How To Develop the Right GTM and Communications Strategy for Growth
When it comes to the world of B2B tech, it’s important to distinguish between a go-to-market (GTM) and a communications strategy. In order to succeed, you must do the groundwork first to define the WHY and what the main innovation of your product is going to deliver to the market.
Join us this week as we dive deep into a conversation on these topics with B2B GTM expert Karin Samoylova (Global Product Communications Manager, Digital Portfolio in Robotics – ABB). During our conversation, Karin talks about the differences between a GTM and a communications strategy, the components of each strategy, and what mistakes to avoid. She also discusses the importance of conducting the relevant market research, why storytelling is paramount, and what metrics to focus on.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Christian Klepp, Karin Samoylova
Christian Klepp 00:00
Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discuss our thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp. Okay, welcome, everyone to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today I am joined by someone who is on a mission to define and lead clear go-to-market strategies and market communications plans on a global level. So coming to us from Zurich, Switzerland, Karin Samoylova, so I’m not exactly sure in which language to greet you. So I’m just going to say Grüzi Miteinand und herzlich willkommen! Selamat datang!
Karin Samoylova 01:00
Thank you, Christian, I’m delighted to be here.
Christian Klepp 01:04
It was great to be connected. Karin, and I love how we started this, this conversation with, you know, talking about our children and about our, our multicultural background. And it’s, it’s, it’s always nice to find somebody on the other side of the world, and you know, with whom you have these types of commonalities, right.
Karin Samoylova 01:23
Yeah, I think it’s great. You know, I think that’s how we met, right, like how we got connected through LinkedIn. I think someone posted a question about how many languages do you know? And I answered there? And then I think that’s where you contacted me, and also said that you speak multiple languages. And it was, yeah, it was great. It’s great. So we have that kind of similarity.
Christian Klepp 01:45
Amazing. Right. So thank you LinkedIn. Yeah, let’s, let’s get started. I mean, I’m really looking forward to this conversation. So um, Karin, you know, you posted something on LinkedIn. And I believe that was a, it was a while back, but that post got some great engagement. So I believe the topic was about the difference between a go-to-market strategy and a communications strategy. So can you elaborate that post a little bit further?
Karin Samoylova 02:13
Yeah, well, you know, I think that post got really good engagement, because it was a good balance between like, these three different elements, you know, it was approachable, it was educational, and those kind of a sprinkle of, you know, curiosity or openness, let’s say and also approachable, meaning that image of myself, I put something personal there, and then I shared my own insights, right? What are the key elements of the go-to-market strategy? And what are the key elements of a communications strategy? Because I feel like, you know, in many organizations, smaller ones might not even have any of the two, or it’s happening more ad hoc. And then there are other examples where there’s a mixture of both. And I just wanted to really, like clearly define there, you know, look, these are the key elements here and the key elements there, but I left it also quite open too because, you know, you need to see like, what is the right product launch strategy for your organization, and you can adapt it to now, I’m a big believer of being pragmatic and seeing, okay, you can take the key elements of the go-to-market strategy, and then build upon that the communications strategy. But first, we need to have a go-to-market strategy. So I think that was reason why they gave the post got a lot of engagement. So yeah.
Christian Klepp 03:36
Okay, no, that’s, that’s, that’s very interesting. So basically, what you were also trying to explain was, you know, which one comes first? It’s, it’s not even a chicken or the egg question, right? It’s you develop the go-to-market strategy first, and then followed by communications, right?
Karin Samoylova 03:54
Exactly. You need to do that groundwork first. So in order to develop a impactful product launch strategy, or go…, or you know, have a successful product launch, you need to do first, the go-to-market strategy, where are you going to define the why, you’re going to define exactly, yeah, what is the main innovation the product is gonna bring to the world. And then from there, you need to really do the research to create your value proposition. And then, with all of that, you’re gonna make the magic happen, right? You’re gonna bring that into a story and push it out to the world. And I think that’s such an important part of it. And I think many just don’t, don’t realize how important it is to first do that groundwork, right? To research your MCC, I call it you know, the Market, Competitors and the Customer, right before you can really build strong value propositions that you’re going to push out to the world and so that the customer feels like okay, yeah, this product speaks to me, and this is worth my attention, right?
