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Go-To Market Strategy
The Product Mentor
February 2014
David R. Schoenberger
What Is Go-To Market Strategy?
(Take 1)
A coherent set of choices that align your people,
processes, products, premises (physical/virtual channels)
and partners to deliver your brand promise, the desired
customer experience, and tangible value.
- Bill Brown
What Is Go-To Market Strategy?
(Take 2)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Who will we actively target within the market?
What will be our product portfolio for target customers?
How much will we charge for our products for different customers?
How will we promote our products to target customers?
Where will we promote and sell our products to target customers?
- Wikipedia
What is Go-To Market Strategy?
(For Product People)
Everything and anything that ensures that you build the right product so that
when you go to market, it will succeed & you will keep your job.

A product that is usable, valuable and feasible.
So
How Do You Build the Right Product?
You begin with a strong product development methodology
What Product Development Methodologies Are Used Today?

Source: Actuation Consulting ©2013

• Of those using Lean, 75% are using a startup Lean method
• Of those using Blended or Agile, 83% use the Scrum method
One Thing For Sure: Avoid the Waterfall…

Source: Ash Maurya, author of “Running Lean”

•
•
•

While executives like it because it feels like everything is “known”
It is overly dependent on quickly-aging assumptions and market data
The real learning comes too late…
Lean’s Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop

Source: Eric Ries, author of “The Lean Startup”

•
•
•

This is the core of the Lean Startup model
The objective is to MIN the total time through the loop
An MVP enables a full turn of this loop with MIN effort/development time
Customer Development

Source: Steve Blank, author of “The Startup Owner’s Manual”

•
•
•
•

Discovery: a structured process for testing hypotheses and finding facts
Validation: tests whether business model is repeatable & scalable
Creation: builds end-user & drives it into sales channels to scale the biz
Co Building: transforms org from startup into a company executing a valid model
Agile/Scrum Product Product Development Process

Source: Marty Cagan, SVPG, author of “Inspired”

•
•
•

Product Discovery is about decreasing solution risk
It uses MVP tests to get product-market fit (vision)
If forces the product’s usability, value, and feasibility
Great. Now Where Do I Start?
For Startups or Entirely New Businesses: Lean Canvas

Source: Leanstack.com

•
•
•

If execs only read the Executive Summary of a business plan, why not…
Give them everything they need to know at a high level on a single page
It also forces you to address, quickly, the big picture (those pesky…)
For Existing Product, Use the Opportunity Assessment

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Exactly what problem will this product solve (value proposition)?
For whom is this product intended (target market)?
How big is the opportunity (market size)?
How is success measured (metrics, revenue strategy)?
What alternatives are available (competitive landscape)?
Why are we best suited to pursue this (differentiation)?
Why now (market window)?
What factors are critical to success (sol’n reqs - dependencies/constraints)?
What's the recommendation (go/no-go)?
And Then?
You Do What You Must To…
 Understand the customers’ problems, passions, or needs.
 Confirm that the VP solves the problem, passion or need.
 Demonstrate that a sizable # customers exists.

 Learn what customers will pay for the product.
 Make certain that the revenue will deliver a profit
Asked Another Way…



Have we identified a problem a customer wants to see solved?

 Does our product solve this customer problem or need?
 Do we have a viable and profitable business model?

 Have we learned enough to sell?
And What Exactly Might That Entail?

After the initial assessment or canvasing…
1. Test the problem: Design tests and pass/fail experiments; Prepare for live customer
contact; Build low fidelity MVP; Present the problem, in-person; Capture, chronicle
market knowledge; Update the assessment/canvas

2.

Test the product solution: Build high fidelity MPV “Test”; Test the solution;
Update assessment/canvas

3.

Verify the problem/solution fit

4.

Get ready to sell: Positioning initial statements, collateral, initial sales team, sales
roadmaps, high fidelity MVP, determine KPIs, instrument analytics,

5.

Sell to Earlyvangelists

6.

Develop Positioning

7.

