Mastering the Art of Modern Marketing: A People-First GTM Strategy

Mastering Modern Marketing: A People-First Approach

What’s up, everyone?

I will warn you: This thing is almost 4,000 words and will be LONG, but I promise you that it will be chock full of some really good stuff if you follow along.

Before we dive in, we just hit 1,000+ subscribers on this newsletter. So, THANK YOU! It means a ton to all of you that are following along.

If you are new to people-first and want to learn more for free, ClubPF Free includes a Slack group, The People-First Advantage book, a monthly webinar, and other practical GTM resources to help you start on this journey.

Alright - Let’s get into it!

Have you ever found yourself drowning in a sea of marketing strategies and tools, desperately trying to stay afloat in a constantly changing digital landscape? You're not alone.

Today's marketers are facing unprecedented challenges. With new platforms, algorithms, and trends emerging seemingly overnight, it's easy to feel like you're constantly playing catch-up. And let's be honest, keeping up with the latest trends while trying to cut through the noise and connect with your audience can feel like an uphill battle.

But here's the thing: the old way of doing things just doesn't cut it anymore. Gone are the days of generic, one-size-fits-all marketing messages. Today's consumers demand authenticity, relevance, and personalization.

Why the Old Way of Marketing Won’t Cut the Deal Anymore?

  • 71% of customers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions (source) - and we don’t blame them.

  • 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations (source).

  • 91% of consumers are likelier to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations (source: source).

These numbers clearly show that the old marketing method is no longer effective.

What Doesn't for Marketers Work Anymore:

  1. Mass Email Blasts involve sending generic, one-size-fits-all email campaigns to your entire contact list. This approach often results in low open rates, high unsubscribe rates, and little engagement.

  2. Cold Calling: Bombarding prospects with unsolicited phone calls and pitches without understanding their needs or preferences. In today's digital age, cold calling is often perceived as intrusive and can damage your brand reputation.

  3. Impersonal Ads: Creating advertisements that lack personalization and relevance to your target audience. Consumers are increasingly tuning out generic ads that don't speak to their specific interests or pain points.

What Works in a People-First GTM Perspective:

  1. Segmented Email Campaigns: Segmenting your email list based on factors such as demographics, behavior, and purchase history allows you to send targeted, personalized messages to different audience segments. This increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

  2. Educational Webinars: Host educational webinars or workshops that provide valuable insights and solutions to your target audience's pain points. You can establish credibility and trust with potential customers by offering free, informative content.

  3. Interactive Content: Create interactive content such as quizzes, assessments, or calculators that engage your audience and provide personalized recommendations based on their responses. Interactive content drives higher levels of engagement and helps you gather valuable data about your audience's preferences and needs.

  4. Social Media Listening: Monitor social media channels to listen to conversations about your brand, industry, and competitors. Engaging with customers in real-time and addressing their questions or concerns demonstrates your commitment to providing excellent customer service.

  5. Personalized Retargeting: Using retargeting ads to show personalized content or offers to website visitors based on their previous interactions with your brand. This keeps your brand top-of-mind and encourages visitors to return and complete their purchase.

Here is what you REALLY Need to Know:

How do you navigate this brave new world of marketing? By putting people at the forefront of everything we do, we can understand their needs, desires, and pain points and tailor our strategies accordingly. 

A people-first GTM perspective involves moving away from generic, impersonal tactics and towards personalized, engaging strategies that prioritize your audience's needs and preferences. You can build meaningful connections with your customers and drive better business results by leveraging segmentation, educational content, interactivity, social listening, and personalized retargeting.

In this newsletter, we'll explore modern marketing best tools + tips for your GTM success.

Why Do You Need Opinionated and Differentiated GTM Strategies?

1. Embrace Your Unique Voice: 

It's time to ditch the cookie-cutter approach and let your brand's personality shine through. Take inspiration from companies like Linear, HubSpot, Drift, and TACK, who aren't afraid to have a bold, opinionated voice that resonates with their audience. Whether it's through thought-provoking content, witty social media banter, or unconventional marketing campaigns, find your voice and own it.

