Creating a Go-to-Market Strategy

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Ep. #689 - Creating a Go-to-Market Strategy

In this episode of Startup Hustle, tune into the next episode of “How to Start a Tech Company,” as Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson discuss everything about creating a go-to-market strategy.

Covered In This Episode

How do you know who to sell to? How do you approach them? These and more questions will be answered when creating a go-to-market strategy. But what is it? The Matts are here to talk about go-to-market strategies and why it is important for all types of businesses.

From testing to customer support, Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson are back to share their experiences as marketers in their different ventures. Through their stories, they highlight how tech startups can prepare and execute a great go-to-market strategy.

Get Started with Full Scale

To understand more about creating a go-to-market strategy, join the Matts in this Startup Hustle episode.

Missed the previous episode? Click here to listen to the 32nd episode of the “How to Start a Tech Company” series. Or join the Matts in the 34th episode here.

Startup Podcast for Entrepreneurs


  • Introduction to today’s episode (1:33)
  • What is a go-to-market strategy? (2:05)
  • Who is your target audience? (3:51)
  • Cut out the middleman and go straight to the source (5:06)
  • Traction channel (11:13)
  • Go-to-market strategies for tech companies (17:36)
  • Customer support is a differentiator (20:49)
  • Your success rate is going to be lower with every step that you add to the process (23:52)
  • The persona of every business is different (30:02)
  • Content marketing (33:11)
  • Key Takeaways (37:20)
  • Wrapping up (41:38)

Key Quotes

We have a specific target audience, right? And, if you’re outside of that audience, do we waste our time and resources on them because they’re just not our target? Right? So at some point, it’s focusing on a niche and focusing on the audience to focus your efforts.

Matt Watson

As a marketer, don’t underestimate the power of the people. Meaning the people that you’re selling to because there’s a trust factor why my neighbor chose this person. Then, maybe, I should too, and sometimes it’s just convenience.

Matt DeCoursey

Everybody’s in the content business. It’s just different kinds of content, depending on what your niche is. And I think the other thing is understanding your go-to-market strategy and how it shapes every other facet of your business, right? Depending on if you’re going after small clients or big clients, or b2c, or b2b, whatever it is, the go-to-market strategy changes everything else.

Matt Watson

I love the test, test, test thing you got to roll into the process. The whole purpose of that is to try and fail fast and figure out what really works. If you’re looking for a traction channel, I compare it to looking for a crack. And then, when you find that crack, your next job is to try to shove an elephant through it.

Matt DeCoursey

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Rough Transcript

Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!

Matt DeCoursey 0:00
And we’re back. Back for another episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey, here, with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.

Matt Watson 0:06
What’s going on, man?

Matt DeCoursey 0:08
I am at our new office in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, and I have been working super hard building us a real podcast studio. So who knows, dare to dream?

Matt Watson 0:20
Hey, maybe we’ll get to record some podcasts again. You know, we haven’t really recorded any in person since the pandemic. So

Matt DeCoursey 0:26
No, we haven’t. And you know, we’ve wanted to always build a proper studio. Now. We tried that once. And by the time I got back from a trip to the Philippines, we never even got to use it.

Matt Watson 0:38
Yeah, that was sad.

Matt DeCoursey 0:39
Yeah, yeah. bad moments and podcasts history. Now speaking of great moments in podcast history, Matt, today’s episode, Startup Hustle is brought to you by Chatdesk. Does your business receive a high volume of phone calls, you can deflect over 10% of your calls to Facebook Messenger and save up to 80% on your support costs by using Chatdesk, they have a special offer for Startup Hustle listeners, it’s free for a limited time, go to forward slash Shift or click the link in the show notes ever pretty cool offering, Matt. It is like gig economy for support people, but it’s scalable. So have you ever been in a spot where you needed to have support needed to have support or support your product and you didn’t really have the budget or need for a full time person? Because that’s what they fix.

Matt Watson 1:29
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Having been flexible people to step in and help out.

Matt DeCoursey 1:33
It’s like trained gig economy, people. So speaking of growing a business, it’s time for part 33 of 52. Now, in the past, we will, we recently discussed how to get to market faster, which is different than today’s topic, which is creating a go-to-market strategy. And I’m out, I’ve known you for quite a while and I have heard you say go to market strategy, a bunch. So when you hear go-to-market strategy, what are you thinking, dude?

Matt Watson 2:05
Who are we sell this to? How do they know we exist? Why do they care? You know, it’s all the basics, right? Like, so often people create a product, but they don’t really know how they’re going to sell it? Or who they’re going to sell it to? How they’re going to reach them, you know, it? It’s like the tree falling in the forest, right? Does it make a sound or not like you got to know how to reach your audience.

