Launching a new product can be a fast-paced and considerably demanding activity. But with a go-to-market (GTM) strategy, you can better position your product to your ideal customers and mitigate the inherent risk of launching a product or service.
However, providing your GTM team with a well-defined outline of future activities and marketing strategies for the upcoming product launch is necessary for them to remember deadlines or find the correct project links.
Integrating an event calendar into your go-to-market strategy, however, can be the difference - from allowing you to keep track of your project milestones to helping your team stay aligned and much more.
In this article, you will learn how to build an event calendar that aligns with your go-to-market strategy to achieve a seamless product launch.
What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?
When launching a product, whether it be a new product in an existing market or an existing product in a new market, you need a plan to succeed.
You'll want to ensure your target buyers see your product, appreciate and understand its value, and are compelled to buy once it hits the market.
A well-crafted go-to-market strategy can heighten the chances of your product being well-received by your target audience when it is eventually released into the market.
To craft a go-to-market strategy for an upcoming product launch, you must first understand your market, prioritize your ideal customer's pain point, and identify your competitive advantage.
For a well-rounded go-to-market strategy, you will have to conduct competitive research into products similar to what you want to launch and identify what unique selling points your product has over your competitors.
The steps include:
- Mapping customer problems to your product solution.
- Developing key messaging for marketing and sales efforts.
- Identifying sales channels.
Before you eventually launch the project, you may need to go to market several times and measure results to enable you to build a customer base with a strong go-to-market strategy.
Generally, a well-crafted go-to-market strategy reduces the time to market for your product and increases growth potential. Also, your go-to-market strategy can reduce the inherent risk of introducing a product to a market.
Why is aligning your Event Calendar with your GTM Strategy important?
A well-crafted event calendar that outlines everything a gtm team needs is essential to the product launch in several ways.
Here are some essential event calendars in the GTM strategy:
- Strategic planning: Using an event calendar for a project launch enables the GTM team to schedule their tasks, activities, and campaigns in advance, promoting strategic planning.
- Resource management: Event calendars assist in the delegation of responsibilities, which in turn can help your GTM team manage time, budget, and personnel better.
- Goal alignment: An event calendar that aligns with your GTM strategy helps to ensure that every assigned activity of your GTM team contributes to the achievement of the product launch objectives.
- Deadline management: Using an event calendar that aligns with your GTM strategy will help your GTM team to stay on top of the deadlines of their assigned tasks. This helps ensure that all activities contribute to the product launch goals.
- Cross-team collaboration: A shared hybrid event calendar with your GTM team provides a reference point for communication and coordination among the different departments.
What are the elements of an event calendar for a product launch
To ensure that your event calendar aligns with your GTM strategy, there are some key elements it should have.
Some of the key elements to include in your event calendar include:
- Key project responsibilities directed at the product launch.
- A summary of the overall responsibilities of various departments of your GTM team and the team members who make up each department.
- Illustration of timelines and deadlines for every task.
- A concise list of activities, tasks, and campaigns for the product launch with the expected timeline for completion.
- Assigned individual tasks to members of the marketing team.
How to build an event calendar to align with your Go-To-Market Strategy
Building an event calendar that aligns with your GTM strategy can be challenging, as many product launches involve many activities.
However, a clearly defined event planner ensures the product launch goes smoothly and seamlessly when done right.
Follow these steps to build your event calendar that aligns with your gtm strategy:
- Choose a hosting method for the event calendar: First and foremost, choose a suitable event calendar software for your GTM team. The preferred software to host your event calendar should be easy to use, syncable across devices, and offer collaboration with team members, among other things.
- Consider your GTM Strategy: Your event calendar should have provisions for all the activities, campaigns and projects in the GTM strategy needed to make the product launch a success.
- Get your crucial GTM members involved: Get the team leads of your GTM team engaged in building the event planner. This will ensure no detail or phase of the entire product launch process is missed.
- Take note of important milestones and dates on the product launch campaign: Next, identify the key dates and important milestones on your product launch campaign, add them to the event planner, and attach a deadline to keep your GTM team on track.
- Delegate tasks to team members: Delegate clear-cut functions to members of your GTM team, indicating the urgency level of the task and the deadline. Team leads should be able to monitor progress on the event calendar.
Event calendar types that can help product launch
Every go-to-market team usually comprises of several departments doing their bits towards ensuring the actualization of the objectives of the product launch campaign.
However, specific types of calendars provide different departments of a GTM team with a schedule of activities to fulfil the realisation of the product launch objectives.
Here are some common event calendar types for various departments within a GTM team:
- Social Media Marketing Calendar: This event calendar contains the social media posts scheduled for a product's launch. With this calendar, the social media department members will know the deadline for content to be ready and the dates for each campaign.