2. Stand for Something: 

What do you believe in? What sets your brand apart from the competition? Take a stand on issues that matter to your audience, and let your values guide your GTM strategy. Whether it's environmental sustainability, social justice, or innovation, aligning your brand with a cause can create a powerful emotional connection with your audience.

3. Be Bold, Be Different: 

Don't be afraid to break the mold and challenge the status quo. Think outside the box and dare to be different in your marketing approach. Whether it's through disruptive product innovations, unconventional marketing channels, or daring storytelling, be bold in your pursuit of differentiation.

4. Create a Memorable Experience: 

In today's crowded marketplace, selling a product or service is insufficient. You must create a memorable experience that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. Whether it's through personalized messaging, interactive content, or immersive brand experiences, strive to make every interaction with your brand memorable and meaningful.

5. Continuously Iterate and Improve: 

The marketing world constantly evolves, and what works today may not work tomorrow. Stay agile and adaptable, and be willing to continuously iterate and improve your GTM strategy based on feedback, data, and market trends. Keep experimenting, learning, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

The Three D's of GTM

The core pillars of GTM success: Distribution, Differentiation, and Defensibility. 

  1. Distribution: Distribution refers to your strategy for reaching and engaging your target audience. It encompasses channels, tactics, and partnerships used to amplify your brand message and drive customer acquisition.

Examine the factors contributing to the defensibility of your business. Reflect on questions like:

  1. Do we have intellectual property or proprietary technology that provides a competitive advantage?

  2. How strong is our brand reputation and customer loyalty?

  3. Are there potential threats or vulnerabilities that we need to address to protect our market position?

  1. Differentiation: This is about standing out from the competition and articulating why your offering is superior. It involves crafting a unique value proposition, messaging, and positioning that resonates with your audience and sets you apart in the market.

Assess the clarity and effectiveness of your differentiation strategy. Consider questions such as:

  1. What sets our product or service apart from competitors?

  2. How well do we communicate our unique value proposition to customers?

  3. Are there emerging trends or customer needs that we can capitalize on to differentiate ourselves further?

  1. Defensibility: This refers to your business's ability to maintain a competitive advantage and protect against market threats. It includes factors such as product innovation, network effects, and barriers to entry that contribute to long-term sustainability and success.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your distribution channels and tactics in reaching your target audience. Ask questions like:

  1. How strong is our presence across various channels (online, offline, social media, etc.)?

  2. Are we effectively reaching our target audience segments?

  3. What channels are driving the most qualified leads and conversions?

How to Prioritize These Three D’s?

Now that you understand the importance of the Three D's, it's time to prioritize and conduct a deep dive into one area of your GTM strategy. Choose one "D" that you believe has the most significant impact on your business and conduct a thorough analysis.

  • Distribution: If reaching your target audience is a primary challenge, optimize your distribution channels and expand your reach.

  • Differentiation: If you struggle to differentiate your offering in a crowded market, refine your value proposition and messaging to communicate your unique benefits clearly.

  • Defensibility: If protecting your market position is a top priority, invest in strengthening your competitive advantages and mitigating potential risks.

By prioritizing and analyzing one "D" at a time, you can identify areas for improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance your overall GTM effectiveness.

Modern Marketers ToolKit Must Haves


#1 Social Proof

In today's digital age, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages, leading to increased skepticism. Social proof is a powerful antidote that provides real-world evidence of your product's value and efficacy.

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. By showcasing authentic testimonials, reviews, and case studies, you can demonstrate that your brand delivers on its promises and genuinely cares about its customers' success.

Where to Get and Publish Social Proof?

Review Sites: Did you know that 92% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing? (Source

Don't overlook the power of review sites like G2 Crowd, Trustpilot, and Yelp. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and showcase them prominently on your website.

Case Studies: Case studies provide concrete evidence of your product or service's impact on real businesses. Consider featuring detailed case studies on your website, complete with metrics and testimonials from satisfied clients.

Social Media: Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are goldmines for user-generated content (UGC). Share positive customer feedback, testimonials, and UGC to build social proof and engage your audience.

Customer Call Recordings: Dive deep into customer call recordings to uncover valuable insights into common pain points, objections, and success stories. Use this qualitative data to inform your marketing messaging and address customer concerns.

