Product Go-To-Market (GTM) and Its 7 Laws, by Spencer Grover
Want to learn more about the DOs and DON’Ts of GTM? Dive in!
- Product Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy is a plan of how to promote and sell the product to achieve the best results.
- Spencer Grover’s 7 laws of GTM should help companies avoid common mistakes and launch products successfully:
- You need a team aligned around the goal. To achieve the alignment, you can create a Single Source of Truth, run a GTM calendar, and hold weekly meetings with all the stakeholders.
- Avoid distractions. Identify the most valuable deliverables and user segments and focus on them to drive the GTM motion.
- To make informed choices and align the GTM strategy with organizational goals, track the right metrics accurately. Share the numbers with all stakeholders.
- Develop a communication strategy to ensure consistent messaging. Choose the right assets to drive publicity, use user feedback to tweak the messaging, and set the right expectations regarding the timelines.
- The launch is not the end of the work. It helps you catch the attention of target users so it’s the best time to close deals. Use it to build and keep the momentum by relaunching.
- Use available templates to scale more easily and quickly.
- If you face challenges, talk to your customers. They will be happy to help.
- Notion is using a private alpha launch and referrals to build the hype around its new AI tool.
- Slack capitalized on the power of word-of-mouth marketing to promote the product even before its launch.
- Taxjar used SEO content to establish themselves as authorities in their field and drive brand awareness.
- Want to see how Userpilot can help you get your product to the market? Book the demo!
What is Product Go-To-Market (GTM)?
Go-To-Market (GTM) or Go-To-Market Strategy is the plan for bringing a new product to market.
A GTM strategy defines your target audience and target market, your product’s Unique Value Proposition (UPS) and positioning, and how you’re going to promote and sell your product to achieve the best results.
A GTM strategy reduces the risk involved in a product launch, helps to optimize the use of available resources, and increases its overall chances of success.
7 laws of Go-To-Market (GTM)
Getting the product successfully to the market depends very much on the efficient execution of the strategy. Failing to execute the strategy can undermine the idea or the product itself.
Following the laws will allow product leaders to prepare and deliver successful go-to-market motions and launch products without making costly mistakes.
So what are the 7 laws of gong-to-market?
Law # 1: It takes a village
Product marketers and product managers, no matter how brilliant, can’t deliver a GTM motion on their own because they are too complex and require too much work.
To deliver all these, a coordinated effort of stakeholders from across the organization is necessary.
How can you ensure alignment between the stakeholders so that they all work towards the same goal and speak the same voice?
There are three main things you should do:
Create a single source of truth
This is a place where all the stakeholders can access all the information related to the GTM motion.
Whenever they come across an issue or need an answer, that’s where they can find help.
Run a GTM calendar
A GTM calendar ensures that all stakeholders are aware of what is happening and when.
By having a clear view of the timelines, they will have more control over their time and plan their work to avoid unnecessary stress before looming deadlines.
Hold a weekly meeting with stakeholders
To ensure the alignment of all stakeholders involved in the GTM motion, a weekly meeting is a must.
Such meetings serve two key purposes. It’s a place for stakeholders to ask all the questions they may have. Also, it’s the manager’s opportunity to keep them accountable.
Law # 2: Don’t boil the ocean
Efficient delivery of GTM motions requires 100% focus and dedication.
That’s why it’s really important for product professionals to avoid the temptation to get involved in other secondary projects that could distract them from their main job – getting the product to market.
How can you avoid you focus enough on the right tasks?
Prioritize your deliverables
Identify the objectives and areas where your work can make the biggest difference and pursue them.
Instead of spreading yourself thin, focus on nailing the key OKRs.
This could be focusing on one particular channel or particular user segment because that’s where the biggest gains could come from.
Segment the customers
By diving users into very small segments with lots of unique characteristics we increase the chance of getting the right customer fit.
It may seem counterintuitive but it is possible to achieve revenue objectives by narrowing down the target audience. That’s because the product satisfies their needs better than products that aspire to have a wider appeal.
And if you’re launching a big product update or feature, creating alfa and beta programs for your users first is a great way to go. Segmentation will help you reach the right users and invite them to participate.
Law # 3: Know your numbers
Product leaders in charge of GTM motions need to have a good grasp of the relevant metrics.
To effectively prioritize the deliverables and choose the right segment of users, you need to know their value.
Likewise, to keep stakeholders aligned and make sure they’re on the same page, you need to understand what drives them and know their KPIs.
What’s more, product go-to-market needs to be aligned with the business objectives and leadership expectations, and to do that you need to know things like revenue targets.
For example, at the top of the funnel, channel-specific metrics, like customer acquisition cost (CAC) will matter.
As you move down the funnel, you look at the value of each of the leads in the pipeline, and what it takes to satisfy their needs.
At the bottom of the funnel, you could be focusing on the revenue that the deals are bringing.
What are some good practices when it comes to data management?
Align the funnel
Aligning the funnel means ensuring that each stage of the funnel supports the next one.
To align your funnel, move down from the top and ask questions. Are the channels filling the pipeline with the right leads? Is the pipeline capable of delivering the target revenue? Is the revenue going to get the required adoption?
Work out a way to track the relevant metrics automatically to improve efficiency.
If you don’t have the right tools for automatic tracking, a spreadsheet will do. Just make sure to track the numbers regularly based on your cadence.
Make sure that all the stakeholders know the numbers.