Christian Klepp 04:59
Absolutely. Absolutely Wait, hang on a second. So are you trying to say that you can’t just launch the product and that the product will sell itself? Because that’s just…
Karin Samoylova 05:08
Christian this, this deserves like a whole podcast on its own. It’s like, there have been really lots of instances where, you know, the product team comes on say, Hey, we’ve got this great product, please put it on the website. Yeah, okay. No, that’s not how it works. No, this is not how you’re gonna, we’re gonna do it. And there needs to be more work to be done. And you need a framework, and it’s going to help you to manage that and control the process from A to Z when you launch your products.
Christian Klepp 05:44
Absolutely, absolutely. Um, speaking of which, I’m talking about common mistakes and misconceptions when it comes to go to market and communication strategies. Talk about some of the ones that you’ve seen out there. And what do you think marketers can do to address these? And you brought some of them up already?
Karin Samoylova 06:03
Yeah, well, I’m gonna start with one, it’s pretty like, you know, you know, there’s in marketing, there’s the four P’s, right. And it is really important to focus on those. But it’s not only that, you’re gonna have to work more than just the four P’s, you’re going to have to build in the processes, and you need to build that story. Today, more than ever, you need to have that stories to, to be heard in that world full of noise, right? It’s not… sure you need the product, you need the price, know the price, you need to know the channels you’re gonna use… go to push the product out, you know, the place, and promotion. But there’s so much more to that. It’s not let’s, let’s build a product brochure and put it up on the website, or let’s do a little press release. And that’s it. And no, there’s this much more to that. And I think that’s one of the misconceptions that, you know, that’s happening in many organizations. But yeah, it’s enough to have the products and now the details of around that, and, okay, go ahead and put it on the website or so. And that’s it. So that I think that’s one of the misconceptions. That are that is that is clear. I mean, you know, there was an article in ink, I think that that stated that 95% of new products fail, and part of the list of issues that contributed to the failure rates… 95% Yes. And, and they contributed to, you know, parts of the issues that contribute to this failure, right, is that there were lack of processes or bringing in marketing, not bringing in marketing from the start of product development. So that was also part of my job in my previous job at my previous company, where I had to build a go-to-market strategy template from scratch, and then also build it into the date process, right to make sure that in the beginning of the product lifecycle, or when the product is being developed from day zero and one, you need to already go through the go to market strategy already draft that go to market strategy, and get the insights from marketing so that, you know, you can really challenge the value propositions like, are we really looking at the key features that we need to make this product successful on the market? Like, okay, you know, sometimes, you know, the product team, and the project managers are, like, really focused on the resources and, and they’re thinking of, okay, you know, this feature is, is possible, we can we can create that feature, but then maybe that other feature is really going to be the key differentiator and make that product unique and special, that the customer is going to really be like, Wow, I need this product. Right. So, yeah, I think it’s such an important thing to also consider that and the whole process, you know, like, assuming that, you know, why your customer picked your products, right? So, there’s a lot of, you know, assumptions out there, like, you know, of course, you’d like busy, you know, getting the proof points, when you’re going to have a prospect, you’re getting the proof points, you’re setting up meetings, they’re setting up demos, and you’re, you know, just really busy making sure that the customer is happy. And then when the contract is finally signed off, and so on, why is going to ask like, Okay, do you know why the customer chose us? And, and then they’re just like, oh, yeah, they’ve mentioned some things, but it’s not really like 100% guarantee. It’s out of the discussion, it’s kind of clear that you know, that they haven’t really… they don’t really know 100%. Right. So I think that’s really important to understand that it’s maybe just worth getting on those customer calls as a marketer and asking directly why did you choose us right? What made? What made the product? What feature from the product made you decide that this is it? You know? And another misconception is when that creating messaging for the product is easy, you know, there was like many instances where like, okay, yeah, we’ll need five minutes to build the messaging for the product. And again, it goes back to what I mentioned earlier that you need to do the groundwork, you need to do the research, you need to understand the market, the competition, and also your customer base and find out okay, what is the product and customer fit? And what are the gains? And what are the pains of the customer? And then how do you address those with the products? And then create that value proposition that you then use in your messaging? And in your story? And then in your communication strategy?
Christian Klepp 10:54
Absolutely, absolutely. So you mean, the value proposition cannot be about your proprietary technology? You brought some really great points. And I wanted to go back to… I had two follow up questions, you know, based on your point. So one is, you kind of mentioned it in the past couple of minutes. But do you think a lot of the times why these mistakes happen is because there seems to be… and not necessarily pointing fingers at any specific group. But there seems to be a lack of the knowledge of the customer’s actual need, and how that product, or that solution can fulfill that need. Also, probably the buyers journey, because as we all know, in B2B, it tends to be a relatively nonlinear, highly complex, I’m going to call it an ecosystem. I mean, if you look at these, if you look at these reports, like from Gartner or whatnot, I mean, it’s a super complicated buying process. Right. So yeah, so that will be my first question.