Matt DeCoursey 2:28
And we’ve talked in the past about the reasons that startups or businesses fail. And we had a really long list. And number one, and big font and bold letters was a was a poor product market fit. So what you just described of not knowing how to sell it, whatever, those are warning signs, those are symptoms of a bad product market fit, right?

Matt Watson 2:55
Absolutely. And actually, I was just on a call before this, where I was talking to somebody who actually has amazing product market fit, but just can’t figure out how to monetize it. Right? Like you, you run into all these sorts of issues, depending on your, your startup. So it’s a fun topic for me.

Matt DeCoursey 3:11
Yeah, and it’s different. You know, I say a lot when it comes to our clients at Full Scale that they’re like, full, they’re like snowflakes, because they’re all different. But all businesses are like that all businesses have strengths, weaknesses, and different sets of resources. I mean, they’re all unique. So how do we create an episode, where we create some tailored advice about a go to market strategy? I mean, when I think a go to market strategy, I think, hey, that’s time to sell. But if you’ve listened to the show, for a while, you know that I’m also telling you that you need to start selling the day you open the business pretty much.

Matt Watson 3:47
Got to build up the pipeline, always building the pipeline.

Matt DeCoursey 3:51
Alright, so when we talk to go-to-market strategy, I mean, we obviously, were just talking about product market fit. You know, I think the next thing on the list is, you know, who I mean, who’s your target audience, and in a world full of options for advertising and social media platforms that No, I want a Snickers before I do. And all of that, I mean, how do we it, you have more options for targeting a precise audience than ever. But if you don’t have an idea of who your target audience should be, that’s still a problem.

Matt Watson 4:29
Well, we talked about this a lot, even at Full Scale internally, right, where we’re like, who is our best customer? And how do we the leads we get on our website and whether or not we should potentially even talk to him? Right? Like, if we get a lead from India? What are the what are the odds that the US selling our services to a company from India? It makes sense, right? Like, we have a specific target audience, which could be companies in the US or Australia or England or whatever, right? And, and if you’re outside of that audience, it’s like do we waste our time and resources on them because they’re just not our target? Right? So it’s some point it’s, it’s focusing on a niche and focusing down the audience to focus your efforts.

Matt DeCoursey 5:06
So, you know, I was recently watching the movie American Gangster with Denzel Washington where he plays Frank Lucas, who was certainly engaged in his go-to-market strategy was crime. But with that, he went straight to the source. He said, let’s cut out the middleman and go straight to the source. Now, that’s what I was thinking about there. So when it comes to talk target audience, I mean, while at Full Scale, and I and I had up a lot of our marketing efforts, I try to cut out the middleman and go straight to the source, meaning I want to my target audience is straight to the decision maker. And for us, that is Chief Technology Officers, CIOs, CEOs, founders, people with those kinds of job titles, because when I say cutting out the middleman, that’s what you need to do if you have a business, a business strategy, because if I am deciding to instead advertise and promote what we do three steps down the decision chain, I have to climb back up it now. Not every product has the ability to do that. You know, I have a guest on the other day. And I think this episode will come out before that, but it was the he owns And they’ve sold like $44 million of previously owned Mac’s Wow, yeah, that’s a time but think about but when you look at your target audience, that’s like anybody that has a computer that uses Mac. Yep. And that’s difficult. Because if we’ve talked about this so much, you’ve in the past, it’s like, oh, wow, look at all these people that are potential buyers. And then you go to market and you’re like, oh, wow, look at all these people that are potential buyers. And I said the same words, but it’s a completely different scenario, because trying to narrow it down. So the purpose of this is, most ads are based on the number of impressions or where it gets shown. So if you’re shooting blanks, non vo people outside your target audience, then you’re going to your cost of acquisition is going to be pretty high.

Matt Watson 7:18
Well, I think another good example of this is I was actually just hiring new landscaping company, right? And I look around at like, who is servicing other people in my neighborhood, I’m like, well, they must be doing a good job. And if I was them, if they have a lot of customers in this neighborhood, they should be marketing to this neighborhood, right? Not marketing to some other neighborhood across town, like it would make any sense. And sometimes it’s the point is driving down to a small audience is where they’re going to have concentrated success, like they can own my little neighborhood of 400 homes, and just totally dominated, right, versus spreading their efforts and driving all around town to do one random house all over the place, right. And sometimes its constraints, those constraints actually force you to be wildly successful.

