The "Just Get Started" GTM Plan
Your GTM experience (especially LinkedIn) is full of complex, messy advice on building a marketing strategy.
And today, I want to show you that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Each year, my marketing GTM plan was based on several foundational actions that can be jotted down on a piece of paper.
There’s so much talk about building big, complex marketing channel models - that we often forget the beauty of keeping things simple—the beauty of contracting and narrowing down your focus. You need to avoid the “classic” marketing issue, which is over-optimising and over-complicating the machine.
Remember, the psychology of momentum is critical for business. Feel like you’re going somewhere. That’s why it’s best to “just get started” with a plan (you can’t have no plan), but it doesn’t need to be over-engineered.
Let’s break down which foundational channels are the key to simplicity. This thinking is based on mid-market to enterprise sales motions (not PLG and not transactional SMB). I’ll give you thinking on how best to utilise each channel.
Value Proposition and Positioning
Get the foundations right; everything else flows off the back of it.
This is the thought process that I went through.
1. The core of what we do?
What can we be the best in the world at?
Then, work backwards.
2. What is our core POV?
- What's the niche we want to own (or don’t pick a niche; pick a problem to be solved)
- What is our POV
- Where do we focus
- What’s our polarity
- Who are my [buyers/customers]
- What's the big idea here?
- What's my product/service's biggest benefit?
- What's most exciting about this product?
- What emotion am I trying to create?
When you nail the questions above, you don’t just get clarity; you can market more confidently in the value you’ll provide and how to position/sell your product or service.
And that’s your real goal, isn’t it?
You spend far too long theorising over an events programme. In B2B, events work; they always have and always will (even blended with remote). But it doesn’t need to get complicated and take 6 months of planning. It’s all about getting going.
Here are all the event types you can start:
- An annual [company] Summit: These aren’t just for “marketing” and “leads”; they are about building long-term relationships.
- Monthly breakfasts: In my last role, the first one we had was with 2 people. You have to start somewhere.
- Monthly dinners: Same point as above.
- Peer-to-peer virtual roundtables and dinners: Incredibly cost-effective, simple logistically and easy to scale.
- Sponsored events: Don’t go for the big booth. But be savvy about pre-booking meetings and using a smaller cost-effectively.
- Community events: Find where your buyers are at 3rd party events and piggyback off them.
- Webinars: Good for product demos or thought leadership. Then, it is easy to re-purpose into content.
Don’t do outbound as a numbers game. It never works (unless you have figured out the process/ system/ message that is scalable). Outbound is hard but is still helpful in the “just get started” mindset.
The crucial starting point of outbound marketing is defining the “value exchange”. You have to think long and hard about what’s in it for the prospect. Spend time here first, as the rest can be much easier afterwards. An example would be an invite to the event, an opportunity to participate in leadership research, a chance to learn from peers, etc.
Here is a breakdown for outbound:
- Know the specific challenge(s) you solve
- Interesting Point-of-view angle
- Actionable, regular content
- Engaging comms (re; LI)
- Don't rush the process
- Be human
- Be useful
- Be clear
Make sure the messages are human, short, pithy, educational and with a clear value exchange.
Content Marketing and Brand Building
Brand building doesn’t have to be buying billboards. Brand building, in its essence, is about knowing your audience and engaging with them with helpful content that helps them do their jobs better or make their lives easier.
Content is important because it reflects your POV. You have a good starting point when you combine a differentiated POV with a plan to create regular and valuable content. This will power your outbound efforts and events programme and help sales close deals.
When designing your content strategy. Please don’t plan too much, as it never gets done well.
Here is, in reality, what you need:
- A core anchor content: A playbook, a blueprint, a quantitative research piece and/or a qualitative white paper. This will link to your POV and proposition. The idea is to help them realise the opportunity for transformation.
- A LI content strategy: Hire someone as a ghostwriter (CEO) or do this yourself. This is now one of the most cost-effective and powerful scale-building methods.
- Blog content: Blogs are a dying entity (but useful for SEO). I’d suggest the blog strategy be around “guides” or “mini-books.” try to do it once per month.
- Newsletter: Don’t just start one for the sake of it. But if you can run one and create something with a unique POV, do it.
- Leverage partners: I’d look for non-compete brands to partner with on content. Alternatively, look for and get onto podcasts, etc.
With a content strategy, you need to have “infinite” thinking. What that means is creating a system that will work month after month. The big challenge most have with content marketing is you take too long to get started; it starts well, then fades, and you try to do too much.
Building Community and Customer Advocacy
Many people think “building a community” is a significant strategic plan. It can be. But it can also be executed with some lean tactical thinking.
Building engagement with your buyers can be done in a few simple ways, for example:
- Help clients (or prospects) connect with other companies going through similar challenges. The biggest thing leaders want is to learn from others. Be the driving force to facilitate that outcome.
- Celebrating career and personal milestones for clients: A thank you card, donation, or small gift can go a long way.
- Try to engage with LI comments and support your prospects/customers.
- Content nurturing with real-world contextual answers to challenges your prospects and customers are experiencing right now.
Your strategy needs to help make sales easier.
These are the five simple areas you need to make sure are covered.
You need a sales enablement pack covers:
1. The company story, point of view, credentials and what you do
3. Recommendations Deck
4. Customer Stories Proof (i.e. outcomes delivered)
5. Pricing (Create a model that makes the customer pick what you want, i.e. Apple Regular, Premium and Super Premium
6. Use Cases
It's easy to get lost in complexity, especially as a CEO managing expectations of “scale” and putting trust in the CRO/CMO. I had to remind myself of these basics each year to catch myself over-complicating things all the time.
You’ll notice the 1-page plan does not cover performance marketing, spending on ads, Account-based Marketing, PR, SEO, PPC etc, etc. Yes, there could be some relevance to them, BUT it’s all about finding the 10%-20% that produce the 80%. And in mid-market to enterprise B2B, it’s a simple plan based on the channels I have listed above.
You can get caught up in added complexity further down the line. And for god's sake, don’t do endless “marketing experiments” unless you have a clear strategy that underpins the purpose of what you are doing.
But keep this in mind — doing more channels is not a requirement for success.
So, I encourage you to “just get started” with the core channels and build momentum.