Go Beyond Product Social Proof:

  • Brand Social Proof: 

Social proof isn't limited to product testimonials. Showcase your brand's broader value proposition, including content, events, memberships, and overall brand reputation. For example, Airbnb leverages user-generated content on Instagram to showcase unique travel experiences and build brand trust.

  • Content Marketing: 

Content is king when it comes to building trust and credibility. Create high-quality content that educates, inspires, and engages your audience. For example, HubSpot's blog features in-depth articles and guides that position the brand as a thought leader in the marketing industry.

  • Events and Webinars: 

Host virtual events, webinars, and workshops to connect with your audience on a deeper level. Share customer success stories, industry trends, and best practices to demonstrate thought leadership and provide valuable insights to attendees.

How to Optimize Your Social Proof Strategy?

  • Strategic Placement: 

Ensure that social proof is strategically placed throughout your marketing collateral, including your website, emails, and social media channels. For example, Slack showcases customer testimonials on its homepage to establish credibility with visitors immediately.

  • Testing and Iteration: 

Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of social proof and messaging. Conduct A/B tests to determine which testimonials, reviews, and case studies resonate most with your audience, and iterate based on the results.

  • Continuous Monitoring: Keep a pulse on your social proof assets and monitor customer sentiment in real time. Use tools like Google Alerts, Mention, and Hootsuite to track brand mentions, reviews, and customer feedback and respond promptly to any concerns or inquiries.

By leveraging a diverse array of social proof assets and optimizing your strategy based on reader concerns, you can build trust and credibility and ultimately drive conversions for your brand. So, roll up your sleeves and start harnessing the power of social proof today!

 #2 Exclusive Offers

Why Exclusive Offers? Exclusive offers create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, compelling customers to take action before the opportunity slips away. By offering something unique and limited, you can motivate customers to act now rather than later.

How to Make Offers Irresistible? To make your offers irresistible, focus on providing tangible value and positioning them as must-have opportunities. Whether it's early access to new features, VIP access to events, or limited-time discounts, make sure your offers stand out from the crowd.

How to Create Exclusive Offers That Convert?

  • Partner Collaborations: 

Collaborate with trusted partners or influencers in your industry to create exclusive offers that resonate with your target audience. For example, fashion brand Nike partnered with basketball superstar Michael Jordan to create limited-edition sneakers that sell out within minutes.

  • Scarcity Tactics: 

Leverage scarcity tactics to create a sense of urgency and drive immediate action. For example, offer limited-time discounts, set a deadline for redemption, or restrict the number of available spots.

  • Value Proposition: 

Clearly communicate the value proposition of your exclusive offer and highlight what customers stand to gain by taking advantage of it. Whether it's access to premium content, enhanced features, or personalized experiences, ensure the benefits are crystal clear.

  • Trigger FOMO: 

Tap into the fear of missing out (FOMO) by emphasizing your offer's unique benefits and limited availability. Use compelling messaging and imagery to create excitement and urgency among your audience.

Which Platforms Are Best for Maximum Impact?

  • Email Marketing: 

Use email marketing to promote your exclusive offers and drive traffic to dedicated landing pages or registration forms. Craft compelling subject lines and personalized messages to capture attention and encourage opens and clicks.

  • Social Media: 

Harness the power of social media to amplify your exclusive offers and generate buzz among your followers. Use eye-catching visuals, compelling copy, and strategic hashtags to increase reach and engagement.

  • Website Pop-ups: 

Implement website pop-ups or banners to promote your exclusive offers and capture visitor interest. Use eye-catching design and persuasive messaging to encourage sign-ups or purchases.

  • Paid Advertising: 

Allocate budget for paid advertising campaigns to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your exclusive offer landing pages. Use targeting options and ad creatives that resonate with your target audience and compel them to take action.

By crafting exclusive offers that address reader questions, leverage strategic platforms, and measure performance for optimization, you can create compelling campaigns that drive action and deliver results for your brand. So, get creative, experiment with different tactics, and watch as your exclusive offers captivate and convert your audience.

#3 Targeted Programs & Integrated Revenue Campaigns

What Are Targeted Programs? Targeted programs are strategic initiatives designed to engage specific audience segments with tailored content, offers, and experiences. By focusing on a subset of your overall audience, you can deliver more relevant and personalized campaigns that drive higher conversion rates and revenue.

