This is the first in a five-part series introducing the categories for the 2022 Products That Count Product Awards. These episodes feature the five members making up the product-forward powerhouse team that is the 2022 Awards Advisory Board.

PMs need a plan to launch their products in the market, whether beta, internal or otherwise. For the 2022 Product Awards, the Awards Advisory Board proposed 5 new categories, including Informed Go-To-Market Strategy. How will they do the testing, experimentation, and ramp-up, and what are the best tools out there to help in this process? Google Product Lead Neha Taleja introduces the Informed Go-To-Market Strategy category for the 2022 Product Awards.

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On The Shift of the Go-To-Market Strategy Post-Pandemic

The world has changed dramatically after COVID-19 has started, and the world of product also has been affected. There are a lot more security compliance rules and regulations, market changes, and consumer behavior changes. Depending on the domain, a company’s go-to-market strategy looks a lot different than it did 18 months ago.

“International regulations and compliance are unusually higher post-pandemic since there’s a lot of scrutiny around how products are being used and rolled out, depending on which domain you’re in. 

For example, in productivity, virtual work, domain, security compliance, they’re just looking at a very different level of new highs, where your go-to-market approach toward those products has to be extremely well-thought-out. Similarly, on the consumer end, you’re seeing governments with new taxes, new regulations, especially in APAC and EMEA. In these markets, there is a lot of interesting movement by various parties. You’ll see various companies respond to it differently. 

Consumer behaviors have changed, too. How we would reach new potential users for a new product or new feature of your rollout has changed the way we market. The way we reach the targeted cohorts of users has evolved and, credit to the accelerated digital adoption that came from the pandemic, opens up a new space for PMs, to sharpen our skills, and understand what are the new ways that we’re going to have to launch our products; then, whether it’s a brand new product or a new feature rollout. 

These various external factors are playing into it, like post-pandemic, consumer behavior change, an increase of compliance, tax regulations in various international markets, as well as just a higher threshold for security and compliance, as a majority of workers continue to work from home and learn from home in the case of the education community.”

On the Superpowers for Go-To-Market Strategy

Each category has a set of superpowers that make it unique and successful. The Go-To-Market Strategy category taps into a few, such as testing, experimentation, pricing, and rollout.

“We’ve identified four superpowers, and one of them is testing and experimentation. This is very internal, like the decisions that a product manager and their team need to make. Are your features/products going to go through a series of tests and experiments, or are you going to let it loose in the market and see how your targeted users respond? Based on that decision on how you’re going to test and roll out your product, it depends on what your go-to-market strategy would be. It’s a very crucial juncture. In this category, we’ve identified that that ability and the tools that empower you as a PM to not just make that decision but have a plan of action to implement it, monitor it, and capture the data that is needed to make an informed decision is extremely crucial. The ability to test an experiment, and drive decisions based on what you learn is critical toward your go-to-market plans, and it really can change the course of the way your product will get adopted. It’s a very, very important, primary superpower in this category. 

The next is a tough question: How do you price it? it’s tied into how you experimented, as well as whether you want to include pricing as a part of your experimentation. So the next superpower is really understanding and getting a stronghold on your pricing strategy, whether your new feature is hard off an existing offering, or if the new feature/new product will be priced separately or monetized separately. As a PM, you may choose not to include pricing in your go-to-market or initial phases; however, it’s a superpower that cannot be ignored. You’ve got to have that strong foundation as you’re thinking about launching your product. It’s crucial to have clarity on when to price, what to price it out, and how to roll your pricing out. All the three, you know, subcategories of pricing strategy are extremely crucial for this, as well.

Then there’s an external rollout and there’s an internal rollout, which is a sales strategy and comps. PMs work on a day-to-day basis with our engineering teams, UX, research, and data teams. When it comes to your go-to-market strategy, that same cadence evolves with your sales and marketing teams, as well, where your first set of customers are your sales and marketing teams, where they buy into the product/the new feature. They understand the value to an extent where they can help you shape the narrative, and they lead the external rollout, but it has to be done in cohesion. One of the superpowers PMs need to have is, how are you going to the value prop of what you’ve built with your team and how will you extend that to a wider audience internally with a sales strategy and communication approach, and leverage that force to roll it out externally? So both of these superpowers and the ability of PMs to communicate and build those relationships with your sales team are important. There are tons of tools out there that are designed to help you do that.”

On How To Stand Out in the Go-To-Market Strategy Category

Do you have specific tools you use as a PM for your go-to-market strategy and superpowers? Neha gives a brief overview of what the Awards Advisory Board is looking for in this category. Nominate your favorite product today!

“We’re looking at some very interesting tools that help with internal communications and management and that help you track right, help you manage what you say, how you say it, the language around it, how to highlight visually, and the value prop of your product. Basically, it helps sell the story of the value prop of your product. Then there are the other set of tools that actually help you manage the rollout, whether it’s experimentation, how do you target the ramp-up, or how do you validate the actual results from the experiment? Then there’s a third category of products that are designed specifically around pricing, and these products leverage frameworks that consumer brands have used for decades and centuries, for that matter, to adopt pricing strategies based on user needs, user demographics, buying patterns, and willingness to pay factors. There are frameworks and you can use tools that will help you determine your pricing strategy. 

There are three sets of tools, internal comps, testing, and external rollout, and your pricing tools. These three key verticals of tools help you build those four superpowers that we talked about, which are testing and experimentation, pricing strategy, rolling out with external users and customers, and a sales strategy and comps internally.

About the speaker
Neha Taleja Director of Product Member

Neha is the Senior Director of Product at Macmillan Learning leading a set of start-up products under the institutional group aimed to address challenges in higher education such as affordability of educational materials, retention and student success. She has been bu.ilding, growing and scaling products in the ed-tech space for the past decade with her experience ranging from course-ware solutions, student facing applications, to analytics and insights tools for decision makers. She loves to travel and lives in South San Francisco to stay close to the airport

About the host
Patrick Blute Transfix, Director of Brand and Sustainability

I am the Director of Brand & Sustainability for Transfix, a leading transportation solutions provider, combining tech and a best-in-class carrier network to reshape the future of freight. I am also a host for Product Talk helping bring product leaders together to answer the question: "What makes a great product?"

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