Karin Samoylova 11:58
Yeah, there’s definitely a multiple touchpoints. I mean, that’s why it’s so hard to even understand what… when did the customer decide, you know. Sometimes it can be very obvious, you know, like, I can speak from my experience where we did a co-marketing campaign. And then afterwards, we had other customers calling us and like, oh, we want the exact same product that you announced. And, and the meeting just went smoothly. And so there, it was really, really clear where, where the marketing campaign gave direct return on investments, and in millions. But yeah, but then usually, you don’t know, you don’t know, really, where was the deciding factor, where was the point where they decided, “yes, that’s it”, you know, there’s multiple touchpoints and especially today, where most people are spending time in front of the PC, and in front of their phones are not anymore, you know, commuting or in meetings as much, or in trade shows or on the call, on the phone, you know, it’s really like you need, it’s through these marketing, digital marketing content that we’re using on the social media or in a webinar or a press release, or, you know, so many different touch points where one customer might have read about your product and your organization or your business. And that as a whole has helped them make that decision. Right. It’s so nuanced. You know, but that’s why it gets really important, again, to make sure you have the research, make sure your messaging is really rock solid, and then integrating it into the different assets and, and pushing that out. So that that it’s really consistent throughout the journey also internally outwards, you know, when sales speak, that they’re all speaking the same language.
Christian Klepp 13:44
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I love how you brought up the part about market research, because that’s a nice segue into the next question about the importance of conducting research. And I’m going to ask another question on top of that question, at least from your experience. Karin, do you feel that sometimes in B2B, they kind of treat conducting research as optional?
Karin Samoylova 14:07
Oh, yeah, definitely. You know, definitely. And, of course, I know, I understand. You know, it takes a lot of resource and time and effort, and then, you know, in the real day to day, we are so busy and, you know, products getting launched one after another and so many and there’s a lot of people to get aligned and get the key stakeholders involved. And, and I understand, you know, and that day to day that it gets difficult and you have to choose your priorities, but in order to have a successful product launch and to really resonate with your target audience, it’s really going to help to do that research.
Christian Klepp 14:46
Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. And most important of all, it’s, it’s so that you can develop these products and then take them to market without you know, and avoid the guesswork. work, I think, is that what I was trying to say?
Karin Samoylova 15:01
Christian Klepp 15:02
Because I’ve seen that personally happen where a product team and a marketing team launched a product to market based on their own experience, which in some cases might be a little bit outdated. Right? Because if you take your experience from, like, 10 years ago, well, then it’s probably not really relevant right now. Right?
Karin Samoylova 15:24
Christian Klepp 15:25
And especially in your in your current line of work. I mean, it’s constantly evolving. It’s technology. Right. So it’s…
Karin Samoylova 15:32
Oh, yeah. And I mean, that’s why, like, for the go to market strategy, it’s like, it’s a living document. Right. You know, when something pops up in the market, you know, you need to adjust. Yeah,
Christian Klepp 15:43
Asolutely. Absolutely. You talked about this a little bit earlier in the conversation, but you know, just going back to the parts and the different elements that are needed, in a go to market strategy, and communications strategy. So maybe just top level, can you? Can you give us a bit of a breakdown?
