Try fusion, not friction of responsibilities in your Go-To-Market planning
Updated: May 16, 2022
Quite often, I get questions about the roles and responsibilities of product marketing vs. product management vs. demand generation vs. other departments when it comes to go-to-market and product launch planning.
People ask: Is there a template or a guide on how to divvy this up across teams? What are the responsibilities of each? Where does one job end and the other begin? Who owns what?
Perhaps those are the wrong questions to ask.
Why? Because the answers to those questions focus more on internal silos than how to deliver the highest value to the customer – and ultimately, the company.
I propose a different question: How can these roles and responsibilities for go-to-market and product launch planning fuse to deliver the best results for the customer as well as the company?
To be clear, this doesn’t mean a total lack of defined responsibilities, or roles that change frequently, or inefficient division of labor. It means focusing more on collaboration to plan, execute and monitor success.
Fusion: a merging of diverse, distinct, or separate elements into a unified whole.
When you break down silos within an organization and bring together the right core team for GTM strategy and product launch planning, the question goes from "Who does what?" to "How do we deliver exponential results together?"
Here’s an approach to foster strong collaboration while still respecting the division of roles and responsibilities:
Establish a core, cross-functional go-to-market team with folks from product marketing, product management, marketing, sales, and customer success. Bring operations and finance in as needed for guidance along the way (not at the end of your planning!). Everyone comes to meetings ready to report on their respective action items that move the initiative forward. No one gets a pass on this!
Ensure that everyone has a deep understanding of the customer. Everyone works from the same understanding of the customer, the problem you’re solving, how you uniquely solves that problem – from the customer’s perspective. It's not about individual success, it's about customer outcomes. Deep customer insights fuel the product roadmap, the positioning and messaging, thought leadership, demand generation, and customer retention.
Agree on what success is and align it. What are the goals and KPIs that will lead to the desired outcomes? How will each team contribute to those goals and be held accountable? Critical: How will you align those goals to foster strong collaboration, and less unproductive conflict? What's the plan for ongoing tracking of metrics and results?
Embrace the impact of the internal launch. Go-to-Market strategy and new product launches are company-wide initiatives. As such, make sure everyone in your company is informed, on board and ready to support the initiative and the core GTM team.
Fusing responsibilities is more difficult, but ultimately more effective than enforcing a division of responsibilities. When people share a common mission to solve customer challenges, the product succeeds, teams succeed, individuals succeed, and the company succeeds. Most importantly, the customer succeeds.