- Integrated Marketing Calendar: This type of event calendar for a product launch is used when several traditional and digital channels are utilized simultaneously. The content of an integrated marketing calendar can include dates for PR activities, print advertisements, social media posts, etc.
- Digital Marketing Calendar: This type of event calendar provides the dates for specific activities targeted at reaching out to potential customers before a product launch. The events likely to be outlined in a digital marketing calendar include but are not limited to dates for paid campaign launches, schedules for email marketing communication, and publication dates on guest websites.
- Editorial/Content Calendar: An editorial calendar provides the editorial team with an agreed-upon system for planning, writing and scheduling content. The team can track content types, promotional channels, authors, and when to publish with this calendar. This helps prevent a pile of deadlines, team tension and inconsistency, among other things.
Best event calendar software for a product launch
Several project management and collaboration tools have calendar features that a go-to-market team can utilize to launch a product.
From the numerous applications and software in the market that offer the event calendar feature, here are some of the best webinar platforms too you can trust for your product launch campaign:
This excellent project management tool offers one of the best event calendars a GTM team can use for a product launch campaign.
Team members can enjoy optimum collaboration on ClickUp with a shareable calendar, real-time management, and internal communication features.
- Seamless integration with over 1,000 third-party tools such as Slack, Trello, Asana, etc.
- Features many task management features to track tasks and optimize workflow.
- Access free templates for social media calendars, email marketing, content strategies, etc.
- Some users may find the many task management features overwhelming.
CoSchedule calendar software comes in three packages: the Blog Calendar, Marketing Calendar and Marketing Suite, which offer features that a GTM team would find helpful in executing a product launch.
With these packages (at different price points), a GTM team can use CoSchedule to manage online blogs and social media accounts relating to the product launch, share event calendars with team members, manage projects, and track the progress of tasks, among other functions.
- Ease of use
- Specific packages
- Centralisation of projects in one place
- Packages are fairly pricey for the functions they offer.
- There are no bulk uploads.
- Complicated layout.
With its one real-time, centralised platform that can be easily accessed on various vices, Smartsheet is an easy-to-use tool that is available for a GTM team working on a product launch campaign.
In addition, this tool integrates with other third-party apps, enabling streamlining workflow and data synchronisation.
- Top-notch collaborative features for teams.
- Easy to use and intuitive interface.
- Permits integration with third-party tools.
- Steep learning curve.
- Add-on required for resource management and time-tracking.
- Pages are not updated in real-time.
- Some users may find the spreadsheet-like interface unsettling.
Asana is a powerful tool that offers several work management features to businesses, including the calendar function.
With this software, a GTM team can utilise its task management features to efficiently allocate and track deadlines on assigned activities and projects of team members.
- Expansive integration with other productivity software, e.g. Google Drive and Slack.
- Top-notch task management function.
- Impressive team collaboration features.
- Assignments to team members are limited to only one user at a time.
- No time-tracking capability.
- There are too many features.
Wrike is a cloud-based project management and collaboration tool that a GTM team can use to manage a product launch efficiently.
This tool is noted for its capability to integrate with various productivity applications like Salesforce and Microsoft Teams and its easy-to-use task management features that teams can work with.
- Improved visibility
- Flexible project templates.
- Easy-to-use task management functions.
- It is expensive for small businesses or individuals.
- Delayed notification on some integration.
- Absence of chat options with other team members (only possible through integration with third-party applications such as Slack).
Launching a product is no walk in the park as it involves many activities simultaneously. Crafting a well-rounded go-to-market strategy can significantly enhance the success of your product launch.
To make certain your product launch goes according to plan, it is pertinent to integrate an event calendar that aligns with your GTM strategy. As we have demonstrated above, there are several project management tools with event calendar features that you can utilise to keep track of project timelines, responsibilities and objectives, ensuring your product launch journey stays on schedule and is a big success.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you create an effective marketing calendar?
Outline key events and product launches, align marketing activities with business goals, and include diverse channels such as email, social media, and content creation. Schedule regular reviews to adapt to market trends, ensuring a dynamic and effective marketing calendar.
What are the two types of marketing calendars?
There are 2 types of marketing calendars. Content calendar and promotional calendar. Content calendars focus on planning and scheduling content creation, while promotional calendars emphasize the timing and execution of marketing campaigns. Both types work cohesively to ensure strategic and well-timed marketing activities.
Why is a calendar important in marketing?
A marketing calendar provides structure, ensures consistency, and aids in strategic planning. It helps align marketing efforts with business goals, schedule campaigns effectively, and maintain an organized approach for improved overall marketing efficiency.