Pivot or Proceed
Spotify: Product Development Done Right

Source: How Spotify Builds Product, Henrik Kniberg, 2013

•
•
•
•

Think It = figure out what type of product we are building and why.
Build It = create a minimum viable product that is ready for real users.
Ship It = gradually roll out to 100% of all users, while measuring and improving.
Tweak It = continuously improve the product.
What About GTM? These Are the Big Questions…

1.

What are we selling and to whom? (What is the product/service? What
are the target markets? Who are the potential buyers? Why would
someone buy this? How could a customer become more profitable?)

2.

When will this be profitable?

3.

What is the value proposition?

4.

How will customers hear about this?

5.

How will this be sold?

6.

What needs to happen?

7.

What business infrastructure is required?
GTM v. Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy answers the question, “To whom do we
sell what and how? It interfaces with Development (market
requirements) and Sales (content for communications and
tools, to build pipeline and to close opportunities)
Go-to-market strategy is a super set of the marketing strategy.
It answers how an organization will commercialize the
product/service to reach pre-defined objectives (e.g.,
penetration, revenue, profit, etc.).
GTM Key Elements (Old School)

Situation Analysis: Category Analysis (market, category activity,
sales, technology, category activity, gov’t & social trends, category
attractiveness); Sales Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Customer
Analysis, Planning Assumptions  Objectives (corporate,
divisional, market, program);  Marketing Strategy (strategic
alternatives, customer targets, competitive targets, core strategy)
 Marketing Programs (pricing, customer acquisition,
advertising/promotions, sales/distribution, roadmap, partnerships,
value proposition, training, service plan)  Financials (budgets,
pro forma, etc.)  Monitors/Controls  Contingency Plan
GTM Key Elements (New School)
GET
(Awareness/Interest/Consideration/Purchase)
Earned Media: PR, blogs, brochures, reviews;
Paid: Ads, Promotions, Tradeshows, Online, etc.
KEEP
(Interact/Retain)
Loyalty Programs, Updates, Surveys, Customer Check-Ins
GROW
(New Rev/Referrals)
Up-Sell, Next-Sell, Cross-Sell, Unbundle, Referrals
GTM Strategies Observed