Karin Samoylova 16:00
Yeah, I mean, first with the go-to-market strategy. And you let’s, let’s start with a definition. And when I was looking back and 8-10 years ago, so again, okay, well, for a definition, and I found a pretty good one that I still like, you know, it’s saying that a go-to-market is the plan of an organization utilizing their inside and outside resources, for example, your sales team, with distributors or partners, to deliver their unique value proposition to customers and achieve competitive advantage. I really liked that definition, because it focus on creating the value proposition by and then using the inside and outside resources to, you know, communicate that outwards. And to make it in every stage of your product launch and edge as asset and each activity, part of it, you know, that value proposition. So it’s really clear and that, you know, we’re humans, we’re going to hear it once, but you need to hear it several times to really get it, you know, and, and here, it’s, that’s, that’s part of that go to market strategy. So that’s, that’s the definition. So and, and then the key elements, right, so from here, it’s from my experience, like I said before, it’s good to start from the beginning, you know, start during the beginning of when the product is being kicked off and accepted in the organization that’s usually have been engaged there or in other organizations more, you know, ad hoc, you can feel, you know, it has to be a few, at least around six months in advance, you know, around that timeframe. And the key elements of the go-to-market strategy, you know, I have like, even the number of abbreviation for myself to just, you know, always remember. So that’s the W C M, right? So it’s really sequential steps, you have to think of first, why. The why of why do you need a go to market strategy. is a new product that’s going into existing markets? Or is it a new product going into new markets? Or is it an updated product that’s going into new markets, if it’s an updated product going to an existing market that the customer already knows, then, more or less, you’re not really going to have to need to have a full blown go to market strategy going on maybe a marketing plan? But yeah, so that’s the why. Define the why. Why do you need to go to market strategy and then also, what is the big innovation that your product is providing, you know, to your target audience, and, and then next with the C is create value proposition. Really, you know, research your MCC, so your market, competitor and your customer, and then understand the product customer fit, you know, define the key messages. And also, and then you go to the next step, where it’s the M, make the magic right happen. So that’s where you build that story. And then you will decide on the different assets and activities where you’re going to weave that story into, it’s inside those assets and activities. And then yeah, you’ll have to then of course, you know, review that and see what are the key KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you’re gonna look at. And that’s where this is then the part where the communications strategy has to come over and you’re gonna make that magic happen, you know, you’re gonna take that story and key messages. And define which assets you’re going to use and which activities you’re going to do, right, if it’s like a big product launch, you need the whole package. And then if it’s a more minor launch than a more smaller package, and then defining in advance also what performance indicators are going to look at as a benchmark, and then and reviewing it, you know, and then of course, you know, involving the team, the rest of the team that’s and aligning and executing. So that’s basically the difference between, you know, the key elements of the go to market strategy and a communications strategy.
Christian Klepp 20:08
Okay. Well, thanks for sharing that, I’m gonna ask you something only because you’ve brought it up a couple of times, right? Like, it’s something you’ve talked about, like, you’ve got to tell that story and, you know, convey that story and deliver that story. So I’m going to go back and ask you, like, explain a little bit more – What is in the story like, like, again, like, I’m trying to use that, that technical analogy where you try to, like, you know, if you get a TV, and then you open it up and break it down into its parts. Alright, what that story feels like.
Karin Samoylova 21:07
Sure, let me break it down. I mean, it’s, it’s quite straightforward, but I guess not as such for us. So it’s good that you raised that. Because it’s not that easy, especially in B2B marketing. And I think in technical companies, it’s more like, Okay, here’s a list of features, that’s great, the benefits, and then create the assets, you know, but for instance, for press release, and for, you know, your presentations, if you’re going to webinars, it’s so helpful to have that story. And that story is basically, you know, looking at the trends, the market, and then that’s the context, and then your product, how does your product kind of fit in the context? And then how does it fit to the customer? Or how does it answer the customer needs? So it’s that fusion of those three things, you know, so market trends, your products, highlights and the customer needs? And then that’s the key. Yeah, that’s the key. Those are the key elements, basically, when building that story. And that’s, that’s why it’s, again, really good to have that research. Right. And so that’s where it’s gonna help.
Christian Klepp 22:25
Yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely. I love how you brought that up about, like, you know, how it should focus on the customer, it reminds me, I don’t know if you’ve read the book. But there’s a book out there by a guy called Donald Miller. And it’s about building your story brand. And basically, he uses the same principles in storytelling, and this is applicable to marketing across the board. But um, I think what I’m trying to get at here is he was using the story format that you see if you read any type of mythology around the world, right? So it’s basically where, you know, you make the customer, the hero, right? So basically, the format is a hero has a problem, meets a guide, who has a solution that prompts him to take action, so that he or she succeeds, and avoids failure. So I mean, and it was so interesting how, like, when you just explained that a couple of minutes ago, how your explanation just kind of fit beautifully into that into that formula, so to speak.
