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5 Go-To-Market Issues To Avoid 

Over the last three years, I have advised more than 50+ B2B companies on how to structure their GTM/marketing teams - and the same five issues keep coming up…the context here is the revenue range between $3M ARR - $20M ARR (albeit principles still apply in higher revenue ranges). 

Here they are: 

🔀 Siloing product, sales and marketing

- Product marketing (and customer marketing) is still nascent as a hire within the GTM team. When hired, not many know what to do with them or KPI their outcomes. It’s one of the most critical roles in connecting product positioning to marketing into sales stories. Great product and customer marketers know how to build marketing/sales messages, not product features. Minor changes to how a product is described, positioned or priced can pay huge dividends
- CEOs / CFOs still see marketing as “marketing” and not a singular team. This means that, as often happens, there are two plans in motion: the sales playbook and the marketing playbook. The goals are not often aligned with what the actual business goal is working towards. It means marketing work to KPIs (MQL, SQLS, OPPS, etc.) that often don’t link to the GTM motion. 
- Selling is a team sport. Selling is communicating (POV, content), marketing (Value prop, messaging, campaigns) and pitching (sales stories, how to sell better). 

⬇ Under investing in conversion

- Your content strategies are always aimed at top-of-funnel acquisition, i.e. Thought Leadership, blogs, and white papers. That’s great. But you must correct the balance to invest more in the middle to bottom-of-funnel content. Content that helps convert the prospect authentically when engaged with your message. 
- From a performance marketing angle, conversion is poor because of “safe”, boring (and creative) languaging and complacency with the message. Make your message more emotional (think of B2C principles). 

💪 Brand building is still seen as “fluffy” and “non-attributable” 

- Customer acquisition costs are through the roof, but CEOs are still reluctant to spend on brand building. Only being focused on demand generation is an old-school way of thinking.

Here's why you are scared to spend on building brand awareness:

 ↳ Hard to prove instant ROI, i.e. easier to spend on ads
 ↳ Attribution is a challenge, i.e. easier to see a lead from an event
 ↳ It's not data-driven, i.e. can not use a model from day 1 to prove it works
 ↳ The lens is on the short term, i.e. only thinking about this quarter's number

- Brand is critically important to success, but that doesn't mean you need it in the old-school sense. Brand building is really “audience building’. A brand is about defining a differentiated POV, taking that to the world with regular distribution and learning what your audience cares about authentically. 

🛌 Who to hire and why  

- There is often a misunderstanding of why a role exists. Too much default to “we need a CRO”, and they’ll figure it out is a great way to lose six months—Sames as the CMO, BTW. 
- I advocate for understanding the challenge/problem you are trying to solve. Get the profiles with expertise or hunger to solve those problems with a lens of developing a rounder skill-set into the future as they will have potential. 

🖼 Non-bespoke GTM plays 

- Most people follow the same playbook. Most do not consider how the standard playbook suits their go-to market/motion. It means you create the wrong strategy. 
- Don’t overcomplicate it. But you’ll often need to bespoke elements of the GTM based on channel, i.e. Channel vs direct / segments, verticals or industries. You must do this to win as it will steer the focus toward the right outcomes, i.e., if you sell the enterprise, DON’T set a goal of 1,000 MQLs per month (believe me, this happens). 

Step back from where you are, roll up your sleeves, and reassess. 

Don’t continue to make the same mistakes everyone keeps rolling with and will do in 2024. 

It takes critical thinking and deeper reflection. 

But if you spend time you’ll get to the right approach and better outcomes.

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

(1) DUE DILIGENCE FOR INVESTORS & CEOs: A bespoke framework and capability model 'DEMAND KARMA' that delivers DD services to investors, VC firms and CEOs.

(2) ADVISORY: Retained advisory at funded scale-ups. A simple monthly fee. Helping CEOs build a scalable marketing machine. (Booked out until December)

(3) STRATEGY COACHING: Book time on my calendar to work through a standalone project or to get answers to your most pressing marketing strategy and execution questions.

If you're interested, let's jump on a call to see if you're a good fit.

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