Some History Lessons…
Before you are introduced to the new terminology, I would like to invite you to travel back in time with me and look back at how Marketing has evolved over the years. If, in the 19th century, people used the concept of Marketing to guarantee sales & purchase processes for a larger audience, today we’re witnessing how Marketing helps businesses to grow and build meaningful experiences for customers. Today, the exposure companies get through online platforms is enormous. Just consider this simple fact, it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users, whereas a Miniclip’s game such as Agar.io took only half a year to reach that milestone.
Therefore, throughout this time the Marketing process has evolved to accommodate the emergence of increasing audiences and changing habits, transforming from a process to guarantee sales of goods & services to larger audience into a process that helps businesses grow through building meaningful experiences for their customers.
Needless to say, every company has to cope with a very dynamic competitive environment. Losing focus or entering the market at the wrong time has a much more drastic effect on business. Thus, in order to satisfy the needs of stakeholders (customers/users, employees, partners and etc.) and ensure team alignment as well as accountability it is essential that companies adopt a Go-To-Market (further “GTM”) plan.
Why GTM is vital?
GTM is not a new concept but, unfortunately, even if it’s a known tool, surprisingly it’s not something that has been commonly used as a strategic tool. In any search for “building GTM campaigns” only a few case studies can be found. For this reason, Miniclip has decided to share some insights with Linkedin readers on why it is essential to have GTM implemented and it’s impact on marketing campaigns along with new feature/product launches.
Most of the time when referring to GTM people find it hard to see difference from any other integrated Marketing plan. However, the main goal of GTM is to be tailored around a product or a new feature launch, which means close collaboration with the product development team to not only define the GTM Strategy but also to deploy product at the right time.
You might still ask me what’s GTM Strategy? I don’t want to bore you with smart theory that is usually taught at universities on how to create a clear Market Strategy and provide you with a formal definition for GTM. Simply put, the Marketing Strategy determines which customers (or share of the market) the company will go after and what it will offer them; whereas GTM additionally sets out how the company will make it happen.
If you look at the picture above: you will see a lady selling apples and her customer waiting with the basket. Firstly, the seller would be evaluating who could be her potential customer and the preferences of that customer well before she opens her shop. Her second thought is likely to be be what exactly will she sell – apples or pears? . Once the product is defined, it’s important to define how much she will charge. Next; would be where it is the best to sell (meaning defining the proper place); Last, but, by no means least, our “Apple Seller” would think how she would attract this customer – whether through promoting her shop through an advertisement in the local newspaper or by other “channel”that best fits her needs. To cut a long story short, all these steps lead to one common GTM strategy – in this case, how to deliver apples (or pears!) to the end customer.
GTM at Miniclip
At Miniclip, GTM follows almost the same principles, and like many companies operating in a fast-paced environment, our biggest challenge is centered around how to make communication flow at ease and on time. Before any game goes for submission on Apple or Google Play stores, there are thousands of steps involving multiple teams. After months of design, development and testing at which point the game reaches a final stage, key teams then need to gather to determine which strategy to employ when taking our game from Studio to the end user. At Miniclip, this happens through a very organized and structured process – a so called “Map”, which finds a way to make any game available at the best possible scenario: What – Production Feature or New Game; How – Marketing Channels; Who – Target & Segmentation; and all of this together forms a final Plan – the GTM Strategy. In other words, keeping Miniclip’s purpose to “unleash the gamer in everyone” at it’s heart and focusing on the goals of this particular game or feature, the GTM sets out the action for each team to implement thus ensuring that the product or feature is launched on time and achieves all of the relevant KPIs.
For those of you that are wondering how to create a GTM Plan, or want to incorporate it to your strategy, here are our key tips. Based on a history of large number of campaigns and a big portfolio of games that Miniclip has launched, it’s crucial to implement a clear process with the following steps: 1. Initiation; 2. Planning; 3. Execution; 4. Launch; 5. Performance Analysis. The last step is as important as all others, because Performance Analysis helps evaluate whether campaign is worth repeating in the future or if adjustments are needed to improve results. The yardstick by which this is measured being, of course, the benchmark and KPIs that are set during initiation and planning stage of the GTM.
To sum up, GTM is a critical tool to help unite Marketing and Product in bringing new games or features to market in the most effective and efficient way. If planned well, GTM could also serve as great framework to any company independent of their field. However, this may only happen if all the Teams and efforts are directed at one common goal. At Miniclip we do it at best, because we are One Miniclip!
Essay By: Anel, Go-To-Market Strategy Manager at Miniclip