CMOs and CROs: How to Really Turbocharge Your Go-to-Markets
Tech companies need to face facts. In the crowded tech marketplace, simply building a great product alone just isn’t going to be enough to ramp a business or a new release. Yet time and time again, I see companies with great offerings failing to make the GTM investments necessary to monetize their offerings. Why is that? I think it may be that go to market skills represent a completely different type of expertise altogether, an expertise that tech companies (and many others) often give short shrift. In his terrific book, Dealing with Darwin, pre-eminent tech industry thinker Geoffrey Moore characterized certain elements of any business as “Core”, because they’re fundamental to its potential success. Conversely, everything else the company needs to grow, he called “Context” — important capabilities, yes, just not the essential essence. The fact is that real revenue magic occurs when exactly the right balance can be found between investment in both the core and the context capabilities necessary. While there’s a lot of nuance I’m leaving out, it’s abundantly clear from Moore’s work that if go-to-market capabilities lag product availability, business opportunity will be missed. Thus to maximize outcomes, CROs and CMOs alike must be constantly vigilant around balancing their slow-to-develop headcount investments with appropriate spending on enabling “fuels” that can bolster their teams’ yields in the near term. Simply put, they need to understand what they can and should build inside their company versus what the outside can better provide, certainly in the near-term, but probably on an ongoing basis. My contention is that, within most enterprise tech go-to-markets, there are at least two major areas where outside providers offer critical advantage.
Why marketing holds many companies back
Rather than a single coherent function, marketing’s really made up of many very different processes and skillsets. From strategy, to positioning and messaging, branding and advertising, web stuff, and all the way through to demand generation, marketing’s diversity makes it particularly difficult to scale internally. “Unicorn” marketers are expensive to hire and very hard to develop internally. What’s more, to maximize life-sustaining opportunity capture in highly competitive environment, you often just don’t have the time. That’s why savvy leaders need to have a strong understanding of what sort of support is out there in the industry that can make things happen faster.
From a “Core and Context” perspective then, the obvious questions for management become: “What marketing skills must I build? What skills can I better obtain from the outside? And how do I make the smartest trade-offs?” Getting to workable answers requires identifying those skills and capabilities you can’t build quickly enough to drive the growth trajectory you seek.
Your solution alone is not enough to drive your channels
While the rise of ecommerce has made the process of launching a new consumer product easier and more accessible to thousands (maybe millions) of creators, the costs are brutal and the resulting Darwinian outcomes couldn’t be more daunting. Not only do you have to build a great product, but you have to bring it to market into already crowded channels where you’re basically unknown. And yet hit products are making it each and every year. Now, as a proud B2B leader, you may think there’s too much different about our world to be looking for learnings around trivial categories like books, make-up or shoes, but from a go-to-market perspective, I think there are some profound and timeless lessons. In B2C and B2B alike, not only do you have to build a great product, but you have to bring it to market into a plethora of channels where you’re basically unknown. To do that as fast and efficiently as possible, you’re going to need real expertise.
Just the other Saturday, I went to CVS to get some razor blades plus some other stuff for around the house. I got the Gillette blades I like (shocked at the price), but couldn’t find the jumbo-sized cleaning products I wanted — so I headed over to the local Target. Just for fun, I checked out the blades there as well. Gillette was slightly cheaper at Target (note to self), but what really blew me away was that I could also choose from both Dollar Shave Club (DSC) or Harry’s if I’d wanted to. And the displays for both of those upstarts really caught my eye (much more than Gillette’s). What both “born on the internet” disrupters DSC and Harry’s have realized is, that if they really want to reach their potential, they need to be where more of the buyers are and they need to do it in ways that get them noticed. Those are two super important takeaways!
As a B2B marketing or sales leader, you need to figure out the most efficient way to get your value propositions in front of more buyers faster and better than your competition. If your recruiting strategy doesn’t allow you to onboard the type of marketing talent that can quickly execute on this, you’re opening the door to your rivals unless you can find another way. You need help with two obvious things:
- Ways to find more buyers faster than your competition can
- Ways to engage them more effectively than your competition will
From audiences to acquisition, content to close
TechTarget strengthens three of the essential pillars necessary for sustained success in any enterprise tech go-to-market.
- Concentrated populations of buyers. Because of our first-party publisher model, when businesspeople have a need, they come to TechTarget and BrighTALK for answers far more than to any other location on the internet. And while you can find ostensibly similar signals of purchase behavior from other providers, ours in the only model that can offer 27M+ million known opted-in subscribers that you can see and access directly during their buyer’s journeys. You’d have to blow your SEM budget through the roof to come anywhere near this kind of access to real demand.
- Unrivaled content development. Any marketing or sales enablement organization out there knows that quality content is key to inbound traffic and outbound engagement. And yet, everyone seems to struggle to find and grow the type and scale of talent necessary to produce this stuff dependably. Sure, in terms of volume, you may be developing lots of digital assets, but how many of them really work? TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and BrightTALK teams are purpose-built to help you build the useful, high-impact content you need to engage your targets and assist them in their buying processes. You know as well as I do that that’s what really accelerates pipeline.
- Unique prospect-level™ real purchase intent data. While more slowly than I (or Forrester|SiriusDecisions would have expected since they first launched their Demand Unit Waterfall concept), leading edge go-to-market organizations are finally waking up to the fact that both our legacy lead-based demand gen models and old-school cold-contact sales prospecting methodologies are both very unproductive. This is true for many reasons. In contrast, for more than five years now, TechTarget has been enabling go-to-market teams to pursue exactly the right people in the right accounts using clear insights into their current, demonstrated technology needs and desires. We can show you the buying teams as they’re taking shape and provide the exact hot button entry points your teams need to break through. That’s why we call our data “real” purchase intent and our data platform “Priority Engine™”: We enable you to focus and prioritize your energies on exactly where they have the highest likelihood of success. (To see more on our latest Priority Engine release watch this).
Building a successful enterprise technology go-to-market at scale is a difficult challenge for any company. Doing it in an environment of extreme competition and digital transformation is fraught with many points of potential failure. To maximize your chances of success, consider working with partners who can shoulder more critical elements for you. To better understand the specific ways TechTarget can help you better achieve your go-to-market objectives, talk to an expert today.