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"goto market"

"goto market"


📺 Watch: ((TODO: include the youtube link here once the recording is live))

Other Sailsconf 2024 videos: https://www.youtube.com/@sailscasts

The talks from Sailsconf 2021, Sailsconf 2022, and Sailsconf 2023 are also available on YouTube, including Mike's keynotes. (And the slide decks are available at: https://speakerdeck.com/mikermcneil)

Mike McNeil

May 13, 2024

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  1. 2024 conf goto market For fun AND profit There is

    no separate category of humans known as "business people" • Just like code: If you can build an app, you will have no problem mechanizing a business. • Selling = listening + caring + focus. And growth is just like troubleshooting a broken app. Just because you're good at code doesn't mean you're "bad" at selling or marketing. You actually have an advantage, because you already know data and logic (nouns and verbs), and you have troubleshooting experience. Worried you don't know enough? Email deliverability? A/B testing? fancy automations? doing "what everyone does"? (Hint: Chances are, none of these are your biggest problem. The problem is probably what you intuitively think it is. Because the CRM is just a database. Follow your nose.) • The technology part is all the same. • You don't need Wordpress. Or Hubspot. Or any particular tool. For example: Salesforce == like MySQL, but crustier. • Everything is just an API, with... gotchas. • An internal product: Contributing to GTM technology is sooooo much like contributing to code... • But neither marketing nor sales are usually equipped to know how to be a product owner and maintain an app. Contrary to popular opinion, that's exactly what GTM technology is: an internal app. • Remember: Marketing is just one stakeholder driving the roadmap for your internal product: the website and other GTM technology. A culture of "carte blanche" can lead to premature delegation, leading you to prioritize the wrong things, clashes and misunderstandings with other teams about the expected schema/lead sources/lead scoring/etc, and ultimately grinding your change velocity to a halt. • Confusing GTM infrastructure comes with a massive opportunity cost. You can even end up wasting months just to dig out back to a clean slate where you started. (Think of database schema migrations. Now, imagine a large, mission-critical dataset stored in a database designed by someone who had never designed a database before, nor migrated data themselves.) • Even more frustrating is that these sorts of quagmires are usually avoidable wasted effort, if you'd just delegated it to the right person at the beginning, or just spent a couple of weeks doing it yourself. • Common advice: "There are 3 kinds of marketer…": brand, PMM, demand gen • Lesson: None of those "kinds of marketer" is the right person to set things up. • My advice: FIRST, be 1 kind of developer / entrepreneur. THEN, start listening to other people's advice.
  2. 2024 conf goto market Is it any good? Why listen

    to unsolicited advice from me, this guy on the internet? • Who am I? • Mike McNeil, creator of Sails.js · twitter.com/mikermcneil • CEO, Fleet · linkedin.com/in/mikermcneil • https:// fl eetdm.com/handbook/company/leadership#ceo- fl aws • Caveat: My knowledge is biased by/limited to my journeys so far: • Enterprise SaaS (from ≈0-10M ARR) • Dev & design shop (bootstrapped 50+ different apps between 2010-2020) • Consumer real-estate tech (from 0-100k+ MRR)
  3. 2024 conf goto market So, what is "GTM"? • Delivering

    value • Receiving money • The mouth of the funnel • How it actually works • "Doing marketing" From developer to marketer
  4. 2024 conf goto market Delivering value Giving the customer what

    they want • Got to actually get the stuff to the customer • Releases, release notes, devops (not a talk on devops) • Order management & customer support • CRM integration • Demo: fl eetdm.com/start + Salesforce • Admin dashboards
  5. 2024 conf goto market Receiving money From lead to paying

    customer • Terminology (leads, oppts, accounts, contacts, pipeline, "the funnel", oh my!) • 2 categories of customer experience • PLG: Credit cards & stuff. What it's like & how it's sold • Sales-led: Invoicing, contracts, accounts receivable. What it's like • System of record • Basically your business is just an app and it needs a database to represent stuff-- but it's all spread out in all these… tools • 2 kinds of database: system of record (source of truth) vs. reporting/bookkeeping (like logs) • "Fleeties" vs payroll system (Gusto, Plane, etc) • "Equity plan" vs Carta • for recurring expenses: "The Numbers" vs. Quickbooks • CRM (Salesforce, etc): system of record for revenue • Bookkeeping (Quickbooks, etc): system of record for expenses. Separately, responsible for GAAP reporting • » SaaS metrics ("KPIs") (» Investor updates / "all hands" presentations / board decks)
  6. 2024 conf goto market The mouth of the funnel Part

    1: From website visitor to lead • Meet the market: Don't wait for your fi rst leads to talk to people • Personas • Demo: Audiences (SalesNavigator is actually more granular but this is a high-level summary) • Website • Webpages ("sitemap") • Messaging framework • Personalization • Demo: Tour of fl eetdm.com through various eyes • Analytics (knowing it's working) • What about heatmaps? A/B testing?
  7. 2024 conf goto market The mouth of the funnel Part