Matt DeCoursey 8:04
Yeah, I was recently watching an episode with Marcus Lemonis. And he was working with two women that had their they had a small restaurant that they wanted to take national, it was like a lobster, lobster sandwiches or something like that. And that’s exactly what they were doing. They were hyped. They were hyper targeting meaning like, they were being geo specific. Because if you so they’re in Brooklyn, so the premise was, if you were one mile away from the restaurant, you were really had a good, you are really a hot. Yep. Hot advertise because you’re right around the corner, theoretically. And then the further that, that that got and that and think about it, you know, when you look at radiuses, especially in an area, like New York City, I mean, a five mile radius, how many people live in a five mile radius in and around Brooklyn, that’s a lot of people to advertise to. So in some, in some cases, in some businesses, I mean, you need to be that. And there’s a lot of technology out there that helps with that. And even like, the social media platforms and other stuff, I mean, they, they know where you’re at, and you can target ads to show to people in that area, similar to the landscape company. And that’s, you know, I’ve actually seen you just talk about Guerilla Marketing too. So, you know, I don’t live that far away from you. And I regularly find notes or like flyers on my door that are like, Hey, we’re working on your neighbor’s house. Yeah, if and that’s smart, that’s smart. Because guess what that cost the price of a piece of paper.

Matt Watson 9:35
And you can see the quality of their work right out your window.

Matt DeCoursey 9:38
Another thing too is you know, as a as a marketer, don’t underestimate the power of the people meaning the people or like that you’re selling to because there’s a trust factor of my neighbor chose this person, then maybe I shut and sometimes it’s just convenience like it’s funny. I have a note on my trashcan of all things the other day And it was so my very first job that I like, the first real company that I started was painting numbers on curbs, you know, like the white box with the black numbers. And we got like five bucks a curb. But someone had put these like post it notes on everyone’s trash can on trash day. And it said, we’re going to be out doing this tomorrow and they wanted $40. I was like, wow, times have changed. But they were like, so take this and stick, sign it and stick it on your front door, and we’ll come by and paint it, then that smart. And that was you know, they were canvas. And another thing too, I like the approach of sticking it to my trash can because I definitely saw it because I had to go, Yeah, back in front of

Matt Watson 10:42
a lot of other junk mail on top of your

Matt DeCoursey 10:45
trash can. And now Now that said, That’s smart. That’s smart marketing, like that’s a go to market strategy. That’s pretty, pretty darn effective. And, you know, why don’t we just talk about two things that like a flyer and a post it note, because some of this stuff doesn’t have to be like a rocket science digital approach. I mean, there is a lot of just, and that’s either referred to as guerilla or grassroots marketing. So,

Matt Watson 11:12
Yeah, so one of the big things we need to talk about, and you’ve heard me talk about this a lot is there’s a lot of different kinds of traction channels. And there’s a book, I think it’s called traction, and there’s like 18 of them or something, right. And there’s all these different traction channels or kind of go to market strategies. And some of them are like using their traditional marketing, flyers or radio or TV, you know, digital marketing, content, marketing, podcasting, going to trade shows, cold calling, right, there’s all these different ways that you can go to market and reach your customers. And the key is, every single business is going to be different, every single business is going to have different kinds of success, right? At Full Scale. One of our biggest attraction channels is this podcast. Right? Another big one is referrals. Right? I have another friend that that runs a little consulting business for him, it’s 100% referrals. He doesn’t even have a website. Right? His but he has more work than you can do. It’s 100% referral. And for you, depending on whatever kind of business you have, I really recommend that book and go through or you can actually just Google traction channels, and there are lists out there, right? But you can read the book, it’s just picking like what are the top two or three that you would think work for you. And the key of the book, as it would tell you is you want to figure out which one works the best and maximize it before diluting your efforts and doing other ones, right. If you’re really successful at referral, maybe you don’t need to worry about anything else. Like don’t spend all your time doing a bunch of other shit, you know, doesn’t work. Focus on the one that really works and maximize it.

So someone out there is listening right now and they’re thinking, Well, I don’t have any traction. I gotta get that move. And by the way, the book tractions by Gino Wickman.

There we go.

Matt DeCoursey 12:51
Yeah. So now the thing is, is if you don’t have any traction, you have to try to gain it, which means that you are going to have to when it comes to marketing, there’s three words that matter. Test test test. Yep, yeah. And when I say test, test, test it you don’t have to like, there’s all this can get confusing because you know, now we need to run an ad bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, now you need to first you need to try a couple things and you need to try to match them up. We’re back to that target audience. So now I’m starting a new business where I’m building sculptures out of popsicle sticks. Okay. And I’m partnered with a five year old on this.

Matt Watson 13:34
But we’re smart galleries. That’s your go-to-market strategy.

Matt DeCoursey 13:37
Well, I’m thinking that Pinterest might be a good place to start or Etsy. Well, Tik Tok videos, yeah, okay, that’s good. That’s another that’s another potential instruction.

Matt Watson 13:46
Here we go.

