What does “go-to-market” mean?

When I try to find that red thread that connects so much of what I have done over the past 20 years, I see that what motivates me is the storyline of life – how we communicate who are are, what our aspirations are, and what we offer and are trying to achieve. In everything we do, we craft a story, tell it to others, and hope to effect a behavior – be that a grant, a sale, a kiss.

From story to behavior
I have circulated through different groups at corporations, trying to find the best vehicle to tell the story that enraptured me at the time.

While at Nokia, I was building the mindset around mobile and the web, and, at the end, broadening the company’s reach to start including user stories in conversations. The behavior we wanted was to have users live us, perceive us as essential, to repeat their happy stories to others. And drive sales.

At Boston Children’s, I was sharing stories with the patient community, getting them to deeply feel our patient stories and hopes. The behavior we wanted was to have users live us, perceive us as essential, to repeat their happy stories to others. And drive sales. Well, actually, donations.

At IBM and Atigeo, I was bridging what our products could do with what the market needed, crafting that story of how our solution was going to transform an organization. You get the picture: The behavior we wanted was to have users live us, perceive us as essential, to repeat their happy stories to others. And drive sales.

Go-to-market
The crafting and delivery of these stories requires an understanding of marketing, sales, and solution design. Looking back at my path to now, I see that I implicitly knew this and hence rotated through marketing, sales, and product leadership positions. I was trying to find a way to bring these three functions of go-to-market together in one coherent framework. My frustrations over the past 20 years were that each of the go-to-market functions acted on their own, inefficiently bridging between company offering and market needs, inefficiently communicating between go-to-market functions, and inefficiently pleasing the customer.

Hence 777labs.

We want to build a better go-to-market framework, where the different functions have shared strategy and delivery, where the customer sees not a mix of individual activities, but a coherent and unified customer engagement and offering. And a better go-to-market framework mean users live the brand, perceive the brand as essential, and repeat their happy stories to others. And drive sales.

A robust, integrated go-to-market system is one central difference today between companies that succeed and companies that fail, between those that grow and those that scramble merely to stay in place. – research from Bain

What we do
We want improve the way companies engage with their customers. We help our growing portfolio of partner companies design and deliver go-to-market strategies that identify, target, build, and nurture customer relationships, market opportunities, and brand growth. We help our partners craft a go-to-market strategy that cuts across sales, marketing, and product teams, providing a vision and template of how to win. We help our partners build a go-to-market framework with delivery capabilities covering product, pricing, brand, marketing, sales, channels, and customer engagement.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

What is the health of your go-to-market strategy?
Every company, by it’s nature, goes to market with something. Yet we have seen so many companies who focus on one aspect of go-to-market, or have a diffuse strategy, or don’t have the capabilities to deliver on the strategy.

Go-to-market systems start from the design and dissemination of the strategy across the organization, and go all the way to the client-interface of employees and services. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to gauge the health of your go-to-market framework.

  • Do you know who leads your go-to-market strategy?
  • Do you have a clear and iterative go-to-market strategy design process that captures, integrates, and guides the goals and capabilities of your marketing, sales, and product teams?
  • Do you have an understanding of your capabilities to deliver your go-to-market strategy, including skills, tools, and content?
  • Do your employees understand their role in delivering your go-to-market strategy, and their impact on customer satisfaction and sales?
  • Can your employees articulate your company’s value proposition? Do they understand your competitors?
  • Do you have metrics in place to measure customer satisfaction and advocacy, and do you understand how these metrics tie to go-to-market functions and outcomes?
  • Do you have an iterative process for go-to-market activities that is responsive to customer feedback? Can you quickly and effectively adapt your sales, marketing, and product teams to respond to changes in the market and customer?

Let us know your answers to these questions and how you deal with these issues as you design and deliver your go-to-market strategy.

Image from Steve Snodgrass