Tag Archive: tools


In past posts I have focused on implementing GTM standards for product release management. I have made the case that the LBGUPS (Learn, Buy, Get, Use, Pay Service) model can be applied to all products and all industries. The standards afford companies the ability to manage their releases on time and under budget more efficiently. It is important for companies and teams to note that while applying these standards, they should guard against losing their product differentiation messages and market positioning.

No one comments on corporate culture and the workplace dynamic better than Scott Adams’ Dilbert. Check out this apropos strip. http://bit.ly/4y8AEB. Even though standards often create comfortably and conformity, a case can be made for individuality in product development and the GTM process to avoid mediocrity and parity. Whether your products and services are sold via direct sales reps, channels, verticals etc. the efficacy of the sale is based on intrinsic product value. The product value might be price based, customer service based,  or offer increased value and /or productivity. It can also be any combination of all of these. Either way every product has “reasons to believe” that should tie back inherently to the brand value and proposition. (Check my past post dated 8/10/10  for info on marketing and brand cohesion). These “brand proof points” tell the story of how your new product/service fits into the overall portfolio and benefits the customer. Customers purchase based on brand or product individuality with integrated reasons to believe. The challenge of a product development, release management and marketing team is to display how their product is different from what is in the market today while staying true to the brand framework and offer.

These key product values need to be identified and translated early in the strategy and product development cycle to avoid customer confusion on offer vs. value. By inserting a review of brand credo and value proposition early in the strategy and development cycle, requirements teams, product development and marketing can avoid scope creep and execute a streamlined development  and deployment process. The resulting product or service will not violate any brand or “big rules” and strengthen the customer’s “reasons to believe” in the brand or offer proposition. Now the easy part….sell!

You may have the best GTM strategy, an excellent project manager, built and brought your product to market with the customer in focus, but if your offer is not surrounded with marketing programs that match your brand, you are sure to miss your mark. The continuum of the GTM cycle must include marketing programs as part of the LEARN Phase of LBGUPS that add to your company or product line brand.

Let’s assume we are starting our brand, launching a new product line or transforming our offer plan for a product line. We need to ask a few key questions:

  1. Is our brand and marketing programs conveying consistent messaging, and building on our established brand?
  2. Have we done research and segmented our customer base to target our offers?
  3. Do our offers leverage each other?

Tamsen McMahon adds another apropos question to the list from a recent post on her blog shared with Amber Naslund http://www.brasstackthinking.com/2010/08/offer-or-sell/ “Offer or Sell?”.  Are we offering what we sell or selling what we offer?

Companies need to further the customer relationship and offer value vs. a product. Do you want to be perceived as a company that pushes widget after widget with little value add? You might  sell units, but will might fail to build a lasting relationship with your customer.  The marketing activities you use to support your product should not only push your current offer, but enhance brand awareness and elicit brand resonance/loyalty. If your brand fails to resonate and people don’t buy in to, you are doomed.

In today’s climate of corporate distrust fueled by bankruptcies, accounting scandals and non-transparency, your brand must be consistent truthful and respected to continue to enjoy success. As David Kiley explores in the clip on my vodpod widget on the right for Business Week, brand trust is what sets the stage for great performance and consumer trust.

In a nutshell, bring your product/service to market, build your reputation, treat your customers as your #1 commodity and watch the profits roll in.

By now, you have all read my previous post on the GTM cycle and the interrelationships between the various phases. You also now know that it’s critical to develop a go-to-market plan that clearly describes the goals of the new service and outlines the steps needed to market, operationalize, and support the product/service.  Just as important as the go-to-market plan, is the controls that are put in place to manage the risks/dependencies and timelines. This is where a good program/project manager is introduced.  

PMI, the standards organization that sets the guidelines for Project Manager Certification (PMP) recognizes 5 basic process groups typical of almost all projects. The basic concepts are applicable to projects, programs and operations. The five basic process groups are:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing

Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or phase. Processes are described in terms of:

  • Inputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.)
  • Tools and Techniques (mechanisms applied to inputs)
  • Outputs (documents, products, etc.)

These ITTOs form the document base for most projects and guide the project teams through the GTM process to bring products/services to customers on time and under budget.

A quality program/project manager works cross functionally to “connect the dots” and keep everything on track. Without this experienced professional, the best product/service will fall flat before it reaches market and before it delivers on its promises. Organizations need to segment each product/service and structure the GTM process with the PM being the lead.  If successful, companies will capitalize on their often sizable investment in human capital.