Matt DeCoursey 13:46
We’re working on it. Now I’m really not starting a popsicle stick culture, sculpture business. But that was a good example. Because LinkedIn probably wouldn’t be a good spot for me to try to gain traction at that business. Because one the subject matter on the site, or, you know, wherever that is, it’s probably it’s not even related to what I’m trying to sell. And sometimes that can be a good thing. But usually it’s not. And you know, when you look at something like Etsy, that’s where people are already selling crafts, and doing stuff like that, like eBay could be another example of that. And there’s a lot of stuff out there, or maybe we want to just take it to the streets and there’s crafts fair, or something like that. So it’s the same thing like a farmers market might be attraction channel for someone that has a business that’s related to that maybe have a honey business. Yeah, yep. You know, and like, the thing is, is if you don’t have any traction, you’re not going to get a distribution deal with the supermarket chain, but that might be it and that might be an easy place for you to get started and also figure out so with that, I think that you know, when we talked about a go to market strategy sent back to this honey business, Matt so now I love Honey, so I could actually buy a gallon of it. And like see myself doing that suddenly poohbear for Nolan. Yeah, you can, and you know, but maybe you don’t, maybe you don’t want that much. So like, you know, you got part of the go to market strategy, but also like, understanding your own product, understanding your own service, like, and we went through this at Full Scale. So I’ll give you an example. So Full Scale is almost four years old, go to full If you’re curious about the business, Matt, and I own we help software businesses build teams. But with that, when we first started the business, we actually took on a whole bunch of different clients, we tried little jobs, we tried ongoing stuff. And the whole idea of that market fit was to see because we didn’t really know we thought we knew, but we weren’t 100% Sure. So we, you know, we thought we felt that the ongoing long term relationship, and building teams was the way to go. But we had to try. But we wanted to try a bunch of stuff too, because along the along the way to finding those kinds of clients, there was a lot of other business possibilities out there. And now we chased a few of them and really came back to the, to the thesis statement that what we originally thought the business would, could and should do was, in fact, where we should be. But some of that we wanted to explore because it sure felt like there was a lot of money floating around here and there. And it turned out that those accounts are those projects actually detracted from our ability to do the better, more popular service in general. So some of this is like figuring out where and when you want to, you know, do your stuff. Now I mentioned earlier, I was watching an episode of the profit, and I’ve enjoyed that show. But he you know, as any of these businesses where someone comes in, or any of these shows where someone comes in, and they’re trying to fix a problem business, it’s usually because that business is trying to do way too much. It’s like a restaurant that has like 37 types of sandwiches. But when they look at it, really people only buy five. So some of that’s, you know, that go to market strategy is important, because you need to figure out where, when and how you’re making your money. And you’ll find in a lot of cases, you’re spending a lot of time, effort and energy on the shit that is the least profitable, or most, basically, most worthless for the business.

Matt Watson 17:30
Yeah. So, let’s, let’s bring this back to tech companies for a minute, right? Because that,

Matt DeCoursey 17:34
Oh yeah, we’re starting to we’re starting to turn

Matt Watson 17:36
We’re starting a tech company now. Startup Hustle, we help all sorts of businesses and entrepreneurs, but let’s focus it on tech companies from it, because there’s some really major decision points when you’re targeting, you’re selling like a SaaS product, right? Is it business to business? Are you selling to other businesses? Are you selling to consumers? So if you’re selling to consumers, isn’t an app that paid they pay $5 for or? Or is it ad supported or monthly subscription? Right? Like all these are very different business models? And then if it’s in or if it’s business to business? Is it an enterprise sale? Right? Is this a long, complicated sales process that takes months and then they pay you $50,000 a year? Or is it a smaller business? Like, like Giga book is an example where it might be $20 a month? Right? Your business strategy on those is totally different. Your go to market strategy is totally different. Right? You can’t hire a $200,000 a year enterprise salesperson to sell Giga book for $20 a month. No work doesn’t make any sense. Right? But if you’re selling this big enterprise software like Netro where I work, you know, we sell an enterprise product. Yeah, sure, we might pay salespeople 200 grand a year to sell that because our customers pay $50,000 A year $100,000 A year, right? But your go to market strategy on how you find these customers market to them the attraction channels, your entire business, like the type of employees you have, how much focus you put on support and the sales models that are everything is dramatically different depending on these key decisions. And especially when you’re first starting, you have to pick because it changes everything.

Matt DeCoursey 19:13
So what you’re trying to do is make the phone rang, make the inbox chime make it all occur. And you know that’s in a scalability that can be kind of tricky, and that’s why I want to mention again that Today’s episode is brought to us by chat desk. So if you’re looking to reduce the number of phone calls and voicemails coming into your business, yes, please lower your and lower your customer support costs. Yes, friends over at chat desk enable you to shift your calls to message channels like Facebook Messenger. You can schedule a demo and check out the discount they’re offering to Startup Hustle listeners by visiting the link in the show notes or heading over to the partner page, which is at startup forward slash partners and you get a link there you can also go to chat Ford slash shift So, you know, that’s I was just on a meeting with someone that chat desk. And so you know, we check these things out before we recommend them. But, I mean, that is that’s actually something I think needs to be part of your go to market strategy. Because support is tricky. And you know, if you are going to sell something, you need to be ready to support it, whether it’s a product or software, any of it. Now we worse centric on tech. And that’s, I think that’s when you’re starting a tech company the support part of it’s kind of hard, because you usually don’t have enough clients or users to have a dedicated person or department in there. But if you’re not supporting your stuff, regardless of how great your go to market strategy is, you’re gonna have a lot of churn or a lot of swings and misses.

