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Putting the market in go-to-market (GTM)



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On this episode of the REVolution Podcast...

Scott shares why he thinks alignment is pure BS, what go to market should be defined as, and how teams should be working better together with the right ingredients in place.

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About our guest

Scott Vaughan is a seasoned executive focused on helping teams define and refine their overarching go-to-market (GTM) strategies and how they work together across the organization to activate them. He advises CXOs, founders, and investors on how to best breakthrough or get unstuck on their growth journeys. Scott is also an analyst for the Acceleration Economy and held multiple leadership roles in many successful organizations, including time as the Chief Marketing Officer at Integrate and UBM. You can follow Scott on LinkedIn.

Episode takeaways

Defining important factors for go-to-market motions

When considering the go-to-market landscape and sharing a definition with the teams he is working with, Scott focuses on the primary market factors and considers the nuances that are present creating those opportunities, not just for Marketing, but for the entire business. He believes defining this strategy is work that has to be done by the CEO or other executive leadership to build momentum. [4:19]

Scott speaks on needing both quantitative and qualitative data to form opinions on the market and how critical it is to not miss important information by focusing too much on the numbers and lacking vision, especially in less mature markets. [8:08]

The missing piece for most teams is leadership enablement. This kind of coaching allows your team to talk through not only the mission, but also some of the tactical needs to make a launch successful. [9:49].

Evolution takes time and change management

Scott observes that the tools to support teams with their go-to-market is complicated in part because markets are driven by economics. Similar to previous experiences with ERPs and CRMs, he believes vendors are creating tools that do a few things well to expand their reach and more slowly support their customers with additional features over time. This process will be messy and puts the responsibility on companies to determine the right tech stack if they want to be able to enable their teams with data and empower them to do more. [17:23]

Additionally, Scott shares that it’s important for a leader to take the time to examine what the objectives are, how the tools are being used—especially considering the overlap of features from one tool to the next—and for vendors to be clear on what they do well and how their tools integrate with other pieces easily. [23:51]

Finding the right model for your go-to-market strategy

When asked about organizational structure as a method to unite teams, Scott says alignment is BS because different personalities and goals are at play across departments. Instead, he believes leaders need to know what their objectives are for the near-term and design an organization around that. [27:45]

Expanding on product led growth (PLG), Scott shares that PLG is a particularly interesting model he’s studying. Similarly to when companies run account based marketing (ABM), they can’t ignore good inbound leads coming to the website simply because they aren’t a target account. There’s no perfect model that will be the savior for a company; he feels PLG is understandably interesting for investors’ interests, but cannot be everything if it’s not the right model for the company and the market. [32:09]

Data's new role is less about the numbers and more about action

When using data, Scott no longer thinks the person with the most data wins. He argues we’ve evolved to a point where it’s more important for data culture to focus on actionable intelligence. This process might meet some resistance because people might feel some of their job responsibilities going away, but in reality, it is making space for the most specialized tasks that need more of people’s experience to complete. [36:12]

Go-to-market skills and a great product are key to success

For career development, there are lots of objectives that would require different needs, but a good marketer has three things, according to Scott. First, is a great understanding of the market, the audience, and their buyers. Second, is to comprehend the economic model and drivers to provide context to their work. Third, is to be known for something specific, even while building out other skills, it's important to have a niche and position you can rely on. [39:56]

As a leader, Scott feels about 20% of his time goes to mentoring. This not only helps others, but holds a mirror back to his own actions to find work-life integration. [48:34]

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