How Can Targeted Programs Drive Revenue? Targeted programs allow you to laser-focus your marketing efforts on high-potential prospects and accounts, increasing the likelihood of conversion and driving revenue growth. By delivering tailored messaging and offers to the right audience segments, you can generate more qualified leads and accelerate sales.

How to Launch Effective Targeted Programs?

  • Audience Segmentation: 

Start by segmenting your audience based on relevant criteria such as demographics, firmographics, behavior, or interests. Use data-driven insights to identify high-value segments with the greatest revenue potential.

  • Personalized Messaging: 

Tailor your messaging and offers to resonate with each audience segment's unique needs, pain points, and preferences. Whether it's through personalized emails, targeted ads, or customized landing pages, make sure your messaging speaks directly to the recipient's interests and challenges.

  • Multi-Channel Engagement: 

Engage your target audience across multiple channels and touchpoints to maximize reach and impact. From email marketing and social media advertising to webinars and direct mail, leverage a mix of channels to deliver cohesive and consistent messaging throughout the buyer's journey.

Which Platforms for Maximum Impact?

  • Marketing Automation: 

Use marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot to orchestrate targeted programs at scale. Set up automated workflows to deliver personalized content and offers based on each prospect's behavior and engagement level.

  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Platforms: 

Consider investing in ABM platforms like Terminus, Demandbase, or RollWorks to execute highly targeted campaigns focused on specific accounts or industries. These platforms enable you to deliver personalized content and experiences tailored to the needs of key stakeholders within each target account.

  • CRM Integration: 

Integrate your targeted programs with your customer relationship management (CRM) system to ensure seamless coordination between marketing and sales teams. Capture valuable prospect data and insights from your targeted campaigns and use them to inform sales outreach and follow-up efforts.

How to Optimize Performance?

  • Track Key Metrics: Monitor the performance of your targeted programs using key metrics such as engagement rate, conversion rate, and pipeline velocity. Measure the impact of your campaigns on revenue generation and customer acquisition to identify areas for optimization.

  • Closed-Loop Reporting: Establish closed-loop reporting processes to track the entire customer journey from initial engagement to revenue generation. Attribute revenue to specific marketing initiatives and channels to understand which programs drive the highest ROI and prioritize future investments accordingly.

  • Continuous Optimization: Continuously analyze and optimize your targeted programs based on performance data and customer feedback. Experiment with different messaging, offers, and channels to identify what resonates most with your target audience and drive continuous improvement.

By leveraging targeted programs and integrated revenue campaigns, you can engage high-potential prospects with personalized messaging and offers, drive revenue growth, and maximize the impact of your marketing efforts. So, roll up your sleeves, get strategic, and watch as your targeted programs deliver tangible results for your business.

How to Build a Library of Customer Examples to Win Trust

In the competitive marketing world, establishing trust with potential customers is paramount. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by showcasing authentic customer examples. 

Why a Library of Customer Examples Matters:

Imagine you're considering a new product or service. Wouldn't you feel more confident if you saw real-life examples of how others like you have benefited from it? That's precisely the purpose of a customer example library. It's a goldmine of real stories demonstrating your offerings' tangible impact on your customers' lives or businesses.

The Tactical Value of Customer Examples:

Customer examples are more than just feel-good stories; they're actionable insights that can guide potential customers through their decision-making process. When prospects see how others have successfully tackled challenges or achieved their goals using your product or service, they have concrete evidence of its value and effectiveness.

Moreover, customer examples serve as powerful teaching tools. They offer practical, real-world applications of your offerings, making complex concepts more accessible and relatable. This helps prospects understand what your product or service does and how it can specifically benefit them.

Success Stories from Industry Leaders:

Let's take a closer look at how industry leaders like HubSpot, Drift, and Airmeet leverage customer examples to build trust and drive growth:

  • HubSpot: With a vast library of case studies, HubSpot showcases how businesses across industries have used their inbound marketing platform to achieve remarkable results. From small startups to global enterprises, these real-life success stories inspire confidence in the effectiveness of HubSpot's solutions.