Matt Watson 20:49
Well, at sacrifice support was one of the things that set us apart, right? Because it was inevitable that they would install our software and they’d have questions, right? So if we can answer those questions very, very quickly. And our goal internally was to answer every one of them via email within one hour, and 99.9% of the time we did versus they would message our competitor, and the competitor might not respond for 24 to 48 hours. So what do you think happens when somebody installs a competitor’s product, they get stuck, and they’re like, Shit, I need to solve this problem. And I can’t get this tool to work. What do they do? They go download a different tool, right? They jump over and install our software. And hopefully, they have no problems and just works. But they do. And we respond really quick to like, Wow, these guys are on it. I like how they do customer service. That’s a differentiator, right. And the other key thing to what we what you were just mentioning, in support, changes dramatically based on who you’re handling. I mean, the the target customer you have is things like proof of concepts, right? Like at Metro, everybody wants to do a proof of concept with us, right? They want to install our software in their data centers and do these big tests for three months, and we have to help them set it all up. It takes huge support efforts for us to do those proof of concepts, right? But we’re willing to do it, because we know there’s a really high chance that they’re going to write us a check for $100,000 at the end of it. But we have to be able to staff that and have people that do all that right, which is totally different, depending on the business model, right. Some other business models, like proof of concept would make any sense. Like we can’t afford to do a proof of concept, if you’re gonna pay us 100 bucks a month, like, just sign up or go away.

Matt DeCoursey 22:20
Yeah, I ran into the same thing growing GigaBook, because when we first started getting users the problem was is setting up your account, because it’s so customizable, and that’s that’s like the strength and the weakness of GigaBook. Cuz, I mean, you’ve even gone through it, because if you don’t customize it properly, or you don’t know how or what it does, then you’re either not fully utilizing and getting all the benefits from it. Or it might be a little frustrating. Now that said, with the right support, or the right setup on the way in, which is what we ended up doing, we created an onboarding flow that wouldn’t even let you in. If you didn’t want to take a few minutes to answer your questions and get set up. We didn’t even watch you in the plot. Well, why? Well, no one was staying we like literally track people that skipped onboarding, and 0% of them converted. Instead, we created something that only took a couple minutes. And you know, and when you got in you at least were able to do a couple things. Rather than making you just make it easy to use your product or people aren’t gonna buy the product.

Matt Watson 23:21
I remember you spent a lot of effort optimizing all that, right, like your little training videos and improving all the help docs, right. So people ask common questions, they go to help, and they search like how do I offer a new service or whatever, right? And, and if they can’t find help, that’s where you need something like chat desk, or, you know, built in chat support to just quickly answer the questions, right? They have really simple questions. They just, they just need to know now how do I do this simple thing. And let’s be honest, a lot of people are lazy, they don’t want to dig through the docs to go find it either. They just want to chat with you. And just help them.

Matt DeCoursey 23:52
That is an honesty. That’s just truth. I mean, like, that’s just the reality of the world. And there’s, you know, there’s there’s books on the subject, and I can’t remember the name of one, I think was called Hooked. And it was all about like the digital age and like how so many of these things like so, you know, Facebook, Twitter, all these different platforms, they’re competing with each other to keep you in there. So how do they do that? And they actually the author use Twitter as an example. So Twitter’s like maybe the fastest onboarding of anything ever. It takes like 15 seconds to fill it out, and you’re n and you can tweet and you know, the thing is, is if you don’t do that you’re gonna leave a lot of people behind now on the on in some companies, though, that’s not always the great thing. So like at Full Scale we have we’ve built a remote developer and management platform and we’re continuing to improve it and do all this different stuff. But for us, you know, we can’t even make that it’s the same thing as Giga book. We can’t even really make recommendations or suggestions on who you might want to add your team or whatever. If you don’t answer some specific questions. So in some levels, you know, you have to make that decision as part of your go to market strategy. Now, I will tell you that your success rate is going to your success rate mean, the number of people that enter whatever it is that you’re doing is going to be dramatically lower with every step that you add to the process. I mean, this is just consumer science. And so your goal needs to be to make it fast and easy to get in. So yeah, so you can you can have a great go to market strategy Well, alright, so we actually I was, we’ve talked about this before, to, a lot of people will try a cost per click ads, and then they get a bunch of clicks. And they say, Oh, I guess it doesn’t work. I got 200 clicks, but nobody bought anything. And I’m sitting here going, you know, that’s not the ads fault. That’s your fault. The ad’s job is to get clicked. It’s like what happens on the other side of that click. But this is important stuff. Because this this is go to market strategy right here. Like what’s the landing page experience that that person gets to wherever they enter your site, or however they’re driven to it, especially with tech. So you know, there’s a different message that that’s important. What Full Scale, there’s a different message for someone that wants enterprise big enterprise development teams, as opposed to someone that wants to build a one off mobile app.

