As I sat in the RDS in Nov 2019 waiting for Des Traynor of Intercom to take the main stage I noticed a sense of anticipation in the masses.
As I saw surrounded by PMMs, PMs, CEOs, CMOS, CS leads and Sales leaders my mind drifted to something I heard Traynor speak about in the past – milkshakes.
What do they hire you for
As the light show sparked to life and the Intercom logo darted across the jumbo screens Traynor took to the mic.
As the crowd settled again and the dry ice dissipated Traynor touched on something I had heard him mention on a podcast a few weeks previously. He spoke about milkshakes.
Specifically, asking us to consider what we would “hire” a milkshake for. The jobs it does for you.
What ‘Job’ Does Your Product Do For your ideal buyer
What Traynor was getting at was a basic principle in product marketing and product management. When you unpack the jobs that your product is hired for it can inform your entire go-to-market strategy.
Informing your GTM
On the walk back to my apartment I considered what the intercom Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer had touched on that morning. I stopped on a bench just shy of Dublin’s Raglan road and quickly Googled the “Intercom JTBD interpretation”. I copied a few article clipping it into my phone’s notes app for later.
“Coming from a background in persona and solution-based marketing, I had to fundamentally change my approach when I joined Intercom. For me the easiest way to grok the Jobs-to-be-Done methodology was by watching Clay Christensen’s famous milkshake video and understanding what “job” people buy milkshakes for.”
Let’s unpack this. It seems that the core point is that you can talk all you want to about the importance of strategy or operational efficiency, but the truth is that companies succeed because they offer a product or service that customers find irresistible. It does a job for them. Therefore they fit and service a market well.
Milkshakes = GTM
Clayton Christensen of Harvard University and author of the Innovators Dilemma created the JTBD framework. He observed that when you recognize the jobs your product is hired for, it informs your entire go-to-market strategy.
In 2021, Jobs-to-be-Done has become popular in product design and development. Traynor links its practicality to it other functions in your business ecosystem, like marketing. Especially, in Go To Market planning. He elaborates on this point;
“Your customers can come in all shapes and sizes across different verticals, but the one single thing that they have in common is the job that they’re looking to hire a product for.”
The key to establish product market fit lies in unpacking the jobs users are hiring you for. Data will inform this. Look at CRM data to establish patterns to the job titles or functions of these people. In doing so you can be more targeted with your content and targeted in your strategic marketing campaigns. In turn you can using this data to structure the process for GTM action plan. You can begin to layer on the detail on your go to market strategy.
What is a Go To Market Strategy?
Simply, a go-to-market (GTM) strategy is an action plan. It outlines the steps a company needs to take to succeed in a new market or with a new audience.
What differentiates a GTM strategy from the typical marketing strategy is its place in the product’s lifecycle. Whereas the marketing strategy focuses on the continuing campaigns and programs the company runs to increase demand for the product or service after it’s been introduced to the market, the go-to-market strategy is about creating the plan to introduce that offer to the market.
In short, a solid go-to-market strategy aims to answer:
What are you selling?
Who are your potential customers?
How will you connect with your audience?
What are the channels you will use to reach them?
It also follows these steps:
Identify Your Target Markets
Define Your Target Customer
Determine Your Brand Positioning
Define Your Unique Value Proposition
Identify Your Channels
Build Your Financial Model.
Go to market.
The value that you add to your customers’ lives, is connected to how focused you stay on their problems. Eoghan McCabe, Co-Founder and CEO at Intercom, surmises:
“No matter what you build, if you’re really passionate about a certain problem, you’ll almost certainly attract customers who are passionate about it too.”
It’s as Traynor mentioned onstage at SaaStock 2019. When you recognize the jobs your product is hired for, it informs your entire go-to-market strategy.
Daniel is a Senior Marketing Professional working in the SaaS B2B industry. Based in Ireland. Passionate about Sport, Marketing and Technology.