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Times are changing…your GTM strategy needs to change too

This week's newsletter has a Q&A from Salesforce's Andy Lihani, updated Pitch Deck Interest Metrics, and more.

In this week’s newsletter we look at pitch deck interest is up 14% YoY — higher than normal for this time of year. See more on VC interest and find out what Salesforce’s Andy Lihani says should be your go-to-market response to COVID-19.

The Active VC List keeps growing

Our Active VC List updates live with firms like General Catalyst, 500 Startups, and Techstars — and you can add to the list.

Q&A with Andy Lihani: Product Marketing Manager at Salesforce

How should startups think about their go-to-market plans given the current climate?

As marketers, we have to address the elephant in the room. We have to be upfront that we are facing unprecedented times and challenges. If we keep the status quo of our GTM plans and messaging and ignore the reality of the situation we can come off as insensitive and tone deaf. This might mean shifting our prospecting email messaging from “Here’s an awesome customer story/reason to buy” to “Here’s what we’re doing to keep our product up and running; here’s what to do if you run into a problem.”

Given fewer resources, how should product marketers prioritize their efforts right now?

1) Messaging and positioning. The first step is to remember that our customers are people, too. Prioritize your messaging so that you’re empathizing with the specific problems your customers are feeling today.

2) Embrace digital tactics. With social distancing in place for the foreseeable future, adapt your tactics and embrace going 100% digital. You can launch engaging and awesome virtual events, online meetups, and even conferences.

3) Experiment with new content. Wanted to try your hand at podcasting? Now’s the time. Mulling over that webinar mini-series you’ve been thinking about? Go for it. This is the time to try new channels and mediums. In order to stand out in a world where (nearly) every company is marketing exclusively online, you need to put your creative-problem-solving hat on.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve seen startup product marketers make?

Publishing your content, message, positioning, or customer value props without  ever talking directly with a customer to validate it. That might sound crazy, but we’re all human, we have stresses, deadlines, and sometimes not enough hours in the day, and it’s easier to cut corners. But, assuming your message is correct without first testing and validating with a real-life customer is a recipe for failure. You might be able skate by in the short-term, but you’ll run into issues as you scale.

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The “Why Now” slide is the most important one in your pitch deck right now

Investors are weighing their decisions more heavily in the current environment. Here’s how to use the “Why Now” slide to put them at ease. Read on the DocSend blog now.

Founders need to rethink their business models completely

Surviving the current crisis goes beyond just cutting back. Founders need to rethink how to build a business when capital is no longer abundant. Read on Forbes now.