market, etc. This will help to determine the opportunity value that a given segment can provide for a given release or launch
  3. For those priority segments, what is the segment-by-segment positioning? This is the 'art' of PMM where you write down the basic value prop for each target segment. Remember, what matters to an Enterprise buyer is very different from a vertical-specific buyer. Trying to be all things to all people is a recipe for failure
  4. How does the positioning translate into execution? Sales enablement, campaigns, website updates, social/blog/content plan
  5. Stakeholders - the above points address what, how and why. But you also need to loop in the 'who'. Product, sales, support, documentation, sales engineering and the entire village required to make your GTM successful.

Ultimately you need to start with the launch or release date, and create a 'work back plan' that addresses all of the above questions.  

Dave Steer
Vice President of Product Marketing at GitLab July 28

I love this question because it widens the aperture from product launch to go-to-market plan. The product launch is an important part of the go-to-market plan, but the launch only represents one (really important) point in time. I like to think of the product launch as the rocket booster that you need to get your message to the marketplace.

Before I share my blueprint, I have an important PSA for product marketers: product availability is not the same thing as product launch. Product availability is when the product is functional (as defined by the product requirements doc) and can be used by customers; product launch, on the other hand, is when you’ve executed your marketing launch plan to meet your business and marketing objective. Product managers and product markets confuse the two at their own peril as it can lead to extraordinary stress and, more importantly, missed opportunities to tell a big, compelling story to the market.

The blueprint I use for go-to-market planning is straightforward:
1- Audience - Identify the target audience(s) and included all of the insights you have about them,
2- Problems & Job to be Done - Articulate the problems that the product solves,
3- Positioning & Messaging - Craft a positioning and messaging strategy that will resonate with the target audience based on the problem statement above, and
4- Creative & Channel - Show the creative concepts and channels you will leverage to break through the noise in the marketplace so that the target audience is inspired and acts on your message. 

5- Execution - The last part of the blueprint is vital: as the product marketer, your job is to ensure that all of your customer-facing teams -- from marketing to sales to communications to EVERYONE -- are rowing in the same direction. 

You are the conductor of this orchestrated set of events, so make sure that you’ve articulated how, operationally, this will be done in the go-to-market plan.

It sounds simple, but the details of each of these elements is what separates a meh Go-to-Market plan from a great Go-to-Market plan.

Quinn Hubbard
Director of Product Marketing at Matterport May 3

A thorough go to market (GTM) plan can provide incredible clarity for the many, many stakeholders who are involved in a launch. That’s why it’s so important for the GTM plan to be self-serve when you don’t have the luxury of walking your colleagues through it. The goal is to align your core team, plus answer the top questions for anyone else who needs to be looped in. I suggest using these 9 sections as your core elements:

  1. Business context, goals and projected impact → why is this launching?
  2. Product experience → what is launching?
  3. Audience insights, definition and targeting strategy → who is this launching for and what need(s) are we solving?
  4. Marketing brief → what are we saying and how?
  5. Channel plan → where are we sharing this?
  6. Campaign creative → how does it look, feel and sound?
  7. Launch timeline → when is it launching and how is it being rolled out?
  8. Measurement plan → how will we know what success looks like?
  9. Roles & responsibilities → who owns bringing this to life?

There are plenty of times when this list expands or contracts, but as long as you are answering why, what, who, where, when and how, you’ll have a solid starting point to create a successful GTM plan.

Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing at Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJanuary 23

My blueprint usually consists of at minimum completing a product marketing brief that consists of:

  • feature name
  • description
  • value props
  • use cases
  • audience
  • packaging/pricing
  • how it works
  • help docs

Couples with tiering calculation (tier 1-4) you can build a scrappy GTM blue print and execute on tactics with key stakeholders across relevant communication channels.

Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus at Meta January 31

I invented the 5A Framework for GTM to easily communicate a nd keep track the top objectives of a Go-To-Market plan. 

  1. Audience: You must understand your target(s), and how it will be best to approach them. 
  2. Angle: What is your message/angle. This will tell your audience(s) how you solve a problem.
  3. Accomplishments: Your goals and milestones
  4. Activate: How will you execute your plan? 
  5. Assess: Evaluate and adjust

If your GTM has all of these five elements you have a solid overview of what your GTM will deliver. It also creates real-language objectives for your GTM vs using our jargon like core-value proposition and other product-led language. This has been a very handy framework for me to deliver the executive summary of the GTM, especially to executives who are unfamiliar with product marketing and haven't seen a full GTM strategy for their business before. 

Many product marketers focus on the Activate more than the other A's, but if you do, you run the risk of just running a launch and a campaign vs holistically driving growth and adoption of a product.  

A lovely exercise to ensure you have the 5A Framework covered is the work backward exercise that Amazon employs.   

The A's will have your GTM in a solid place. So rely on them to ensure you're not getting too mucked up in the details. 

Jeffrey Vocell
VP of Product Marketing at | Formerly Narvar, Iterable, HubSpot, IBMSeptember 1

I think every product marketing team should! Ultimately, at Iterable we have 3 key documents:

  • Product GTM Launch Plan - This is a spreadsheet that includes every team involved in a launch, what set of activities are being done, where they are in the development process, and more. It's really a central resource for the entire launch.
  • Positioning & Campaign Kick-Off - This document should be filled out first before everything else. It includes all of the foundational details that will help create positioning, and what should go into your launch campaign (in the spreadsheet mentioned above).
  • GTM Launch Process - This is a step-by-step process for how to do every single element of a launch, and what's required to move between the four phases. If a new PMM comes onto the team, or an executive is curious about how we handle launches, this document comes in really valuable.

Ultimately the core GTM plan has to include every aspect of bringing your product to market - pricing/packaging, positioning/messaging, launch campaign, enablement, and promotion. And it needs to include or involve all of the teams that touch every aspect of that work as well.