Karin Samoylova 23:34
Yeah, it’s usually like that, right? In a story. You know, if you look or read a book, there’s always going to be the, you know, the problem and the main character who has this issue, and then goes through this. And then it goes through these different phases of the story where you go violent, builds up, builds up, builds up, and there’s a peak and then it goes down. So yeah, I think I didn’t see in that, you know, it’s good that you kind of connected that. I like that. But it’s that’s how it works,
Christian Klepp 24:02
Unless, of course, you’re referring to Game of Thrones, where everything is super anticlimactic.(laugh) And you feel that the outcome is predictable. But it’s not that that’s, that’s a different. That’s a different story entirely. But Karin and we are getting to the point in the conversation where I asked my guests for actionable tips. Yeah. Let’s, let me just set this up here. Alright. Because let’s also appreciate that not everything that you do in your field of work can be done overnight. Right? This isn’t something that can you know, you have a 48 hour turnaround, but there are some things that B2B marketers can do right now to address some of these challenges that they’re having. So that’s the question. Yeah. So what are some immediate steps that B2B marketers can take to improve the develop both a go to market strategy and a communications strategy? So talk about what they should focus on? What are some quick wins?
Karin Samoylova 25:00
Right? Yeah, I think there’ll be three points that I’m going to share today. I think first is make sure you have a template or a framework. This is for your peace of mind. It’s really to reduce your stress levels and frustration levels have a framework. And if you don’t have one, get one there are experts out there professionals out there that have a proven template for a go-to-market strategy or communications strategy, and go get one or create one sit down like back, then when I created one from scratch a 10 years ago, I sat there with head of marketing and the product strategy, and we’re like, okay, what are the key things that we have to look at, and then it evolves so you can try that, that’s going to take some time, or you just go out there and find one. And that’s one of my recommendations, right. So you can start feeling like you have a control over the process of your product launch. And second one would be, get more on customer calls, get more on customer calls. And I know that it takes time to build credibility and an if you’re in an organization, you know, to build credibility, and trust so that, you know, either sales go organizes that call, or you just sit in one of those calls. But don’t give up, ask for. So you can start today by asking to get more on customer calls to just listen in first. And then eventually, maybe you can then ask your questions. That way you get firsthand input from the customer, instead of it being that conversation being filtered through by different people like the sales person or so even though Yeah, it’s great to get that view perspective from sales. But it’s going to be totally different story if you can have that direct conversation with the customer, so that you can ask your marketing questions. Now, so definitely, I would recommend that as a second thing. And then third experience the product. And I think I once posted that on LinkedIn. And that’s what I call myself sometimes not easy to do that. And, and I understand not every form of product, but at least one form of the product or Legacy product that your company produces. That way you can really understand the customers pains and gains and really understand, okay, how does it feel like I mean, go join that programming course, even though you’re going to be the idiot in the room, because you don’t have the technical background. But even just going through that process and trying it out, you understand kind of what is customer going through, what was the customer going through with the different steps and get a feel of it firsthand, and that’s where you can then really build a story right, you gonna be understand the different, you know, usually when you’re gonna write something about a product without knowing it’s, you’re gonna get 80% of it, you know, but that rest of the 20% that really matters really shows that you understand the customer is really going to help to experience the product. So I really would recommend as a third thing to try to experience a product like one form of and not every type of it and feature. I understand that gets a bit overwhelming, but at least some of it, you know. So that would be the three things that I would recommend that B2B marketers should do straight away. And if you do that, I can promise you, you’re going to be ahead of the game.
Christian Klepp 28:36
Those are some pretty solid tips, I have to say. You made me think of at least two follow up questions as you were giving your recommendations. I think the first one and this is not necessarily to play devil’s advocate, but I’m sure you can. I’m sure you can answer this. And the proven template piece, right. So there are some people, even in my own experience as a marketer that have that are opposed to always giving people templates to follow. And part of that reason might be because, you know, things change so quickly. Although part of me feels that this refusal to use templates, is actually just creating more work for the marketers further down the road. But anyway, enough about me, what are your What are your thoughts on that?
Karin Samoylova 29:29
Look, as I said, I’m really pragmatic, its template is not rigid, you know, like, all the templates that I bring to the company, or like, for instance, to ABB robotics, where I work, it’s not you know, it’s a team. First of all, you get team input, and different stakeholders, and each organization is different. And all the different things are important. But then also, product launches are different too. So you’re gonna not use each element, perhaps, you’re gonna skip maybe some of them, you know, there’s, there’s a blown out template, and then you’re gonna see what works for this launch. But then there are those key elements that you will see yourself that those are important that that’s an, you know, non-negotiable. So it’s going to give you a place where you can start, right now instead of just, you know, stress overload, like, Oh, I’m being ad hoc, and, you know, we’re human, you know, so we, that just gives you a framework. It’s a guide, it’s the go to document where everyone’s gonna get aligned, and you can just use it as what works for that moment and that product?