Matt Watson 26:20
Yeah. And that, and that’s the key topic here, right is, depending on your go-to-market strategy, also completely changes the structure of your business, your product, how you sell it, how you price it, how you package it, all of it can change dramatically, these things can be really tied to each other. Do you watch Breaking Bad? You ever watch? And some, in some sense, we related to Breaking Bad, right?

Matt DeCoursey 26:42
Like what took you 20 years to watch that?

Matt Watson 26:45
Do you want to be the guy who swings a little bit of meth? Or do you want to be the guy who makes pounds of it and sells it? Right? But the go to market strategy that is dramatically different? Right? And that’s the point is, your business model changes dramatically, depending on what you’re trying to do?

Matt DeCoursey 27:01
Did you really just compare Walter White and Jesse Pinkman? Yeah, you’re on the pod? Yes.

Matt Watson 27:06
Hey, pounds, you gotta

Matt DeCoursey 27:08
we’ve talked about everything from American Gangster to popsicle stick sculptures to large enterprise software. Here’s the thing, people, it a lot of these principles are still the same. Absolutely. They might, they might have different paths. But the basic tenants of go to market strategy and marketing in general, are highly similar. Do you want to believe Jesse Pinkman? Or Walter White? Yeah, I mean, right. Right. So I mean, to me, that’s an easy choice. Yeah. So all right. So there’s a lot of benefits to having to go to market strategy. Let’s talk about them. So first off, just generally, as a business, it’s creates a lot of clarity, and an open plan and direction. Yeah, like, this is what we’re doing. And this is how we’re doing. And, you know, if you do end up in a business that grows really quickly, and we went through this at Full Scale, sometimes you have to actually take a couple steps back and like refocus. And we’ve even done that recently, just, we’re doing less stuff because we went to create or go to market strategy. And we were looking for traction channels. And you have to you have to sit back and re-examine those from time to time. Yeah.

Matt Watson 28:19
So perfect example, right? At Full Scale. We have 220 employees, whatever it is, doing all sorts of stuff. But if somebody called you today and said, hey, hey, Matt, we love what you guys do. Can you build us a team of Ruby developers or Salesforce developers, you’d be like, This is not what we do. It’s not what we do, right? Because you’re like it the really hard to find. And then if we hire those people, you know, we have a long term commitment to these employees. But we don’t find a lot of clients that want this type of work. It’s just not our niche, right? At some point in time, you just have to say no to things, or otherwise, as a business, you get diluted, right? Like, oh, we do this, and we do this. And we do this, we do this. But then we have problems finding clients that want all these things, like our menu is too big.

Matt DeCoursey 29:01
Yeah. And that’s, I mean, once again, we’re comparing that to the sandwich shop that is too big. Yeah, and that’s the thing. So but but you got to figure some of that out in the beginning, I’m not going to, you know, look, anyone that’s going to tell you that you can have a precise vision and view of this before you actually do it is being overly optimistic because you really have to see how people react to things. There’s, you know, there’s there’s price, there’s competition, there’s demand, and like a whole lot of stuff that you just really don’t understand until you get in and start messing with it. I mean, that’s pretty much the whole thing. So, you know, like, overall, I mean, when it you know, a couple other things that we should, you know, we’ve mentioned, a target audience, once you start to figure that out, you can do things like, you know, looking at a buyer persona, you know, like Matt, so like at some of the businesses that you’ve owned and run like what Were some of the personas of the buyers.

Matt Watson 30:02
Well, like it’s tackifier, our persona was the development managers, usually right? Where like now that Netreo has acquired us, their persona is different. Its IT operations, the CTO, the CIO, and, and the ad the sysadmin. Side operation side of the house is totally different. Totally different persona. And yeah, every business is different, you know, even Full Scale sells into kind of it. Debt shops, right? But the persona of the buyer is a little different than Stackify and Netreo.

