The Importance of a Good Go-to-Market Strategy
By Kris Schulze and Rowan Noronha
Product marketing is the practice of bringing a product to market. During this process, it’s the product marketer’s job to nurture the success of the product as it reaches the market. There are multiple aspects of product marketing including buyer personas, positioning, competitive landscape, enable marketing, buyer experience, and enable selling. Let’s not forget competitive intelligence. These aspects work together to make the product a success. GROW objectives, which stand for growth, retention, optimization, and withdrawal, help guide product marketers on what actions to take, whether that’s to remove a product from development or pushing for its official launch.
Product Marketing Model
According to Pragmatic Institute, the problem with product marketing models is that they’re “too waterfall”, “too inflexible”, and “too tactical”. Their model includes the following:
Buyer personas: Developing buyer personas can help you get to know your audiences and effectively market to them in a way that resonates with them, targets their touchpoints, and increases conversions. Because different people will use your product for different reasons, it’s important to have a few different buyer personas to cover each type of customer.
Buyer experience: The buyer experience shows a shift from product-centric to buyer-centric product marketing. Lots of buyers value their buying experiences over the product or price. In fact, the buyer experience is often what drives their purchase decisions. The ideal buyer experience is engaging, personalized, and seamless. Being familiar with your buyer personas and what the buyer journey looks like can help you align the buyer experience to their needs.
Positioning: Product positioning involves effectively communicating the benefits of your product to your target customers based on their needs, how it can help them, and how it’s different from existing products.
Enable marketing: This involves identifying and using technologies to deliver marketing results as well as increase the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing teams. Because it makes various marketing tasks such as content creation, sales communication, and content analytics more efficient, marketing enablement is a necessary tool for product marketing. Generating awareness for a brand new product is difficult. Marketing enablement helps take some of that burden off product marketers.
Enable selling: Enabling the sales team involves training the sales team on messaging, defining how to introduce the new product to customers, and advising them on go-to-market strategy.
Competitive landscape: Getting a feel for your competitors and how your ideal customers view them is the key to defining the competitive landscape. Using real data and insights, a competitive analysis allows you to gauge your competitive advantage and determine what actions to take.
Finally, you have to track your results by measuring how well your audience received the product, as well as getting their feedback and advice on any improvements you should make.
Unlocking Product-Led Growth
In the past, businesses had the power and dictated changes on their terms. Businesses needed customers more than customers needed them. Now, customers have the power to grow and shrink with businesses. Customers need businesses more than businesses need them. With this new market comes new product expectations and thus, product-led growth. Businesses have changed the metrics they use by measuring acquisition, adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy.
Due to excellent B2C experiences, customers have high expectations of all the products they use. In today’s connected SaaS world, we have more access to data more than ever before. Go-to-market strategies have gone from going from door to door to reaching customers through phone, email, or internet to attracting customers with content, social media, and SEO and now, to letting the product speak for itself through user interaction — product-led marketing.
Below are three strategies for unlocking product-led growth:
Product-qualified leads (PQLs): Buying intent based on product interest and usage.
Your product as a marketing channel: In-product messages have 3x higher engagement and a 67% higher email open rate, according to Gainsight.
Product-led growth and customer success: Allows you to gain greater insight into what resonates with messaging/positioning. Also leads to higher levels of engagement.
Turning Competitive Insight Into Revenue Growth
Knowing your competitors is crucial to developing a successful product that stands out and meets certain needs that were unmet before. By tracking your competitors’ moves on and off their website, identifying trends and insights, and sharing relevant insights to guide your next actions.
Driving Revenue Growth in Marketing and Sales
Copy tactics that work. Set yourself apart from competitors by making up for what they lack in marketing. Then, see where they’re investing in marketing via job openings and new hires. The point is to take certain micro-actions from the information you gained through competitive insights. For example, you discovered that your competitor has improved their customer services program. As a result, you alert your own services and executive teams to encourage development in services so that you can better compete.
Driving Revenue Growth in Product
To develop and launch winning products, be sure to:
Analyze strengths and gaps in competitors’ products and services. Provide product direction based on market gaps.
Analyze strengths and gaps in your solutions. Improve upon these areas.
Identify underserved markets and growing markets with similar needs. Market your product to these audiences.
Learn from mistakes when serving similar customers. Share mistakes to avoid and develop strategies to copy what’s working.
Identify opportunities to differentiate. Look for opportunities to stand out.
Incorporate customer feedback. By looking at feedback from competitors’ customers, you may find areas where your product needs to improve.
To stay in the loop regarding your competitors’ actions, always use up-to-date resources, sign up for email updates on key changes, make urgent announcements about what you’ve learned, and perform a long-term analysis of your competitors.
In a nutshell, successful product marketing involves setting goals for your product launch, measuring its impact, and gaining feedback from customers as well as other key players. Setting goals is key because it helps guide your actions and measure your success. You can’t measure success without setting a standard for success — goals. And one of the best ways to achieve that success is through competitive insights, which can help you find ways to make your product better than your competitors’.