•
•
•
•

Google Glass and Self-Driving Cars
Nest
Uber
Netflix’s House of Cards

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Go-to-Market Strategy

  • 1. Go-To Market Strategy The Product Mentor February 2014 David R. Schoenberger
  • 2. What Is Go-To Market Strategy? (Take 1) A coherent set of choices that align your people, processes, products, premises (physical/virtual channels) and partners to deliver your brand promise, the desired customer experience, and tangible value. - Bill Brown
  • 3. What Is Go-To Market Strategy? (Take 2) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Who will we actively target within the market? What will be our product portfolio for target customers? How much will we charge for our products for different customers? How will we promote our products to target customers? Where will we promote and sell our products to target customers? - Wikipedia
  • 4. What is Go-To Market Strategy? (For Product People) Everything and anything that ensures that you build the right product so that when you go to market, it will succeed & you will keep your job. A product that is usable, valuable and feasible.
  • 5. So How Do You Build the Right Product? You begin with a strong product development methodology
  • 6. What Product Development Methodologies Are Used Today? Source: Actuation Consulting ©2013 • Of those using Lean, 75% are using a startup Lean method • Of those using Blended or Agile, 83% use the Scrum method
  • 7. One Thing For Sure: Avoid the Waterfall… Source: Ash Maurya, author of “Running Lean” • • • While executives like it because it feels like everything is “known” It is overly dependent on quickly-aging assumptions and market data The real learning comes too late…
  • 8. Lean’s Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop Source: Eric Ries, author of “The Lean Startup” • • • This is the core of the Lean Startup model The objective is to MIN the total time through the loop An MVP enables a full turn of this loop with MIN effort/development time
  • 9. Customer Development Source: Steve Blank, author of “The Startup Owner’s Manual” • • • • Discovery: a structured process for testing hypotheses and finding facts Validation: tests whether business model is repeatable & scalable Creation: builds end-user & drives it into sales channels to scale the biz Co Building: transforms org from startup into a company executing a valid model
  • 10. Agile/Scrum Product Product Development Process Source: Marty Cagan, SVPG, author of “Inspired” • • • Product Discovery is about decreasing solution risk It uses MVP tests to get product-market fit (vision) If forces the product’s usability, value, and feasibility
  • 11. Great. Now Where Do I Start?
  • 12. For Startups or Entirely New Businesses: Lean Canvas Source: Leanstack.com • • • If execs only read the Executive Summary of a business plan, why not… Give them everything they need to know at a high level on a single page It also forces you to address, quickly, the big picture (those pesky…)
  • 13. For Existing Product, Use the Opportunity Assessment 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Exactly what problem will this product solve (value proposition)? For whom is this product intended (target market)? How big is the opportunity (market size)? How is success measured (metrics, revenue strategy)? What alternatives are available (competitive landscape)? Why are we best suited to pursue this (differentiation)? Why now (market window)? What factors are critical to success (sol’n reqs - dependencies/constraints)? What's the recommendation (go/no-go)?
  • 15. You Do What You Must To…  Understand the customers’ problems, passions, or needs.  Confirm that the VP solves the problem, passion or need.  Demonstrate that a sizable # customers exists.  Learn what customers will pay for the product.  Make certain that the revenue will deliver a profit
  • 16. Asked Another Way…  Have we identified a problem a customer wants to see solved?  Does our product solve this customer problem or need?  Do we have a viable and profitable business model?  Have we learned enough to sell?
  • 17. And What Exactly Might That Entail? After the initial assessment or canvasing… 1. Test the problem: Design tests and pass/fail experiments; Prepare for live customer contact; Build low fidelity MVP; Present the problem, in-person; Capture, chronicle market knowledge; Update the assessment/canvas 2. Test the product solution: Build high fidelity MPV “Test”; Test the solution; Update assessment/canvas 3. Verify the problem/solution fit 4. Get ready to sell: Positioning initial statements, collateral, initial sales team, sales roadmaps, high fidelity MVP, determine KPIs, instrument analytics, 5. Sell to Earlyvangelists 6. Develop Positioning 7. Pivot or Proceed
  • 18. Spotify: Product Development Done Right Source: How Spotify Builds Product, Henrik Kniberg, 2013 • • • • Think It = figure out what type of product we are building and why. Build It = create a minimum viable product that is ready for real users. Ship It = gradually roll out to 100% of all users, while measuring and improving. Tweak It = continuously improve the product.
  • 19. What About GTM? These Are the Big Questions… 1. What are we selling and to whom? (What is the product/service? What are the target markets? Who are the potential buyers? Why would someone buy this? How could a customer become more profitable?) 2. When will this be profitable? 3. What is the value proposition? 4. How will customers hear about this? 5. How will this be sold? 6. What needs to happen? 7. What business infrastructure is required?
  • 20. GTM v. Marketing Strategy Marketing strategy answers the question, “To whom do we sell what and how? It interfaces with Development (market requirements) and Sales (content for communications and tools, to build pipeline and to close opportunities) Go-to-market strategy is a super set of the marketing strategy. It answers how an organization will commercialize the product/service to reach pre-defined objectives (e.g., penetration, revenue, profit, etc.).
  • 21. GTM Key Elements (Old School) Situation Analysis: Category Analysis (market, category activity, sales, technology, category activity, gov’t & social trends, category attractiveness); Sales Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Customer Analysis, Planning Assumptions  Objectives (corporate, divisional, market, program);  Marketing Strategy (strategic alternatives, customer targets, competitive targets, core strategy)  Marketing Programs (pricing, customer acquisition, advertising/promotions, sales/distribution, roadmap, partnerships, value proposition, training, service plan)  Financials (budgets, pro forma, etc.)  Monitors/Controls  Contingency Plan
  • 22. GTM Key Elements (New School) GET (Awareness/Interest/Consideration/Purchase) Earned Media: PR, blogs, brochures, reviews; Paid: Ads, Promotions, Tradeshows, Online, etc. KEEP (Interact/Retain) Loyalty Programs, Updates, Surveys, Customer Check-Ins GROW (New Rev/Referrals) Up-Sell, Next-Sell, Cross-Sell, Unbundle, Referrals
  • 23. GTM Strategies Observed • • • • Google Glass and Self-Driving Cars Nest Uber Netflix’s House of Cards