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Create a B2B GTM strategy that buyers, execs and revenue teams love

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Create a B2B GTM strategy that buyers, execs and revenue teams love

“What is the right go-to-market (GTM) strategy(ies) for our business?” 

This is a common question being debated and discussed across the C-suite today (note: not just in sales and marketing meetings). In B2B, GTM strategies have been a part of company planning forever. So why is GTM confounding sales, marketing and product leaders and rising to the top of the CXO agenda? At a macro level, let’s break down what’s happening: 

  • The B2B buying-selling process is now predominantly digital and remote, with buyers conducting up to three-quarters of their research before engaging a B2B sales pro. Buyers are in control, throwing chaos into the traditional sales, marketing, customer success and product roles and strategies. 
  • As a result, B2B sales pros do not have the same level of access to prospects putting the burden on marketing and increasingly on product data and tools to play a much larger role in identifying, engaging and supporting accounts and buyers through their purchase journey. 
  • At the same time, economic and customer consumption models are shifting. Software-as-a-Service, Annual Recurring Revenue and cloud delivery and infrastructure are models CEOs crave and investors expect to maximize revenue and profits. No longer are we selling a product and moving on. Renewal and lifetime value are critical metrics. 

Other than these accelerated changes, it’s business as usual!


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Defining the role of B2B GTM strategies 

GTM strategy scope and definitions vary based on your company size and solution sophistication, the state of the markets you compete in, and how you develop, deliver and bring your products and services to market. To gain perspective on GTM strategy development, here are a few different definitions.

Gartner, respected market research and advisory firm, defines GTM this way: 

  • A GTM strategy is a plan that details how an organization can engage with customers to convince them to buy their product or service and to gain a competitive advantage. A GTM strategy includes tactics related to pricing, sales and channels, the buying journey, new product or service launches, product rebranding or product introduction to a new market.

To put a fine point on the need for GTM strategy evolution in a buyer-driven world, here is an added view that I have adopted: 

  • A GTM strategy is a well-crafted plan that is embraced by an organization, detailing how the company should engage with its market, its customers and prospects, its partners and key go-to influencers to win their hearts, minds, and business. The result of an effective GTM is witnessing buyer adoption, signing on and expanding customers and creating authentic market advocacy for the ‘new way.’

What is consistent in GTM definition is having an orchestrated, integrated, and comprehensive GTM strategy across your company to better identify, win and create lasting customer relationships and grow revenue. This is different than the last few years when companies have spent countless resources and time focused on trying to align sales and marketing. 

Read next: 4 ways to build a successful ABM strategy

How to diagnose and identify the right GTM strategy

GTM strategies most often miss the mark because of their misalignment with markets and customers. In their new book “MOVE: The 4-Question Go-to-Market Framework,” authors Sangram Vajre and Bryan Brown accurately state that GTM is radically broken for today’s B2B revenue models, markets and customers. The “MOVE” authors also identify signs your business is stuck and in need of a GTM makeover providing a simple way to diagnose your challenge. 

  • “Problem-market fit” – the company is creating products but can’t market or sell effectively (I hear this frequently from CXOs and revenue leaders, “we just need pipeline”).
  • “Product-market fit” – the team is selling your solution to organizations but can’t renew customers predictably.
  • “Platform-market fit” – the company is renewing customers on their current product offering but can’t expand or upsell new solutions. 

These are important diagnostic tools on where and how to get started on creating and/or re-thinking your GTM strategy.

The essential ingredients in a GTM strategy

A GTM strategy is a breathing, living thing that must constantly be fed, managed and evolved. It’s comprised of many different components that have to be fused together to maximize its impact. Let’s break down the essential ingredients and walk through using a methodical approach to developing a GTM strategy. 

  • Understand the market landscape and drivers: The most important way to build an effective GTM is to have your teams and leaders relentlessly and consistently understand what markets and customers are doing and saying. Leaders should anticipate and look for opportunities to capitalize as markets and customer priorities and needs change. Shifts in markets and needs are the number one reason companies invest in new vendors and solutions. 
  • Define ideal customer profile (ICP) accounts/type of organizations: Through this intensive market pulsing process, this is where the team spends time identifying the right ICP as the best organizational fit for your current and future solutions. NOT who you dream of buying your product but the type of accounts in the geos and industry segments that are both able and ready to use your solution. 
  • Capture and embed ICP personas, mindset, priorities and needs: Accounts don’t buy anything, people do. So, the next step is to understand the makeup of the buying committee. This means understanding who are the decision-makers, the influencers, the potential deal blockers and the specific job titles and roles to partner with to win and grow business. Once the ICP roles are identified, understand the individual roles’ and collective buying groups’ priorities and needs and how decisions are made.  
  • Company positioning — role and value: Using intel collected and analyzed in your market research phase, now you must articulate your company’s role and value vis-à-vis other players and alternative solutions in the market(s) you serve. This well-captured positioning articulation, with consistent amplification, helps your buyers better understand where you fit and what your company’s unique value and purpose is. 
  • Solutions definition, messaging and packaging aligned with your target buyers’ needs and priorities: Your prospective buyers need to be able to quickly assess your offerings and grasp how your solution(s) can meet their priorities and needs. By focusing on your ICP’s predominant use cases and needs, amplifying how you uniquely solve their priorities, and packaging your products in an easy to buy and adopt manner, you increase your relevancy and likelihood of becoming/remaining a preferred solution. 
  • GTM point of views (POVs) and beliefs: To further increase your relevancy and raise your company and solutions viability, it has never been more important to consistently publish and share content with valued insights to your ICP audiences. Arming your markets and teams with valuable information that helps articulate the why, the what, when and how increases your markets’ and buyers’ confidence and belief in your value. 
  • Sales, company and customer enablement: All this GTM development work has little impact if you do not prepare your front-line and supporting teams on how to execute and add value to the strategy. Building these teams’ knowledge and confidence not only ensure consistent in-market delivery but also bolsters the inputs required to continue to evolve and align with market and customer needs and opportunity.
  • Change management framework to ride shotgun with GTM: Last, first, and everything in between is infusing change management practices into GTM development and rollout. Not every team member will adapt nor adopt at the same pace with the same vigor. Like any important change initiative, a proper change management framework should be integrated into GTM development processes, ongoing communications, enablement, and even the recognition and reward systems. 

Optimizing and advancing your GTM is an always-on team sport

It is critical that this is not a once every ad hoc or occasional effort. Your GTM strategy and the core ingredients must be constantly optimized and evaluated for impact by key stakeholders. The organizations who build their GTM strategy(ies) around the largest and best market opportunity and customer fit stand to win much bigger, especially in a buyer-driven world. 


2022 MarTech replacement survey


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Create a B2B GTM strategy that buyers execs and revenueCreate a B2B GTM strategy that buyers execs and revenue

Scott Vaughan is a B2B CMO and go-to-market leader. After several CMO and business leadership roles, Scott is now an active advisor and consultant working with CMO, CXOs, Founders, and investors on business, marketing, product, and GTM strategies. He thrives in the B2B SaaS, tech, marketing, and revenue world. His passion is fueled by working in-market to create new levels of business and customer value for B2B organizations. His approach is influenced and driven by his diverse experience as a marketing leader, revenue driver, executive, market evangelist, speaker, and writer on all things marketing, technology, and business. He is drawn to disruptive solutions and to dynamic companies that need to transform.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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