This could be done via a dashboard where the most relevant data is visualized or a presentation at the beginning of the meeting.
By doing so, you will make sure your team members know the current state, the targets, and how you’re planning to achieve them.
Law # 4: Time spent messaging is time well spent
Many companies don’t realize that a communication plan is a key part of a go-to-market strategy.
What’s more, it’s difficult to evaluate messaging effectiveness because different users hear different versions of the story.
To develop a consistent communication strategy, you need time, so set clear expectations for your stakeholders. It’s a long game and they shouldn’t expect immediate results.
Next, pick an asset that is going to help you tell the story effectively, like a website or in-app messaging. And iterate on it to dial in the messaging tone and content.
For example, if you are looking to attract testers for your new beta, try different in-app messages and UI patterns to see which helps you get the ideal beta testers faster. A/B testing different in-app flows like modals, slideouts, or banners against the goal will help.
Law # 5: Launch is a moment in time, not the destination
Product launches are an important part of go-to-market initiatives. However, the work doesn’t finish when the product is out. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
Use the launch to rally all the stakeholders around the product and its GTM strategy.
Everybody wants to be a part of a product launch because they give a lot of exposure and are extremely stimulating.
Use this excitement to bring all the stakeholders on board and channel this energy to propel the GTM motion beyond the launch day.
Plan your follow-up
It may be tempting to ease off right after the launch. It’s understandable as the work that goes into the launch can be truly exhausting.
However, this is the moment when your customers are paying the most attention. So keep the momentum going and capitalize on the hype that your product is generating.
Keep all the stakeholders engaged and get them involved in closing the deals and servicing them.
To ensure a smooth transition of the new product into business as usual, plan who is going to do what and when in advance, before the launch.
It’s often said that you have one chance to launch the product but it’s not exactly true.
While it may be difficult to launch the same product to the same audience, you can look for different markets or different segments and launch again.
Look for such opportunities to reinvigorate the stakeholders and the market with ‘lighting strikes’ of launch energy.
Law # 6: Template, organize, and scale
Product launches and go-to-market motions involve a lot of work and can put considerable strain on the company’s resources.
How can you reduce it?
Templates are the answer. It may feel like your launch and your GTM strategies are unique but someone must have faced similar challenges in the past.
That means there be templates available. Maybe not for the whole plan, but definitely for all the individual processes that it’s made of.
Use them to improve efficiency and scale your launches.
Bill of Materials (BOM)
This is the list of all assets involved in the GTM motion.
It’s best to organize them by teams. List all the things that your marketing, sales, or PR teams need to do their share of the work.
GTM Working Doc
A GTM working doc should contain the details of all the ongoing activity.
That’s where you record all your action items, and meeting notes and keep track of all the updates from across the project.
Tools like Notion or Confluence are great for that purpose, but MS Word or Google Docs will be enough.
A GTM playbook is a standardized and organized way to communicate with the sales team.
As salespeople tend to be extremely busy, they need to have a single place where they can access all the product information quickly and easily.
The playbook should be the same for all the products in a company’s portfolio so that they know exactly where to look and what to expect whenever you launch a new product.
Again, there are plenty of templates that you can use to develop one.
Law # 7: If in doubt, call a customer
Whenever you face a roadblock or don’t know what to do, just call a customer.
By talking to customers, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy that you could otherwise waste groping in the dark.
People have the altruistic need to help others and can be really generous with their time, so don’t hesitate to use this resource when needed.
Product Go-To-Market Examples
Now that we know what it takes to develop and implement a successful GTM strategy, let’s have a look at a few great examples from the SaaS space.
Notion AI – Build the hype up with a private alpha launch
Notion is a popular note-taking tool used by thousands of organizations and individuals for organizing and managing knowledge.
When the company decided to enter the growing market of AI writing tools with Notion AI, it chose a private alpha launch as means of promoting the offering.
How does it work?
Current Notion users received emails inviting them to join the waiting list. Only those who sign up have a chance to test the new tool, which has created a sense of exclusivity.
What’s more, having to wait for the opportunity to use the new release builds anticipation and excitement around the product.
In just a week, over 244,000 users joined the list. Apart from the popularity of the original Notion tool, the number is also driven by the referral scheme. By sharing the invite with our networks, users can shorten their time on the waiting list.
Slack – Drive Growth with WOM Marketing
Slack is an instant messaging platform that was originally designed for professional and organizational use, but has also gained a lot of traction as a community platform.
Before the product launch, the Slack team recruited users from the target segment to test the product-market fit. This allowed them to collect valuable insights and iterate until it was a strong product when it launched.
The testers must have played an active role in spreading the word about the product because over 8,000 users signed up on the launch day. The number reached a whopping 1.1 million within the first four months.
By leveraging word-of-mouth marketing, Slack was able to lower customer acquisition costs.
Taxjar – build subject authority with SEO content marketing
Taxjar is a tax compliance platform for e-commerce businesses.
When developing their GTM strategy, the company realized there wasn’t much content about marketing, so they chose SEO content marketing as the channel to bring publicity to their product.
The strategy worked out really well. Their content was of high educational value and solved users’ pain points. And in the process, it drove the awareness of Taxjar’s brand and established the company’s authority in its target market.
A product go-to-market strategy is a crucial element of the product launch. Following the seven laws of GTM will hopefully help you avoid some mistakes that could jeopardize the success of your launch.
If you’d like to see how Userpilot can help you develop your product GTM strategy, book the demo!