Recently I presented with Ian Broom from Fliplet on the topic of productisation and go-to-market strategies. 

The go-to-market strategy, including marketing, can often get overlooked in the excitement of a new product idea so I thought it would be useful to share some thoughts.

Let's start with why a law firm would even think about making products. Ian summarised the reasons neatly as follows:

  • You can create value at scale. Make once, sell to many.
  • Customers can self serve and explore the product autonomously. This includes freemium products, free trials and instant purchase options.
  • Great products help you differentiate from your competitors and also demonstrate that you are serving the market in different ways.
  • Digital products can often be a more affordable option 
  • You can get (GDPR compliant) data on your customers, which helps you modify your product continuously to serve what the market want. It also helps measure if people actually use your product (instant feedback!)

So that all sounds great right?! Before you crack on, hold up. You should consider a number of things:

  • Is there a market for a product? The most important question!
  • Is there enough of a pain point that people would want a product to solve it?
  • Are there competitors already solving or trying to solve it?
  • What’s your plan for maintaining the content on this product?
  • Is it secure? Could it be hacked?
  • What’s your plan for providing customer service - people expect to be helped to use products. Who is going to train users?
  • What platform are you going to build it on?
  • How often are you going to update it?
  • How are you going to get feedback as you develop it?
  • Do I have enough money to make it?
  • How much revenue do I need to make to make it profitable? Is that sustainable?
  • How are you going to market it?
  • Who and how will it be sold?

Research and feedback can give you most of the answers you need so it’s VERY important not to skip this step. In fact, you should keep getting feedback while you’re building your product and even after it has been sold. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be too proud to stop or to pivot.

In my role at Clifford Chance Applied Solutions I focus on the point from when we have a product to sell, i.e. sales and marketing. The following is a whiz through some of the key points I covered.

How many potential customers (leads) do you need to engage to make a sale?

The answer is a lot more than you imagine. Below illustrates a typical sales funnel with an example conversation rate. As you can see, it all starts with targeted marketing. In this example, 100 potential customers need to be engaged to make one sale.

What does this process look like for the buyer vis-à-vis a typical sales and marketing team?

Depending on the complexity of the product, you will either be able to move along the top of the funnel through automated marketing, or sales teams will need to target individual leads. Regardless, buyers start buying before they have any contact with you. They may not even know they have a need for a product. Marketing is key here as it makes the potential buyer aware of your product and provides them with research information for purchase.

So how do you start? What are you key considerations when creating a marketing plan?

This image illustrates all the considerations you need to make when creating a go to market plan. A lot of these are answered as the product is created. The 'How' and the 'Where' are the key elements of any marketing plan.

'How' and 'Where' are very dependent on your target market and the type of product you're selling (SaaS vs consultancy, for example) but below are some ideas for selling digital products to in house legal teams.

Within 'How' you will also need to decide what type of sales resource and / or technology you are going to use, taking into consideration potential cost of sale, sale cycle duration and resource available.

The next thing to do is to get organised! Work backwards from the launch date by a month or two and map out all the marketing and sales elements you need to have ready for launch in a calendar with the key actions and owners. Then work forward from the product launch date and ensure you map out sales and marketing activities for the intended life of the product. Some examples include coordinating launch PR, planning key conferences and associated campaigns, creating a blog content plan, creating prospect lists and mapping out methods of contact. The key here is ensuring items are in a logical sequence and your the people responsible for delivering them are informed and engaged. This includes prepping the sales team to be ready to sell!

If you have ideas for a product but don't have the resource or time to make or sell them, please get in touch, we would love to hear all about them.