GTM Planning for Health Tech Startups
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Plexus Healthcare Innovation Hub in Philly. What an amazing place for health tech startups, especially medical device companies to get started – the space, equipment, people and networking at Plexus are incredible!
I was lucky enough to follow two amazing demonstrations that kept everyone glued to their seats and fully engaged – the first from Dr. Alan Flake of CHOP, who demonstrated an artificial womb that has the potential to significantly decrease the mortality and birth defects that can arise with premature births, and the second from Dr. Johann deSa, founder of Instadiagnostics, which is innovating healthcare at the point of care. Both companies have the potential to have a tremendous impact for patients.
My presentation was focused on how to develop a GTM plan for these types of startups that can stand up to the scrutiny of seed or first round funding. I was excited to present because not only do I love to see what’s coming next, I want to help what’s coming next get funded, get to market and get adopted.
My presentation followed the steps of the Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap™ – what you need to do to get to the point where you can develop a defensible GTM plan, especially necessary when you are looking for funding. These steps are:
2. Positioning and Messaging
3. Brand Strategy
4. Brand Identity
5. GTM Plan
As part of the presentation I also gave out this handout, which includes tips for conducting research. Basic competitive, industry and prospect research is within any entrepreneur’s grasp – you just need to know where to look and what to look for. My Tip Sheet will help!
One thing that I emphasized throughout the presentation was setting realistic and measurable goals. Too often entrepreneurs, in an attempt to impress investors, are unrealistic as to how hard it is, and how long it takes, to actually get your product market-ready, launch and acquire customers. Your objectives need to reflect your reality of time, money and resources, as well as market readiness and competition. Seasoned investors will appreciate that you understand the road ahead.
Last night I had the pleasure of presenting to a group of entrepreneurs at theCorzo Center at the University of the Arts. The topic was “Moving Your Ideas Forward,” where I talked about brand building and what that means to brand success. Connect to presentation here.
What I liked best about the night was the excitement that young entrepreneurs have for their companies. Everything is shiny and new, and the journey is just beginning. I have always loved this time in the lifecycle of a company. It’s all about potential and opportunity. This is where branding begins.
I’ve given this presentation a few times, but added in a new section – defining brand success. One of the important aspects of branding is where you think the brand will ultimately go and how you define success. For some, it’s money, others fame, others just doing good work. As you contemplate your brand and your vision for your company, don’t forget to define how you will measure success and how that contributes to the brand you are building.
Zer0 to 5ive Founder and Co-CEO
The sheer size of the prospect universe for most companies is daunting, and pursuing unqualified leads is expensive, time consuming and ineffective.
Thankfully, marketers can help sales narrow their focus by implementing initiatives, such as webinar campaigns, that generate inbound inquiries from interested prospects.
Successful webinar campaigns can:
• Strengthen corporate/executive thought-leadership positioning
• Educate target audiences on key industry and value drivers
• Increase traction with existing prospects
• Identify and deliver new qualified leads to the sales team
At Zer0 to 5ive, we have been leveraging webinars to help our clients generate leads for nearly a decade. As a result, we have identified a set of best practices to help ensure your webinar is a success:
• Preparation: Create a plan that includes objectives, strategies, campaign theme, target audiences, participants and all the other tactical details to support the strategies. As a rule of thumb, Zer0 to 5ive allows 4 – 6 weeks prior to the first email drop for proper planning and coordination.
• Content: The single most important aspect of a webinar is the actual content of the presentation. Content must be compelling, relevant and significant to the audience, enabling them to gain new, valuable information, without coming across as a sales pitch. Consider engaging third-party sources, such as partners, customers or industry analysts, to provide added credibility.
• Promotion: Promote the key value proposition or takeaways; if your content is really of value, the audience will come. It is also important to remember that promotion is a team effort, and coordination from the marketing, sales and public relations team members is necessary. Consider all methods of promotion, from social media to more traditional methods.
• Lead Identification: The goal of webinar campaigns is to capture leads, which makes the registration form critical. Be sure to use a registration system that allows you to customize the form so you can capture all the information you feel is pertinent. Be sure that you have a method set up in advance to transfer the leads to your corporate sales database for ongoing targeting.
• Event Management: Webex has all the features and functionality you need for a truly interactive webinar and, in our experience, it is the most reliable. Technology issues cannot get in the way; be sure to have a system in place that you are comfortable with and know how to use.
• Follow up: This is key in terms of lead generation, as leads are turned over to the sales team. There needs to be a plan in place for follow up by the sales team within a specific time period. Also, be sure to provide attendees with follow-up materials they can use to educate other internal colleagues.
Along with pumpkins and early thoughts of turkeys and treats, it’s time to think about 2010 planning. Too often, strategic planning is pushed off –becoming a rush job at the end of the year when budgets are due. The result is lackluster first quarter sales and another year off to a slow start.
Planning takes time – time to evaluate what went right and wrong during the year, time to conduct customer or prospect research, and time to develop the strategies that will make a difference in the coming year.
A good marketing plan takes into account business goals, the environment, budget and resources. Our plans follow a tried-and-true outline:
- Positioning and messaging
With all of the options for communicating, plans also need to be built holistically with awareness, lead generation, customer engagement and brand impact all considered through a single lens.
There’s a saying in marketing: nothing is worse than a bad plan well executed!! Take the time you need. Click through our Planning Kick Start presentation (below) and take advantage of our Kick Start session.
How many presentations have you sat through where the speaker droned on reading every word of 12pt text on every slide? Too many to count, I suspect. It’s an all-too-common malady among presenters. Matt Helmke, a senior strategist here at 0to5, is one who is not afflicted with this illness. Recently, Matt produced a slide presentation where he discussed the best practices in presentation design, development and delivery based on Garr Reynold’s seminal book, Presentation Zen. Reynolds is an internationally acclaimed presentation designer and communications expert living in Japan whose clients include many of the Fortune 500. His book combines strong design principles with the tenets of Zen simplicity to help readers develop simpler, more effective presentations. While you can download a PDF of Matt’s presentation, I encourage you to watch and listen to Matt talk about what he learned from Reynold’s book and how you can apply its teachings to your next presentation.