Christian Klepp 30:31
Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely. No. So that was my first question. And then the second one is going, you know, to the part about, like, experiencing the product. So it’s interesting that you brought up that point, because, um, I had somebody, someone else on the show was about a week or so ago. And he was coming from a place where he said that it’s important for marketers, and I’m sure you agree with this, and to highlight the impact that their efforts are making to the business. And part of how they should be doing that is, and he encouraged us marketers to go and take a finance course, for non-financial people. Right. So basically, marketers, and I was where I, you know, finance is not my favorite topic, but I did, I did learn it for the same reason, you have to know how to read a P&L. Because you have to understand how the company makes money. Right?
Karin Samoylova 31:28
Christian Klepp 31:29
So your thoughts on that? Because, you know, I think there’s two camps in the marketing world.
Karin Samoylova 31:34
Oh, yes. No, that’s gonna help you so much, or No, I mean, it’s, I’m so thankful for my experience, when I was working at Puma and retail, I was the assistant, well, retail coordinator to the head of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) retail. And, you know, we were looking through the P&L together, and I was helping him with doing that. And that was, I’m so glad for that experience, because there was already the crash course on everything. You know, I was asking him questions. And I was going to finance department to try to find the discrepancies and so forth. So know that has helped me so much to understand, and I agree with you, that’s gonna help really much to understand, you know, what matters for the business. What your CEO of your company might care about. Growth, profit, margin, EBIT? So, yeah, that’s, that’s definitely good advice.
Christian Klepp 32:28
Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, so let’s say, you know, what the implementation of a campaign is, or the initiatives are just as important as the strategy. So, you know, you’ve given us so many great tips so far, but what are some specific metrics that marketers should be looking at when it comes to go to market and communications? And maybe top level? Because you can go nuts here? And how so many excellent metrics and attribution? Right, so?
Karin Samoylova 32:56
Oh, yeah. I mean, like I said, you know, you got to look at some key performance indicators. But I take it also for as, you know, with a grain of salt, you know, I believe in gathering and looking at data, it’s good. And it’s a really good, you know, like, can I say relative indicator, but it’s not an absolute indicator, you know, there’s some non-negotiable assets that you’re going to have to do for any product launch. And then you got to relieve also some room for creativity, too. But we, we do look at any metrics, such as in our social media engagements, you know, the webinar participants and attendees. And then like more qualitative, like, how, what questions were asked, and then we go to another main marketing asset, for instance, product launch or product brochures, how many were downloaded, the traffic to the product webpage? And, and all of those usual metrics that give you a really good indicator, like, Okay, how was that launch, you know, you look at it from the day of launch till a month out. But then again, also, you know, really, really, like tied in with the metrics too, you got to look at you know, marketing has also long lasting impact and, and I think we’re going to talk about it also, later, that, you have to see that sometimes you’re gonna have activities after product launch, and they’re gonna give a really good return on investment there. That’s also really important, of course, obviously, metric that you want to look at, you know, what, how’s it impacting the revenue, how many products were sold in that period of time in that one year timeframe, but in a month, it’s a bit hard. So, you know, there’s like, there’s different levels that I I’d like to I look at, you know, one month after launch those key metrics, and then also a year later, you know, where I go revisit again and check those metrics and also other impacts that really influenced the business. And I think also worth mentioning is also qualitative metrics such as those when looking at the customer journey. It’s really important saying okay, what are the typical touchpoints that you will see for this product? And then analyzing and seeing, okay, where does it, where is it worth investing your resources and you know, Like, where should you invest time and resource? And, for instance, if you see that the customer is going to be for sure I wonder how to use the product, then for sure sometime in your campaign or, or product launch, or afterwards, you’re going to have to make a user guide video if you really want to do even better impact for a better experience for your customer. So, yeah, that’s kind of like, I guess the nutshell of the key metrics of that topic.
Christian Klepp 35:59
Okay. Okay. Well, I mean, yeah, and I tend to agree with that, like, it’s interesting. The qualitative aspect. In many, in many cases, how little airtime that gets, because of the fact that it can’t be measured. I mean, at least not the way that you know, you look at a spreadsheet or a chart of data, right? It’s a little bit harder to measure. Like, what you know, as you said, like, when you conduct in depth customer interviews, for example, right. How to measure that, for instance?
