100 channels + 14 marketing analytics platforms + 12 strategy considerations + 8 conversion steps – all on one page!
Too late to the party?
When large companies engage me as an external “innovation expert / lean startup coach” I sometimes find myself in a situation where the party has already started without me. What I mean is that there’s already a “finished product” that can’t be changed, at least not in the short-term, and the client has failed to gain significant traction in one or more of their chosen markets.
As a lean startup coach it may feel counterintuitive to be asked to “push” a product instead of helping the company to develop a product that the market “pulls” and wrapping that inside an attractive business model. But let’s not lose hope in these situations. There is still plenty of work that can be done without abandoning an experimental mindset. So let’s shift our focus towards what can be done in those situations when the product can’t be touched.
Lean Startup teaches us that an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is not a product or a beta but a test of the entire business model. Each building block of the business model canvas (key partners, key activities, key resources, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, channels, revenue streams and cost structure), warrants an almost infinite number of potential experiments.
When you start to combine “Channels” with “Key Partners” and “Revenues” (which include revenue models and pricing tactics), we see that there’s much that can be done to find product/market fit, besides iterating the product alone.
What is the Go-2-Market Transit Map and How to Use It
The purpose of the Go-2-Market Transit Map is to trigger ideas and discussions about how to reach customers and what to include in your marketing stack to measure what you do. The map is only one tool amongst many and works well as a complement to for example the Customer Happiness Canvas.
The map has end stations that indicate the type of channels that will run on that line, for example inbound channels or social channels. But since we’re dealing with a moving target creating an all-inclusive channel map is impossible. Therefore, your suggestions how to improve and update the map are greatly appreciated. With it’s 134 stations the Go-2-Market Transit Map is still short 136 stations when compared to the London subway system, so there’s plenty of room to grow.
How Do You Prioritize Which Channels to Focus On?
The short answer is that the Go-2-Market Transit Map will not help you with channel prioritization. It’s simply meant as a brainstorming tool. The next step after picking a handful of potential channels is to prioritize which of the channels to run experiments on. Based on the analysis of the data collected from those experiments you can then decide whether to continue developing the chosen channel or to pick another channel.
We offer channel prioritization as part of our Go-2-Market Workshop, which is one of the modules in our Innovation Academy. If you like to know more about our Innovation Academy and Intrapreneurship Program, I’d be happy to connect on LinkedIn.
Growth Teams Replacing Silos
The old days of marketing and product development working as separate entities are long gone (or at least they should be). Of course there are still companies with product development departments tossing their product specs over “the wall” to the marketing department, hoping that they will come up with a great go-2-market strategy.
But with everything going digital, or at least including some digital layer or component, marketing and product development must come together in cross-functional teams to build channel tactics into the product itself. The growth of IoT will only speed up the already pressing need for this development.
Virality Is Engineered, Not Invoked
Virality is not something that just happens because you say it will. Virality is often the result of functionality being built directly into the product. And it’s often the case of several small gains compounded over time that result in “hockey stick growth” – not a single magic growth hack.
Teams that in their pitchdecks point at their hockey stick curves while claiming that they will grow as a result of “word-of-mouth”, hardly ever do. If the team can’t show how they will achieve growth, they are almost certain to follow in the footsteps of so many failed startups before them. Autopsy.io lists more than 150 startups that have a tale to tell about why they had to close up shop.
In large companies, agile maturity starts with top management allowing cross-functional teams the freedom to run experiments to test different hypothesis with the aim of building something that customers actually want and are prepared to pay for. When there is good evidence of product-market fit, the next step is to shift focus to running experiments to drive growth.
Large companies still working in silos run a significant risk of disruption from more agile competitors and experiment hungry startups, regardless of industry. To learn more about how to build and empower cross-functional growth teams I can warmly recommend Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown.
Deep Analytics Is Available To Everyone
The more experiments that you run, the faster you learn and the more likely you are to achieve long-term growth. The days of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks are long behind us. Today, it’s possible to measure user behavior down to the individual level, across multiple channels and throughout the entire funnel (acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, next-sell, cross-sell, up-sell), all in real-time.
If you don’t have a well functioning marketing stack that’s one of the first things to start setting up. Without data you fly blind. And no, Google Analytics alone is not enough to give you the insights that you need to evaluate your experiments. Stacklist shows what other companies are including in their analytics stacks and how they push data between different tools and platforms to get a full picture of customer behavior.
Choosing not to allow cross-functional data-driven growth teams in your company is the equivalent of signing your company’s death sentence. On the other hand, choosing to allow it may result in your next “hockey stick” sooner than you know.
Andy Cars is the founder of Lean Ventures, an innovation strategy firm based in Stockholm, Sweden.