If hatching a go-to-market strategy was easy, there wouldn't be the need for data analysis, customer profiles, brand positioning or the hundreds of other considerations a senior product manager must account for prior to launch.
It's a complex, hugely important process that usually determines product success long before it actually goes to market. Whether it's new software or cosmetics, a long-term plan is necessary. And for most of those, there are roadmaps to follow from other similar, already established product lines.
That's not the case with blockchain-based products. The technology is so new that most people still equate it with Bitcoin and move on. That's just one of the reasons that trying to use a boilerplate GTM strategy means almost certain failure.
If you're on the forefront of blockchain technology, here's why your go-to-market has to be different.
Most People Don't Know What You're Talking About
Educating users is a key part of any new product launch. It's just that with blockchain, you have a lot more ground to cover than normal. Finding a way to both inform and entertain potential users is critical but difficult. When you start discussing hash encryptions with a non-technical audience, you're going to lose them.
It's important to remember that while you really care about why your product works, the user is more interested in how it works for them. Demonstrate the value and necessity of a blockchain solution, while providing opportunities to educate in small doses along the way.
There Is No Existing Marketplace
Marketplace positioning is integral to a classic GTM. You can determine early on whether you're going for thought leadership, innovation, low-cost alternatives etc.
When there is no existing marketplace to position your brand in, you have to create that first, and understand that where you establish your brand will become a benchmark for future competitors.
There's a lot of opportunities with the challenges, but take into account that traditional branding may not fully encompass the potential of your product in a brand new market. With blockchain's ability to eliminate third-party systems, branding for low-cost placement in addition to innovation placement is entirely achievable for ventures that deal with traditional technology like banking or real estate transactions - something that would be easily missed with a traditional approach.
New Market Segmentations Must be Defined
It used to be that if you had new payroll software, your market was more than likely HR professionals and CPAs. There was little reason to appeal to the majority of workers who would be paid by your software, because they didn't care how it happened as long as they were paid.
However, if your blockchain based solution offers the chance to bring equity to a payment system, workers who feel shortchanged for their hard work are likely to be much more interested than before. In effect, the new blockchain technology opens up an entirely new market to generate demand and drive implementation -- and that has to be accounted for in the GTM, not as an afterthought.
It also means that you can't pursue traditional segmentations. You have to consider how your product can affect the entire ecosystem. Not only will that open up new marketing avenues, it will help shape product development and branding long before launch.
It's a Different Strategic World
New technology creates opportunity that didn't exist before. While the potential is nearly limitless with blockchain, that's easily squandered by using a traditional approach. Strategizing for blockchain technology implementation is a different game that requires a unique understanding of a brand new ecosystem.