This article is based on Mike’s brilliant talk at our exclusive Product Marketing MisUnderstood event. You can watch the recording of this session in its full glory here.

Hi there! Thanks for joining me as I share my insights on how to drive more impactful go-to-market strategies with market and customer insights.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The high stakes of going to market
  • What makes a strong go-to-market strategy
  • Four practical ways that market and customer insights can inform your strategy and execution
  • How you can get started today

But first, let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Mike Greenberg. I'm the Director of Product Marketing at Momentive, where I lead a fantastic team looking after our core SurveyMonkey products and competitive intelligence.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive in.

The high stakes of going to market

I’ll start with some data from PMA’s State of Product Marketing Report. We, as product marketers, have a pretty tough job. Just look at this list of responsibilities:

PMM responsibilities
Source: State of Product Marketing Report 2023, Product Marketing Alliance

The majority of us own positioning and messaging, sales collateral, market research, and much more. More than half of us also handle things like building personas, conducting competitive intelligence, and content marketing – and that’s just scratching the surface.

On top of all this, according to PMA’s 2022 State of Go-to-Market Report, most product marketers are in charge of leading the go-to-market process and product launches

Who leads the go-to-market process at your company?
Source: State of Go-to-Market Report 2022, Product Marketing Alliance

Now, go-to-market strategy can really make or break your business. If you get things wrong, demand generation programs fall flat. Prospects don't move through the sales funnel efficiently, and basically, the business suffers. Get things right, and your marketing ROI improves, sales is more motivated, the business thrives, and the PMM team is celebrated.

Yet, despite their importance, launches aren't always successful in terms of meeting customer adoption and financial targets. The same PMA report on go-to-market showed that 50% of PMMs said that their launches are successful half the time or less.

Percentage of launches deemed 'successful' by PMMs
Source: State of Go-to-Market Report 2022, Product Marketing Alliance

Now, there are lots of reasons that this could be the case. Going to market is highly cross-functional, after all. But if we're real with ourselves, a lot of the success – or lack thereof – can be attributed to the go-to-market strategy, which is generally the PMM team’s responsibility.

What makes a strong go-to-market strategy?

There are a lot of things that need to go right in your go-to-market strategy:

Four practical ways that market and customer insights can inform your strategy and execution

Now, it would be impossible to cover all the areas above in one article, so let’s take a high-level view of how market and customer insights can influence these four areas of your go-to-market strategy: 

  1. Refining your target buyer personas
  2. Testing and validating your messaging
  3. Improving your sales teams’ confidence
  4. Establishing credibility with great content

1. Refining your target buyer personas

To craft an effective go-to-market strategy, you first need to arm yourself and your partners with a firm understanding of who you're targeting, what they're challenged with, and how they buy.

Persona packs

At Momentive, for each of our top buyer personas, we’ve produced what we call "persona packs." These are essentially summaries of our persona messaging frameworks. They're used as internal overviews for training – cheat sheets, if you will – about our personas. When our partner teams need information on our personas, they generally go straight to these packs. 

The packs contain information about buyers’ responsibilities, their challenges and how we solve them, what might trigger a purchase event, and buyers’ evaluation criteria for selecting vendors. 

We've also got a section on the ideal customer profiles, so that we can align our marketing and sales teams on who to target. On top of all this, there’s guidance on which solutions or use cases to lead with, and of course, customer stories.

Now, these persona packs have proven to be a pretty amazing resource for our teams. I'd recommend developing them, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to get in front of enough customers to do the necessary research to refine your personas, especially if, like us, you have a horizontal tool that appeals to multiple personas.

The State of Product Marketing Report shows that more than one in five product marketers actually never talk directly to customers, which has to make persona development really difficult.