In this week's newsletter: Why Marketing GTM Fails
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Scale Smarter #206
by Edwin Abl

Last week at an event, I was asked why marketing GTM fails.

​Here are the results.

Now, on to this week's ideas...


Hey, it's Ed, and welcome to the weekend. Thank you for reading the Scale Smarter Newsletter — a once-a-week briefing with ideas from me, SaaS GTM insight and mindset tools for everyday life. This newsletter aims to provide you with actionable information in condensed form.


1. Aligning sales and marketing to create a shared vision that drives revenue growth 

At an event this week, I broke down how to improve sales and marketing alignment, why the key to “scale” isn’t what you think it is, and revealed to scale lead generation, business leaders should focus on building a niche ahead of broadening their target audience. 

🟢 Creating alignment between sales and marketing, and the role leadership plays
🟢 Placing an increased focus on the delivery of leads against your Ideal Client Profile (ICP)
🟢 Scaling your business by focusing on your ‘niche’

2. Rize has transformed my working habits

Over the years, I have tried tool after tool for time tracking, app blocking and insight into where I spend my time. None ever quite worked. But this tool automates that whole process (you don’t need to do anything). It helps you understand where you focus, set goals around your focus time and weekly reports, that are actually useful. 

3. From the archives: One of the most intriguing concepts I encountered this week was: Customer Led Growth. We all know that Product Led, Sales Led, or Marketing Led are common approaches to strategy. Never customer-led. Which on face value seems evident because the customer is the core of your business. Designing your GTM around the customer is a great framework to think about implementing. 

The core components of customer-led fall into: 

• Audiences
• Awesomeness
• Accessibility
• Amplification
• Acquisition
• Activation
• Adoption
• Advocacy

You build the marketing GTM from these pillars. 



4. Scaling sales with product marketing

These three critical pieces of product marketing work are crucial for success pre-scaling. 

1. Train the team on your positioning and messaging
2. Create your most critical sales enablement tools
3. Ensure feedback loops are in place

Here are the most crucial product marketing activities.

5. I’m getting deeper and deeper into the simplicity of how if you sort out your value proposition, everything becomes much easier, especially when thinking about scaling. Here are ten questions for assessing your value proposition.

6. Building a strategic playbook is the most important planning factor for confidently scaling.

It’s the basis of knowing what you need to do for the quarter or year ahead. It helps you be on the front foot. But it’s amazing how many sales and marketing leaders don’t have one.

The result is you always end up being reactive and tactical instead of being proactive and strategic.

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Marketing Playbook. 



7. How to remember what you read

> Summary: 

✅ Quality matters more than quantity. If you read one book a month but fully appreciate and absorb it, you’ll be better off than someone who skims half the library without paying attention.
✅ Speed-reading is bullshit. Getting the rough gist and absorbing the lessons are two different things. Confuse them at your peril.
✅ Book summary services miss the point. Many companies charge ridiculous prices for access to vague summaries bearing only the faintest resemblance to anything in the book. Summaries can be a useful jumping-off point to explore your curiosity, but you cannot learn from them the way you can from the original text.*
✅ Fancy apps and tools are not needed. A notebook, index cards, and a pen will do just fine.
✅ We shouldn’t read stuff we find boring. Life is far too short.
✅ Finishing the book is optional.  




One more thing... Thanks for reading.

Enjoy your day. And if you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to a friend 🤝, tweet me 👏, or if you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can subscribe here.



🤔  Why Marketing GTM Fails 

Marketing GTM failure vs Marketing GTM success 

Marketing GTM failure: 

- Marketing is seen as something that is an afterthought
- Weak interplay between marketing and sales 
- Marketing (just) becomes an annual planning exercise with zero execution 
- The company doesn't have a clearly defined role for it
- Equates "scale" with volume 
- Obsessed with tactics 
- Highly reactive to metrics 
- Everybody's focus is on the sales process, not marketing 

Marketing GTM success: 

- Marketing strategy drives the HOLISTIC company GTM 
- You articulate a clearly defined role, i.e. brand building, sales activation, sales enablement support 
- Aligned closely with ruthless sales execution 
- "Scale" is what each incremental dollar invested does in terms of growth
- Obsessed with strategy <> tactics 
- Sales understands the "value of marketing." 
- Pro-active with metrics, can articulate trends in the pipeline 
- Strategy is implemented iteratively and reviewed weekly 
- Focus on "one commercial" engine 

Remember, your destination is an investor's enterprise value creation. Marketing plays a significant role in that outcome because it's in the long term. 

And the success of a company is what you call a nested probability,  so you have market execution; in that, you have seven or eight critical variables.

Marketing GTM is one of those variables, so ensure you get it right. 



Want Me To Show You How To Build A Marketing Playbook 1-ON-1?

Pitch: I'll give you proven playbook templates used by fast-growing teams and my experience scaling B2B marketing machines.

Take it for a test drive



This newsletter is my passion project. I hope it helps you gain deeper insight and equips you to learn at the pace needed to keep up. Many readers have asked about how we can work together. In case you’re interested, I do three things.

(1) DUE DILIGENCE: Demand Karma helps B2B SaaS VCs validate investments, benchmark capabilities, and supercharge the 100-day plan—companies love complex, customers love simple, and VCs love that we make it simple.

(2) GTM COACH: Retained advising at funded scale-ups. A simple monthly fee. Helping CEOs build a scalable marketing machine. I'll help you fix your biggest challenges.

(3) MENTORING: Monthly coaching for marketing teams, CMOs / CROs / VPs, revenue teams and CEO insights for solving GTM problems. 

If you’re interested, let’s jump on a call to see if you’re a good fit. 

Click here to schedule a call.
Copyright © 2023 Edwin Abl, All rights reserved.

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Edwin Abl · 32 Lavender Sweep · London, London SW11 1HA · United Kingdom