Karin Samoylova 36:31
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I mean, there’s also depending on your business, right, you’re gonna look at how fast you converted that, that lead. And so yeah, you can really go on this topic. Like you said,
Christian Klepp 36:45
Yeah, yep. Another podcast episode. (laugh) Okay, well, and here, here comes a question, but you and I have been discussing, like, at least for a day or two, a status quo that you passionately disagree with? And why?
Karin Samoylova 37:06
I want to say, well, to this question, I, my response will be that I think the usual status quo is investing a lot of time and effort in organizing a product launch, you know, up towards the day, where it really peaks, the efforts peak, and then you put it out to the world. And then you hear crickets, it’s just quiet, and you don’t hear a peep. I think that is such a waste, and you need to continue the momentum, whether it’s an it’s not just socially just posting again, on social media, I think there you need to work with the product manager work with a team and say, okay, look, what is happening in the in the backend, you know, what are the… what are the activities are happening with the customer? What are the opportunities that we have to relaunch or make another and, you know, communication or another marketing activity to, again, do another peak, you know, and bring it back to life, and continuing that momentum. Right. So, I think that’s a huge status quo that I tried to fight against. And again, it’s a big battle, because there’s lots going on, more products to launch and, and it goes to us, but it’s always like, when you have that time, go back, look at what have we launched, check in, ask those questions. And see, if there’s an opportunity to again to make some noise again,
Christian Klepp 38:36
I tend to agree with that. What I’m gonna say is that that’s a pretty strong current you’re swimming against there. And I think, I think a lot of it also has to do with and I’m sure you’ve had the same experience, there’s a lot of this inside out versus outside in, right going on because like, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re launching this product, and everybody internally is getting so excited, and it’s going on market. And what sometimes people internally don’t realize is that maybe the market doesn’t know. Or, or maybe they don’t, maybe they don’t care. Right. And, and then when and then, as you said, then suddenly, there’s crickets, and everybody’s like, well, what’s happening? How come there’s no momentum? Right? Yeah. And you’re absolutely right, that, you know, you shouldn’t complain to use that English expression, not lose steam. Right? It has to it has to keep going. Right? It has to, because the launch itself, the launch itself is not necessarily going to be the one that you know, makes those big waves that everybody’s hoping for internally right?
Karin Samoylova 39:46
Exactly, Christian, because yeah, and that’s why you need to, again, repeat, repurpose the content, find opportunities, like you know, write a white paper or do another webinar after the product has been in the market and see, like, get the responses from customers and build a story around that. So yeah, there’s a lot that you can do. And that’s why I think I’m a big believer to have that.
Christian Klepp 40:11
Yeah, no, absolutely. And, you know, as long as you believe that you’ve got plenty of work to do. Plenty of work.
Karin Samoylova 40:18
That’s, that’s, that’s the downside of it. Right?
Christian Klepp 40:21
It can be it can be the downside, but it can also be an opportunity, right? It can be an opportunity now
Karin Samoylova 40:28
Definitely yeah, to stand out
Christian Klepp 40:30
to stand out, going back…
Karin Samoylova 40:34
B2B marketer, you know, if you… you want to create the visibility or you want to Yeah, make a difference then there’re opportunities there.
Christian Klepp 40:42
Absolutely. Absolutely. Karin, this has been an amazing conversation of, you know, as expected. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your expertise with the listeners. So quick intro to yourself and help people out there can get in touch with you.
Karin Samoylova 41:00
Yeah, sure. I mean, yeah, if you don’t know, my name is Karin Samoylova. And you can find me on LinkedIn. I am a B2B marketer. I’ve been doing B2B marketing as a product communications manager for 8, 10 years. And in high tech companies, startup, midsize to large corporations. Today I’m working for ABB robotics, I am very passionate about you know, translating key features into value propositions and building a framework to help launch your product with a bang. So if you have any questions or you want to connect, just go out and reach out to me. Go ahead and reach out to me and on LinkedIn. Thank you so much, Christian. It’s been such so much fun.
Christian Klepp 41:45
Ya no, it’s been it’s been an absolute pleasure. I mean, I had a blast. But um, so once again, thanks so much for coming on. Vielen Dank! Terima kasih!
Karin Samoylova 41:50
Vielen Dank! Christian.
Christian Klepp 42:00
So take care, stay safe and talk to you soon.
Karin Samoylova 42:02
Thanks. Take care. Bye.
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