In 1968, the Beatles released a self-titled record that became widely known as “the White Album,” which, though amazing and iconic, revealed a surprising hodgepodge of musical styles. To this day, it is infamously understood as the album that first showcased the band’s disunity, foreshadowing their split in 1970. Just like being in harmony is vital to a band like the Beatles, it’s important for organizations to unite around an audience-focused go-to-market strategy. To do this effectively, it’s imperative to get executive buy-in. CEOs have enough on their plates, so how can portfolio marketers get their attention? First, make sure your CEO knows that organizations that put the customer at the center of strategy, leadership, and operations — which Forrester calls customer-obsessed — grow revenue and profitability more than twice as fast as companies that don’t. Focusing on three things will convince your CEO that embracing an audience-focused go-to-market strategy is crucial for business.
Here Comes The Organizational Alignment
In many cases, multiple go-to-market strategies exist within an organization. This happens because disparate functions approach things from their own point of view. The product team builds an offering for one audience, marketing creates messages for another, and sales targets yet a different audience. These siloed go-to-market strategies often result in frustrated employees and finger-pointing when results are lackluster. Taking an audience-focused approach, however, provides an opportunity for cross-functional alignment. This is imperative to an organization’s success, as it ensures that allocation of resources is focused on the most relevant and beneficial target audience. Show your CEO how an audience-focused go-to-market strategy aligns teams, producing happier, more productive employees who can better serve the customer and yield better business results.
All You Need Is To Understand And Emphasize Buyer Needs
Understanding buyer needs is a critical first step to being audience-focused. Conversations should begin with what your buyers are trying to accomplish and what outcomes they must achieve, not what you have in your portfolio to sell to them! It’s not easy to let go of product-centric ways, but companies that successfully make the pivot to audience centricity will flourish. By thinking about buyer needs first, portfolio marketers can craft messaging that resonates, identify the offerings in their portfolio that best meet those needs, and enable both buyer- and customer-facing roles within the organization. This gives you the best chance of having meaningful engagement with your buyers, developing a healthy pipeline of relevant opportunities, and increasing your ability to win business. And hitting revenue targets is something that every CEO cares about.
Oh! Growth And Innovation
B2B organizations that successfully adopt an audience-focused go-to-market strategy benefit from both upstream and downstream effects. Some companies believe they have “become audience-focused” because they build messaging or campaigns that are more audience-focused than in the past. But this is a far too tactical approach. Organizations must have an audience-first mindset when it comes to setting strategy and driving upstream decision-making. When product teams can fuel innovation based on buyer needs and go-to-market motions are streamlined around the highest-potential segments and buyers, that is when companies thrive, resulting in growth and innovation.
When it comes to convincing your CEO that an audience-focused go-to-market strategy is needed, don’t just “let it be.” Help shape success for your organization by highlighting the three key areas of organizational alignment, buyer-need importance, and growth and innovation. Clients of the Forrester Decisions for Portfolio Marketing service can visit our research portal for access to materials that offer guidance on putting these ideas into practice. If you’re not a current client, visit us here to learn more.