Our present world is one that favors an instant culture. Even in the realm of project management, we have shifted our prioritization towards speed and instancy.
We are seeing more and more organizations adopting agile methodology to boost their go-to-market (GTM) strategy. Ultimately, this approach can promote leaner development processes, improve customer satisfaction, and help you stay ahead of the competition.
Here’s everything you need to know about speed to market, how it can benefit your company, and the best practices to achieve it in 2022.
What is Speed to Market?
Speed to market (STM) is the time it takes to deliver a product, website, or landing page (among other projects) from its inception to when it is launched. As a KPI, speed to market can often be observed as one metric to measure the success of a launch.
Is speed to market the same as time to market?
TTM, or “time to market,” is synonymous with speed to market and also refers to the time it takes for a product to be ready from its inception to its launch. Both terms are usually used interchangeably.
Why are teams adopting the concept of speed to market?
People, organizations, and society as a whole are moving faster than ever before. Each day, new developments and trends are redefining the boundaries of every industry. Consequently, web-based companies are faced with immense pressure to differentiate. This harsh competition pushes players in the market to hone in on innovation to establish themselves as a leader. Those who are successful constantly move faster than the rest.
Ultimately, your ability to innovate is only as good as your speed to market.
Whether you are a first mover in an industry or content marketing innovator, a fast speed to market can yield market dominance, significantly bolster your brand identity, and boost the organization financially in the short and long term.
What is a Go-to-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is the comprehensive plan an organization creates to bring their product to market. The GTM identifies target audiences, defines branding, and coordinates marketing efforts to best position the launch for success.
Problems with Decreased Speed to Market
Let’s recognize the potential ramifications of a slowed speed to market.
Competitors gain an advantage
Operating slower than competitors drastically limits the chances to differentiate, allowing others to reach customers with new offers, services, and products. As a result, they get the first chance to grab market share, even if the product is subpar.
Pursuit of perfection draws out timelines
Teams can fall into the habit of perfecting their product instead of putting out an MVP (minimum viable product). Of course, this does not mean that teams should release a product without ensuring that it has the necessary functionality. However, the product should not have extra features that lengthen speed to market. The ideal product should be shipped as soon as possible, and constantly evolve over time.
Slower organizations tend to follow the industry, rather than disrupt it
Decreased speed to market gives consumers a chance to seek alternatives from competitors. As a result, you can develop a reputation of being an industry follower rather than a disruptor. In turn, this may affect your credibility and position in the market.
How Speed to Market Benefits Website Projects
The benefits of achieving a quick speed to market for product launches and features is obvious, but these benefits seamlessly transfer to websites, as well. Speed to market can enhance the speed of marketing website launches, as well as have an impact on its continuous improvement. Let’s examine a couple benefits of speed to market in relation to website projects.
MVPs ignite a process of iteration
With an MVP launch, you can determine the functionality and features your consumers want without spending too much time and resources on development. After establishing fundamental aspects, the requirements for the release of an MVP should be made explicit to every stakeholder.
Subsequently, MVPs can start an iterative cycle that improves efficiency after launching. Instead of waiting for the complete product, updates become a part of a recurring strategy that is planned and predictable. Ultimately, this will streamline procedures and increase the speed of the website’s release and evolution.
Optimal feedback loops add agility
To produce the best website at the highest velocity, you need to work with an agile team that maintains a constructive feedback loop between clients and teams. Communication channels must be utilized to maximize collaboration and efficiency. This is often practiced alongside project timelines called “sprints”, which dictate the execution of tasks over a short period of time.
A Marketer’s Guide to Speed to Market for a Website Project
For introducing a go-to-market strategy quickly without compromising on its quality, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Eliminate the outlying bottleneck
Marketers know how to do stuff fast. With plenty of tools and proven methods at their disposal, there is a solution for almost any marketing scenario. Trouble emerges when a marketer is dependent on things outside of their expertise.
Most notably, marketers are at a loss when it comes to unpacking faster ways of developing their website.
A lot of marketers are left wondering, “how can I speed up the hardest, most complex part of digital marketing?”. This is when marketers need to consider the construction of the team’s project.
Deploy the best team available
Most vital to a successful speed to market is the team behind the launch.
The fastest, best formulated website projects come from dedicated teams that have the proper talents, structure, and industry expertise. Internal teams, contractors, or a traditional agency can lack the knowledge, resources, or processes to move fast and scale with your website.
From our perspective here at Webstacks, we believe that B2B SaaS companies see the best results by working with website product teams.
We define a website product team as a dedicated and integrated team that solely focuses on a company’s marketing website, ensuring it evolves and grows properly alongside the company and its offerings.
Website product teams are experts in:
Design a strategy around speed
Pre-planning is the most important thing you need to do to guarantee quick speed to market. This plan should not only be carefully thought-out and reasonable; it should also be feasible. In turn, it should ensure that all the goals in mind are achievable within the allotted time.
Building a strategy also involves clearly understanding every contributor’s and team’s process, so it’s important to keep everyone involved in the loop.
You also need to account for all the possible risks. Keep in mind that unpredictable things can happen at any stage of development, and building the right strategy can help preserve key priorities and time frames.
Launching a new product or service is a big, long project, and it’s easy to get lost in everything that needs to be done. For this reason, your strategy should have bite-sized milestones that your team won’t struggle to achieve each week. Consider the tasks that need to be done at each stage so that you know when things need to be completed. Keeping reasonable milestones will also keep your teams motivated, and give you a better idea of their progress.
Speed to Market is Critical for Go-to-Market
Today’s fast-paced environment has resulted in rapidly-changing technologies and an increased number of competitors. Subsequently, speed to market has become a critical component of project management.
When developing a website, a strong go-to-market strategy should account for a dynamic landscape, intense competition, and an emphasis on agility. In other words, marketers must take a proactive approach towards planning and executing their product or website project launch.