Matt DeCoursey 30:31
Yeah. And it is a completely different buyer, because the people that would be likely to install stack up I are not who I’m advertising to know, primarily, I mean, there, there is some overlap. It’s like, kind of like a Venn diagram version of it that that, you know, there. I mean, obviously, they habitate in the same space and world and there’s, there’s CTOs. But that’s only a fraction of the persona we look for. So some of the things I don’t mind sharing this. So as we evolved. And the interesting thing is, is, and thank you, for all of you that have reached out to us at Full Scale, like we see, we hear you, and we want to thank you. But when it comes to what we do at Full Scale, we don’t typically work with companies that are brand brand new, which is a little confusing, because we hope those Startup Hustle, and those are technically still startups. But those are that’s a, that’s a tough product market fit for us, because we deal primarily in full time services. And then they’re intended to be long term team building. So one of the things that’s a little trickier with a service business, and I still consider us to be a tech company, even though we are a tech services company, is, you know, our biggest assets are people. So we have to also make sure that our people are in stable for and moving organized environments, or they show up to work and they feel they feel that that added stress from that day one stuff, you know, like businesses are very chaotic in the very beginning. And that’s just the way it goes. So you know, some of it, but being able to define that persona is also being able to know and understand like our fastest growing and biggest clients have between 10 and 100 employees. Right, you know, are in growth mode. Well, and then some of well, but some of that that was the persona that some of them said a few years ago that now have 1000 employees. Yeah, so you got to be able to? And that’s, that’s a question too, is, you know, I was recently talking to someone about our services, and they were asking, you know, like, well, if we start with five people, how, how quick, can we get to 40? And that’s, uh, I mean, that’s, uh, you gotta, you need to be prepared to be honest about that, too, because you can’t get there, then, you know, that’s the thing. I mean, I think is as old and experienced, as I’ve become at a lot of this, I think that part of your go to market strategy, it just includes transparency, tell people what the benefits of your product are, tell them why you’re, what your competitive advantages and get to work trying to build some trust.

Matt Watson 33:11
You know, the the other thing that I think is universally the same, no matter what your product is, is content marketing, right, no matter what kind of company you have, and product you’re trying to sell, content marketing, in some form or another is part of what you do, right? Like, even if you’re doing enterprise sales, you’re writing a lot of white papers and case studies and different things, right? Versus if it’s, you know, gig a book or something. It’s a lot of blogging and trying to attract customers in that way. Right. And at Full Scale, we do podcasting. That’s a type of content marketing. It seems like content marketing is something that almost every business needs to do, but it could just be different kinds of content.

Matt DeCoursey 33:50
And on the day that we recorded this, Matt, we published an episode because we’re on Fridays now we move to the Friday spot, man writing time. Yeah, you know, it was primetime. And then it wasn’t, and then it is again, and it’s mainly just because you’re on Fridays. Now Matt, from time follows you. It’s unbelievable. Yeah, it’s unbelievable. So, you know, there’s so much of what we talked about, and I know we’re talking about go to market, but it’s you know, support is important and client retention. And what we have an episode of Startup Hustle TV, it’s episode 20.1 that has literally titled client retention tips from startup founders. Go to YouTube and type in Startup Hustle. Now, you know, when it comes to that, remember a sport. It’s important because you can drive as many new customers or clients and now if you’re just something Okay, so I used to sell pianos, man, you know that Right? A long, long time ago. People most people buy a piano wants. So, so client retention wasn’t always the priority at some of the places that I worked because you’re talking about a product that a traditional in three generations of the family, maybe 100 years, yeah, yeah. So, you know, now, I worked in the digital side of things. So we were also trying to convince people that those were real pianos. And you know, some of that client retention doesn’t matter. But, you know, for tech companies, if you can sign up as many users if you want, if you turn them all right away, oh, yeah, you’re wasting your time. So, you know, once again, today’s episode, Startup Hustle is brought to you by chat desk, they help you reduce the number of phone calls coming into your business by over 10%. By shifting calls over to Facebook Messenger and other channels, you can get started in just a few minutes, the search service is free for a limited time, be sure to check out chit chat forward slash shift, that’s chat, there’s a link in the show notes. You know, I went on a demo with him. And it was really cool, because they really will help you scale and they give you like, it’s like real people. It’s not just a bot or anything like that. So that’s pretty cool. So

Matt Watson 35:59
I saw something totally cool on my phone. The other day, I have an Android phone. I know, I’m not as cool as you and you have an iPhone. But on my Android phone, I went to call a business. And it came up and it said, you can chat with the business instead. Yep. And right on my phone, like on the dialer, like where I would dial the number, it prompted me to chat with the company, instead of calling them and I’m like, Holy shit, like, this is the best thing in the entire world that’s ever happened to me.

Matt DeCoursey 36:25
It’s because you don’t want to talk to people, right?

Matt Watson 36:27
No, no, I don’t want to talk to people.

