Why do some products crash and burn? Answer: Go-to-Market Strategy. Below, we'll explain what Go-to-market strategy is, how to use it, how to customize our template to launch your own product, and if you read until the end, you'll learn how Slack used Go-To-Market strategies to grow from a zero-dollar a year company to a four billion-dollar company in just four years. Our customizable template includes some of the best Go-To-Market tools available today, such as: Product-Market Fit, Customer Value Maps, Product Growth Projection, Global Market Trends, Launch Status Dashboards, and twenty-five other tools. Below is a breakdown of how some of these tools can be used to successfully bring your next product to market.
The job of any new product or service is to understand what people want. First, companies have to find the right product-market fit. On the left side of the table, identify the characteristics of the target customer. WHO are they and what do they need to accomplish? WHY do they need the product or service? HOW will they acquire the product or service? And WHAT does the customer do with the product to get real value?
On the right side of the table, identify the key features and values of the product that will accomplish the stated goal. Here you also can identify key metrics to track. It's important to track key metrics to validate the product-market fit and ensure customers receive value from the product. For example, a service like Waze identifies the job that customers need to get done, which is "get to work fast." Its characteristics include its ability to calculate the shortest and fastest route, which is an alternative to competitors like Google or Apple Maps, which don't provide the same side streets and uncommon routes. Waze's channel is the Google and Apple app stores, which provides value to the customer because it is easily accessible and eliminates the need for brick-and-mortar stores. Stick to the end and we'll show you how Slack used a similar process to bring its product to the masses. (Slide 4)
Customer value map
The customer value map expands on the concept of product-market fit. To find the right fit, companies need to know what the customer values and how much they are willing to sacrifice (or pay) to receive that value. Label one of the companies on the map as yours, and label the others as direct competitors. The Y-axis tracks the price of the product, while the X-axis tracks customer performance and satisfaction. The goal is to provide high value at a reasonable price point relative to the competition. It might be tempting to start a product at a high price point, especially if it provides high value. But successful product launches often need a lower relative price compared to the competitors. In this example, Company 4 is most poised for a successful go-to-market launch because it provides excellent value at a low relative price. (Slide 5-6)
Global market trends
Global Market Trends validate your product to stakeholders and show a product idea will work on a global scale. Identify the market trend that your product meets, and then use this slide to visualize its global expansion. Icons on the map can be moved around to show different countries the product can expand to. The bottom-right table shows the trend's projected growth from year one to year five. In this example, the company looks at online sales as a market trend for growth. Based on our previous example, a company such as Waze that has an app store as its channel would meet this trend. (Slide 17)
Product growth projection
Once a company has done its research on trends and the competition, it has to show that its product has legs. That's what the Product Growth Projection chart is for. This chart is fully editable and can be adjusted to your projections. It shows both the monthly forecast and the cumulative profits. The data on the chart can be edited to show a monthly, quarterly, or yearly projection. The graph updates automatically according to the data you put in. (Slide 15)
Launch status dashboard
Last thing: every Go-To-Market strategy needs a launch timeline, with priorities and goals. This launch status dashboard can be used while a team is in the middle of a product launch, or to prepare before a launch. It's an invaluable tool that will help sync members of multiple departments. The names can be adjusted to represent individual team members or departments such as Product, Marketing, or Sales. On a qualitative level, the dashboard shows which tasks are the highest priority, represented by a star, and which tasks have dependency on a separate member or department, represented by an exclamation point. (Slide 25)
Slack business case
Go-To-Market strategy as a team effort is exemplified by the rise of the team collaboration tool Slack. When Slack first started in 2013, CEO Stewart Butterfield said in an internal memo to his team "Understanding what people think they want and then translating the value of Slack into their terms is something we all work on. It is the sum of the exercise of all our crafts."
Slack identified a goal that their customer needed to achieve, which was more effective internal communication. Endless email chains had become outdated, and a new platform was needed. Butterflied began with product-market fit. He described the life of a startup divided into two distinct phases: before product-market fit and after. "Once the product fits the market, a company is able to step on the gas, spending to promote a product that will actually sell." He goes on to say "The best possible way to find product-market fit is to define your own market." Butterfield defined Slack's market and the value points it would add with four characteristics:
- More relaxed, productive workers
- Masters of their own information,
- Less frustrated by a lack of visibility
- More purposeful communicators
Slack centered its go-to-market strategy around those values and characteristics. A key part of its growth was its price point: free. Slack identified payment as a barrier to entry, and only implemented payment later on for premium features. Its strategy was product-focused instead of pricing-focused. Butterfield knew that a great product would grow a loyal user base by word of mouth. And he was right. Since its launch, Slack grew from zero to four billion dollars in four years and was eventually sold to Salesforce for over $27 billion dollars.
If you need a successful Go-To-Market strategy for your next product, you need this presentation. Download the Go-to-Market Strategy presentation for more slides such as Product Positioning Map, Unique Selling Proposition, Demographic Overview, Launch Checklist, and GTM Strategy Map, plus many more.