All related (8)
Grant Shirk
Head of Product Marketing, Cisco Meraki, Cisco | Formerly Tellme Networks, Microsoft, Box, Vera, Scout RFP, and Sisu Data, to name a few.August 16

The pressure's on for this one. Feels like this is the kind of topic first chapters in business books are devoted to. 

A successful GTM is hard to describe in detail. Every business, customer, product, team, and marketplace are different and the right path through can vary widely. And the details shift as the market matures; competitors enter, different problems take priority, macroeconomic uncertainty can loom.

But, there are some characteristics of success you can look towards to judge if you're on the right track:

  • It's predictable. You have a process and plan that you can plan to. Whatever the spreadsheet looks like, you can confidently match the inputs (content, $$, people, activities) into outputs (opportunities, pipeline, bookings, recognition) in a measurable way
  • It's repeatable. You don't need completely new tactics, markets, products every 6 months to keep it going. You have a relatively steady attainment rate for sales, whether it's 70% or 90% - and adding similar new tactics (add a webinar and an event, for example) adds an incremental amount of output
  • It's trainable. You can consistently hire new reps, new demand gen pros, new customer success leads, and they quickly and reliably onboard, certify, and get to fully ramped on a predictable timeline. It means you've figured out the customer, process, and value prop. 
  • It's copied. Imitation, flattery, you've heard this one. When you start seeing competitors pop up that look like you, talk like you, act like you, try a lot to be like you.... you've hit the fairway. There, I think I mixed Eminem with a sportsball reference. Business allegory achievement unlocked. 

Then you get to have some fun. You've got cushion to try new things, push some boundaries, see what else might work. 

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
First off, I'll say that I'm never a fan of making someone create messaging/positioning and defining a GTM plan about the interviewing company's product because you're never going to get to the level of knowledge as someone in the company...and it takes way longer to do it right. OK, rant over. :) Typically when I ask candidates to give a presentation, it's less about the specific products they're presenting, but rather HOW they present it. Can the candidate articulate how they effectively approached their GTM strategy, from ideation to execution and beyond. Can they clearly understand t...
Grant Shirk
Head of Product Marketing, Cisco Meraki, Cisco | Formerly Tellme Networks, Microsoft, Box, Vera, Scout RFP, and Sisu Data, to name a few.
I'm a little biased here, but I don't believe that there are courses or certifications that are a prerequisite or requirement to jumping into product marketing. If you haven't done any marketing before, or worked alongside a good marketing team, Pragmatic Marketing by the Pragmatic Institute is a solid framework for twisting your head around what marketing is really about.  But the best way to learn is on the job. If you have a PMM function at your current company, get to know them. Ask about what they're working on, why it's important. What are the biggest challenges they're trying to o...
Jon Rooney
Group Vice President, Industry Marketing, Oracle
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.  
Jeff Otto
Vice President, Product Marketing, Marqeta
There is an in-depth science to this that many sales or product strategy teams leverage, so with that caveat, I'm sharing a high-level approach. My recommendation is to break down the problem piece by piece and find each variable needed to set a revenue target (and a sales pipeline target and coverage ratio based on close rates to support attainment of that revenue target).   First get a sense of the addressable market. Talk with your sales leaders (or strategy team) to determine if you have a way of reporting on all of your target accounts within a focus industry (both existing customers...
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore Technologies
I've tackled this question a bit in other answers already, and I encourage you to check those out as well, but in essence -- industry marketing is one specialization in a mature product marketing organization, focused on key value propositions and message by industry. It's required when your ideal customer profile's needs, challenges, and the value that you can bring to their problems varies enough by industry that it's difficult to have "universal" positioning apply to each of your target industries.
Julie Vasquez
Product Marketing Leader, Procore Technologies
Full funnel pipeline metrics are the most important metric overall. We can look at each stage of the pipeline and consider what kinds of activities will increase and accelerate the pipeline; where we are moving the needle; and where we need to rethink our strategy. In parallel, response rates, A/B test results, and other measures are indicators of the effectiveness of specific activities and messaging.