    2: Lead sources • Source of truth for CRM data schema should be understood by someone technical, and should include/drive your lead sources. • Keep it simple (not too many!) • "Website - Signup" • "Website - Contact forms" • "Website - Swag request" • "Website - Waitlist" • "Events" (badge scans) • "Ads" (if using in-platform lead-gen forms) • Ads • Common platforms: Google adwords vs. Linkedin / Google display / Reddit / Facebook • Demo: Google analytics and Linkedin ads
  8. 2024 conf goto market How it actually works And some

    of the "gotchas" • Example: sitemap.xml (SEO) • Example: routes.js (redirects) • Example: receive-from-stripe.js (webhook) • Example: Zapier (misc marketing automation) • Example: get-enriched.js (organization ± contact enrichment) • Example: /helpers/salesforce (integration w/ CRM or other system of record) • Example: layout.ejs (installing analytics, social share image unfurling, <meta> tags) • Example: /hooks/custom/index.js + .ejs fi les + redirects (personalization) • Example: save-questionnaire-progress.js (psychological stages) • Advice from Rachael Shaw: Make either CRM or Sails app read-only. Easier to make changes to Sails apps, because you can control the operations. Easier when it's people who understand data who change the data; especially if they're people who understand the particular data model and details of the app/ GTM system (e.g. the developer[s] who built it) • More advice from Rachael Shaw: Be noisy in your assertions about correct data and staying in sync. And then monitor every 5xx error.
  9. 2024 conf goto market "Doing marketing" Part 1: Marketing programs

    • Marketing "programs" • Things that drive psychological progress towards either: • more of the "right kind of stuff" (quali fi ed opportunities++ driven by an increase to educated intent from people in the ICP) • or the "right vibes" (NPS++, stickiness++, documentation traf fi c++, contributors++) • Typical marketing programs: • original content [social media, blog, videos] • events • ads • placed or community content [podcast appearances, guest posts] • press releases • digital conversation starting • referrals & in fl uencers
  10. 2024 conf goto market "Doing marketing" Part 2: Getting things

    done • Advice for $0-10M ARR: The bare minimum, and beyond • "As the product owner of GTM systems, I want to…" • First, lay the groundwork. Whoever owns the initial setup will need to be experienced working with databases and APIs, or ready to learn. Avoid delegating setup to anyone who isn't already experienced working with troubleshooting and working databases and APIs, or who isn't at least technical and ready to learn. This is much easier if they've worked with code before, even a little bit. • Keep things moving. It is easy for marketing work to get deprioritized early on. Keep the lights on and things moving forward by default. Set up processes which happen like clockwork, no matter what. Make it boring, and keep it easy to change things. Change things frequently. Make sure changes go live immediately and don't sit. • For example, review all new proposed changes to the website daily. Revise again and again until a change passes the review. eg. 30m, at set time, reviewer never cancels. Meet every day unless the marketer has no new changes ready to review yet. Up to marketer to cancel. • Use change control. It will save you time and pain. There are amazing marketers and other people on your team who will contribute to marketing who are not always ALSO good database designers and systems thinkers. Build processes & design the contributor experience fi rst, before prematurely delegating to the marketer (who is almost always someone less experienced with databases, programming, troubleshooting, and naming). This way, stuff isn't changing out from under you and you understand what you're doing so you can make informed decisions. • For example, review all changes to brandfronts (e.g. linkedin company page, twitter, crunchbase) before they go live, at your existing daily review. It is up to the marketer to bring proposed changes. • Then, as you get more and more aligned, you can switch to a post-facto review, where you look at the latest after the fact, on a recurring basis, e.g. monthly or quarterly. As needed, you can always step back up to the daily pre-launch change reviews. • Use GitOps when possible*. * there isn't a good way to do this for managing advertising targeting+messaging yet. It's on my list of weekend projects ;) But if you get to it fi rst, please lmk!
  11. 2024 conf goto market "Doing marketing" Part 3: The fi

    rst two quarters • First 0-3 months: Reduce unplanned work while keeping the lights on. Make it boring to keep things moving forward, avoid surprises, and make it easy to change things. • Start by setting up the minimal rituals (change cadence on website, social media content calendar, weekly KPIs, messaging framework) • Document those and kick them off. "As the marketer every Friday, I want to…" • Then layer on more rituals; e.g. quarterly: press releases, event budgeting, content (video/articles) planning • Demo: fl eetdm.com/handbook/demand (historical overview) • First 3-6 months: Then prioritize the hard work of learning your market. • Use all those processes you set up so that iterative improvement actually occurs while you keep the lights on (KTLO). Then, as you learn, adjust your most basic "KTLO" strategy to market to it. • Tip: From day 1, develop your website messaging framework with a buddy; not in a vacuum. This helps hold yourself accountable for progress, gives the team redundancy for when you're out, and plants the seeds of alignment/enablement.
  12. 2024 conf goto market "Doing marketing" Part 4: Now what?

    • 6 months and beyond: THEN you can get clever and do actual campaigns. • At this stage, things are well-de fi ned enough for a marketer to actually get work done: • Company-wide systems exist like project management, OKRs, weekly KPI reporting, and budget reviews, that provide the levers necessary to deploy a marketing budget effectively and get the changes done. • Market is known, strategy is clear • Marketers have the tools and framework already set up to go execute on it, without reinventing the wheel • This is where you're overdue to bring in experienced marketing talent, even if that talent doesn't have extensive database design and coding experience. • A good place to start is with someone who is a utility player that can keep the lights on with writing, video, social media, events, and basic ads. • Beyond that, a common next marketing hire is demand generation fi rst [look for an expert with the advertising tools, an objective experimenting mind, and a hard worker]. • Next, it is common to hire a PMM around ≈70 employees. You'll want to fi nd someone who could be a customer or a solutions engineer, but who is also a good writer. This only reason you can wait this long is that someone from the team has been reviewing changes to the website every day, and continues doing that with the PMM. • For brand, people usually just start with a PR fi rm and don't hire for a long time. It's a good idea early on for the CEO to work closely with the PR fi rm and review every press release.