The 4 steps you must take before launching your product

This article outlines four steps essential to undertake at the start of your go-to-market effort before you even mention your product. They are the basis of a powerful GTM plan that builds unmatched market impact and unlimited revenue potential.

There are two things to do before starting this process.

  • Nail your value proposition. Constructing a powerful and effective value proposition must include what is exclusive to your offer and answer the question “Why should I choose your company over any other company?” It is so easy to discount this step and go into the market assuming your “leading provider of … X … ROI … seamless … AI … solution” positioning is solid and that your audience is insane if they don’t respond to your email. Don’t do that.
  • Make sure all employees know the plan. The most common and biggest mistake with GTM plans is keeping them hidden in the upper echelons of a company. This sidelines the valuable, nuanced insights of those who breathe life into these strategies and plans daily. It’s like a basketball coach keeping plays to herself, only revealing them when it’s time to execute. Encourage your teams to study and question the plan. This is the first step in leading and getting emotional buy-in from your team on a deeper level, allowing for more skin in the game. This inclusive strategy fosters alignment and creates a more dynamic, responsive and effective GTM plan. 

Now you’re ready to go.

1. Attract

Most teams play it safe, doing what everyone else does to attract prospects. Remember: “Fortune favors the bold.” Your ad, email, message, etc., will be one of many your audience sees. You must find ways to stand out amongst the mass amount of noise we all experience daily. You need to identify ways to quickly and effectively grab the audience’s attention and convert it to interest in what you have to say. 

If you’re going to chime into an established community, do so with purpose. If you’re running a brand awareness ad be sure it can stop someone in the midst of their scrolling long enough to debate reading the next word. 

Which channels should you use? All of them. That is true until you identify areas of higher engagement or success metrics for diving in deeper. Once you have that, dig deep to understand what worked and why. Did you find a honey hole to fish in? Or was it a random occurrence? KPIs are integral here to determine what gets people encountering your brand to then go to your profile, website, etc. 

2. Acknowledge

Next is recognizing and responding to your audience, letting them know they are in a space that’s meant just for them. This stage is where their initial interest is put to the test. 

Here you need to use empathetic acknowledgment. Rather than interrupting, offering unsolicited advice or shifting the focus to your offer, you must let your audience know you understand who they are and what their workflows look like. Brands are often too quick to tell their audience that the way they’ve been doing things is wrong. “It’s an atrocity you haven’t tried our solution yet.” These scare tactics make them think of your messaging as causing anxiety and something to avoid. 

Dig deeper: How to make your ‘ideal customer profile’ more ideal

Empathetic acknowledgment requires having responsive communication channels, engaging in personalized outreach that precedes conversations about your offer, and maintaining an active presence in areas where your audience shows up each week. 

It isn’t just about responding to queries or comments. It’s also about building a dialogue and demonstrating attentiveness to the needs and interests of the audience. You need to move beyond the traditional monologue of business-to-customer communication and foster a more interactive and engaging digital conversation. This shows prospects their input and engagement are not only welcomed but are integral to your existence. Most importantly, it creates a foundation for trust to start being built.

3. Educate

This doesn’t mean education about your product. In fact, in this step, you want to refrain from even mentioning that you have things for sale. 

This stage is pivotal for building trust. Instead of directly promoting a product, you must show ways your audience can be more effective, efficient and more intelligent around their current practices. The goal is to engage the audience with new concepts, strategies, and information that add value before they use your product. This is how you prove you understand them in depth. 

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You provide this by creating educational content, hosting webinars on relevant topics, sharing insightful case studies that highlight industry challenges and solutions, and providing smart analyses that stimulate engagement. See who at your company has the knowledge you need, integrate them into this portion of your plan, and amplify what they have to say accordingly. 

By focusing on educating the audience without an overt sales pitch, the company demonstrates a commitment to the broader interests and success of its potential customers. This fosters credibility and respect and subtly aligns the company’s expertise with the needs and challenges of the audience. It lays a foundation of trust and positions the company as a go-to resource.

  • Content tip: Don’t expect your head of content to know everything. Find the industry wizards within your organization who know some or all of this. Identify activities where they’re already sharing this information and record them doing it. Or instead of adding to their workload by asking them to answer a question in writing have them spew their thoughts into a voice message that content creators can use. 

4. Equip

This stage is similar to Educate but here you’re moving from theoretical knowledge to practical application. You’re providing practical tools and resources that can be used now. 

Deliverables include detailed guides, comprehensive FAQs with answers from a subject matter expert, email scripts to get executive buy-in for a project, and other resources that your internal subject matter experts use to acquire their knowledge. These resources are designed to be immediately useful and relevant, providing a hands-on experience that can help prospects visualize how the concepts and strategies discussed can be applied in their own professional environments. 

This can be a beast to approach and get started, which shows the importance of knowing who you’re targeting and who you have already engaged. This is also a fantastic gut check for organizations. Do you have resources that are truly valuable to your audience? Or, do you have ads? If it’s the second one you’re leaking credibility and are deaf to the murmurs of the broader community. The solution: Ask your ideal customers for feedback. Sending an email asking for an authentic response is absolutely OK. It may even change the course of your content. 

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