  • Drift: Known for its conversational marketing platform, Drift goes beyond the typical marketing spiel by sharing real-time success stories through webinars, blog posts, and social media. By providing transparent insights into how customers use their platform to engage and convert leads, Drift establishes credibility and trust with its audience.

  • Airmeet: In the era of virtual events, Airmeet has emerged as a leader in facilitating engaging online experiences. By showcasing the success stories of event organizers and attendees, Airmeet demonstrates the value of its platform in driving meaningful connections and interactions. These real-world examples serve as compelling proof of Airmeet's ability to deliver impactful virtual events.

Building a library of authentic customer examples isn't just about showcasing success but building trust. By providing tangible evidence of your product or service's impact, you teach potential customers and empower them to make informed decisions. So, roll up your sleeves, gather those stories, and watch as trust in your brand soars.

 How to Build a Library of Customer Examples?

The key elements of a library of authentic customer examples include:

  • Diverse Case Studies: Curate a diverse range of case studies that showcase how customers from different industries, backgrounds, and use cases have benefited from your product or service. This variety helps appeal to a broader audience and demonstrates the versatility of your offerings.

  • Compelling Testimonials: Gather compelling testimonials from satisfied customers that highlight specific benefits, outcomes, or experiences they've had with your product or service. Authentic quotes from real customers add credibility and resonance to your marketing materials.

  • Quantifiable Results: Whenever possible, include quantifiable results or metrics to demonstrate your product or service's tangible impact on customers. Measurable outcomes provide concrete evidence of value, whether it's increased revenue, improved efficiency, or higher customer satisfaction scores.

  • Engaging Formats: Present customer examples in engaging formats that capture attention and encourage consumption. This could include written case studies, video testimonials, audio interviews, or interactive presentations. Experiment with different formats to cater to diverse preferences and learning styles.

  • Clear Attribution: Clearly attribute each customer example to the respective customer or organization, ensuring transparency and authenticity. Include relevant details such as company name, industry, and role/title of the customer featured to add context and credibility.

  • Permission and Consent: Obtain explicit permission and consent from customers before featuring their stories or testimonials in your library. Respect their privacy preferences and ensure compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR or CCPA.

  • Updated and Relevant Content: Regularly update your library with fresh customer examples that reflect the latest use cases, success stories, and industry trends. Keep the content relevant and tailored to your target audience's interests and pain points.

  • Accessible and Organized: Make your library of customer examples easily accessible to both internal teams and external audiences. Logically organize the content with intuitive navigation and search functionality to help users find relevant examples quickly and efficiently.

The Bottomline


A modern marketer's toolkit, viewed from a people-first perspective, prioritizes human connections, authenticity, and trust over traditional metrics like conversion rates and sales numbers. While conventional marketing strategies often focus solely on driving transactions and maximizing ROI, a people-first approach recognizes that fostering genuine customer relationships is paramount for long-term success.

The modern marketer's toolkit emphasizes:

  1. Relationship Building: Putting the needs and preferences of customers first and foremost, prioritizing personalized interactions and meaningful engagement over impersonal mass marketing tactics.

  2. Authenticity and Transparency: Embrace transparency in communication, be genuine and honest about products or services, and leverage authentic customer stories and experiences to build trust.

  3. Empathy and Understanding: Understanding your target audience's pain points, challenges, and aspirations and crafting marketing strategies that resonate with their emotions and values.

  4. Community and Collaboration: Foster a sense of community and belonging among customers, encourage collaboration and co-creation, and leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

  5. Long-Term Relationship Building: Recognizing that customer relationships extend beyond the initial sale and focusing on nurturing ongoing connections through post-purchase support, loyalty programs, and advocacy initiatives.

While traditional marketing approaches may prioritize short-term gains and transactional relationships, a people-first perspective acknowledges the importance of building authentic, trust-based customer connections that drive long-term loyalty and advocacy. This shift in mindset and strategy ultimately leads to more meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships between brands and their customers.

Coming next week: GTM Collaboration and Success.

Until then. Be safe, and please do me a favor and share this newsletter with others if you enjoy it. 🙂 

Nick

PS: Give me a follow on LinkedIn, where I talk a lot about this stuff, too.

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