Matt DeCoursey 36:31
So now I want to point out from from the for hear from my desk, the new Full Scale office in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, I can see a casino. And I’m staring right at it. And I just see a red number seven, because it’s the Seventh Street Casino. So I’m thinking my go to market strategy is going to be once again stealing one of your cars and taking it to play Penny slots, because that worked out for me like three or four years ago pretty well. I mean, that was my strategy I went in, you know, and I was gonna double, double, double, double, double, double, double, double. And then I think I had a lot of money at that point. So not really sure if I like it. So here we are at the end of the 33rd episode of our 52 part series. Which, what are your takeaways here?

Matt Watson 37:21
Well, I think for sure everyone’s everyone’s in the content business, you should be scraping some kind of content. I mean, there’s a whole lot of people that post videos on Tiktok even right, and it’s just trying to drive business to some other thing like Ollie only fans, or whatever it is these days, right? Like it’s crazy. But everybody’s in the content business. It’s just different kinds of content, depending on what your niche is. And I think the other thing is understanding your your go-to-market strategy and how it shapes every other facet of your business, right, depending on if you’re, if you’re going after small clients or big clients, or b2c, or b2b, whatever it is, the go-to-market strategy changes everything else. Are you Walter White, or Jesse Pinkman, at the end of the day.

Matt DeCoursey 38:02
Depending on where you watch that series, that’s a different, that’s a different question. So for me, I think, you know, if you don’t, I love the test, test, test thing you got to you got to roll that into the whole purpose that is to try and fail fast and figure out what really works. And I’ve said this before, and I say a lot just in life. I mean, when when you’re with a lot of this stuff, if you’re looking for a traction channel, I compare it to looking for a crack. And then when you find that crack, your next job is to try to shove an elephant through it. You know, that’s the whole the whole premise, that’s been my whole approach to marketing. So I run a lot of little micro tests to do a lot of this, like even for this podcast, where I tried different audiences, I tried different iterations of it, I tried different ad presentations. And I’m at the point where like, I can pretty much with 1000 impressions, I can tell, which is like five to 10 bucks, in most cases on something like Facebook, I can tell you if an ad is going to be a big hit or not. And that’s just because I’ve run a lot of different tests, I understand the traction channels. And you know, so much of that is important. And if you don’t run through that pretty quickly, you’re what you are going to run through pretty quickly is your budget. And, you know, it’s if you just if you have a one now, if you’re if you own a business, that you’re fortunate enough to be positive, that you only need to have one traction channel and that’s going to get it done good for you. But that is I don’t know anybody that has a business like that. You know, there’s so many different places and things and stuff that you can do and you got to figure that out. And I think when it comes to the go-to-market strategy, if you’re sitting there I’ve had people give me you know, they’re giving you a pitch they want an investment or something like that and well either they don’t have a go to market strategy which I see more Often and then not, which is not a good approach either. But then they’re they’re basing it on like, really smallest like tiny, tiny, like, hey, we signed up three customers and it was $2. apiece, how does the scale? Yeah, how do you how do you look at very repeatable? No, how does this How does this expand and then you can’t make assumptions. Without actually, you can, you can make assumptions. But you can’t really make plans without running some little bit of small tests. I mean, that’s really what it comes down to. And you don’t have to like, spend 10s of 1000s of dollars, like in most cases, a couple 100 bucks on on some platform is going to give you some idea, at least of what you’re going to pay, I actually just did this on on Facebook, and LinkedIn, when for Full Scale, and I was advertising to different personas. And here’s the thing people I was because, you know, we’re not a high lead, like a high number of leads kind of business. So I was just trying to test and see how much it would cost to even get a click. And that’s where that’s where the testing starts, just having an idea. Because since I mean there, you would be shocked, like there are businesses out in front, my friend owns, owns and operates a business that makes products for foundation repair. It’s like $100 a click, sometimes more to get that. So here’s the thing is like, if you don’t I mean, if you think it’s going to be way less than that. I mean, if your whole task budgets 100 bucks, and you get one click, you can’t really say a whole lot about that.

Matt Watson 41:37
Not scientific.

Matt DeCoursey 41:38
Right, right. So you can’t really plan a business, you can’t really get a go-to-market strategy. So you got to get that stuff figured out. And I think really in the end, if you’re not ready to, you know, like I said, if you’re not ready to, to do a little bit of that you’re gonna blow through the budget pretty quick. Yep. Well, Matt, is that out? Are we going to market?

Matt Watson 41:59
I think I think we’re ready. Let’s ship it.

Matt DeCoursey 42:01
Or am I going to the casino? My go-to-market strategy is to take my ad budget over to that casino.

Matt Watson 42:03
All in black?

Matt DeCoursey 42:10
Yeah, maybe I might just maybe, or odd. So I have a I have a foolproof system for winning at roulette. You sit by the table until something odd happens near the table and then you just put it all on odd.

Matt Watson 42:24
That makes sense.

Matt DeCoursey 42:25
Yeah. Works every time. So I’m gonna go do that. I’ll catch up with you next week.

Matt Watson 42:29
All right. See ya.