Discovering the right channel, language, and messaging to convince all stakeholders in your target companies.
In a world that’s driven by technology, it’s amazing how many people simply don’t care about it.
That isn’t to say that technology’s not important, or appreciated. Of course it is. It defines how we work, communicate, and spend our leisure time.
What we’re talking about are the technical aspects and inner workings of products. To be blunt, not all of us have the mental capacity to understand the science. Plus we’re all busy, needing to prioritize information that’s relevant to our specific roles.
How does my phone connect to the internet? I’ve no idea, but I know that I can check the football scores while I’m waiting for the train.
How does this 400-ton aircraft get off the ground and remain in the air for hours? Other than something to do with thrust and lift I couldn’t tell you, but it safely transports me to hot and beautiful places.
In short, only a minority cares about how things work. What matters to the majority is the value they offer.
What do your buyers care about?
Let’s apply this same thinking to your prospects. How many of them are interested in features and tech specs, and how many are more interested in what it enables them to do?
It’s a hugely important consideration when putting together a go to market (GTM) strategy. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Get the tone and messaging wrong, and you could easily lose a prospect forever—irrespective of how good your solution is.
First of all, let’s look at where messaging fits into an example GTM strategy. The stages of a typical GTM plan may look a little like this:
- Markets: What industries and sectors are optimal for your product?
- Customers: Who are your target personas? Who are the end users, the decision makers, and the influencers?
- Channels: Where do your target customers buy? Where will you promote your products?
- Positioning: How is your solution different to your competitors? How do you communicate that difference to improve conversion?
- Price: How much will you charge for your products for each customer group?
- Distribution: How do you deliver your product or solution once a customer makes a purchase?
- Lifetime value: How do you deliver ongoing support to customers, and use cross-sell and up-sell opportunities to maximize their value?
Putting pricing and distribution to one side—(although messaging can be important in both, they are more commercial and logistic endeavours respectively)—striking the right message proposition is crucial throughout all stages.
Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.
Some industries are naturally ‘techier’ than others. For example, Oil & Gas and aeronautics will lean on technology more prominently compared with hospitality or travel. In such sectors tech personas (CTO, CIO, Head of engineering etc) will play more important roles in choosing technology solutions and partners. They will play a decision-making role rather than an advisory one, which means the primary language and tone needs to be geared towards their areas of expertise (more of this shortly).
Location will also play an important role. An industry may be more mature in certain regions and countries. Understanding regional differences will allow you to gauge the maturity level of your target audience and pitch your messaging accordingly. You can use more advanced regions for inspiration and use cases too.
This is where GTM messaging gets more complicated. As indicated above, there are multiple personas to consider, each with different priorities, and each with a different level of influence over the purchasing decision.
At Tomorrow People, we typically identify three core groups:
- The day-to-day users
These are the people who will rely on the solution as part of the daily duties. GTM messaging must emphasize the benefits they will get through your product.
- Heads of departments
These are satellite teams and functions that will be the secondary beneficiaries of your solution. Your messaging will include how your product will help them overcome their most common challenges and achieve their goals.
- C-suite and executives
The business will want demonstrable, measurable proof of ROI before investing in your product—especially as they will more often than not be the signatories with final approval. Your messaging will quickly and clearly communicate the value to the business as a whole, such as driving growth and improving profits.
Collating this three-tiered messaging will enable all decision makers and stakeholders within your target organization to understand precisely how your solution will benefit them, and align your personas behind a cohesive message. The more people you have championing your cause, the better. Which is why your GTM messaging will empower influencers and advisors as much as those who have the final say in any purchasing decisions.
How this is done: persona research
At Tomorrow People, we conduct extensive persona research to compile a detailed persona matrix. The more people we can interview, the more comprehensive the matrix.
These interviews allow us to understand each persona on a deeper level—their challenges, ambitions, goals, and future visions. First-hand evidence tells us what really happens, how they conduct research, what they dislike about vendors, and what helps them to make a purchasing decision.
They also enable us to discover trends between different groups. For example, DevOps may not like fluffy marketing speak, but will want the tech specs. Marketing say they get lost in all the jargon, and want to know how it impacts attribution or personalization. While everyone is unique, there are enough trends and commonalities to guide you in the right direction.
You naturally want to put your promotional budget into the channels that will get most engagement and ROI. Persona interviews allow you to build a picture of how your audience looks for information. You might discover that promotional emails go straight to spam, but there is a strong appetite for podcasts and webinars. A specific persona group might reveal that LinkedIn is more trusted than Twitter, or that there are regular networking events where peers share best practices and new trends.
Your GTM messaging needs to do more than call out what your solution does. How many similar products are you competing against, and what will help you stand out from the rest? Your interviews provide an opportunity to test proposed messaging with your audience. By analyzing the competition and the keywords they use, understanding persona pains and challenges, and aligning with your product features, you can craft GTM messaging that cuts through the noise and amplifies your USPs.
5. Lifetime value
Now you understand each persona within each business, it’s easier to keep them engaged, and convert them into loyal brand advocates. You’ll have a far better understanding of the updates or future products that will be most relevant to them, and how to best get that message in front of them.
Putting plans into practice
As you can imagine, this isn’t a simple five-minute task. It’s one reason why businesses turn to a GTM agency such as Tomorrow People to conduct their persona research and build a cohesive GTM strategy for them.
We work at speed, uncovering industry, competitor, and persona insights that form the basis of a comprehensive GTM strategy. We document our findings and analysis in playbooks for you to share throughout your organization so that everyone feels confident in pitching conversations at the right level to a mix of personas.