Erik Lustgarten March 12, 2020
Defining the go-to-market of platforms can be a daunting process and is a common question we face from our customers throughout our engagements. Rolling out a platform forces the team that owns it to transition from being only a technology/service provider to also being a sales/marketing organization. This isn’t easy.
We have spent time at Nuvalence explaining the intricacies of building platforms in other blog posts but I want to walk you through some practical suggestions on how to most effectively roll them out and drive adoption.
Most organizations hope the platform’s value is so obvious that customers would line up to adopt it immediately, when the reality is that it rarely works this way.
Your potential users are (usually) happy to make a change when:
(a) there is immediate value
(b) the benefits outweigh any potential disruption to their day-to-day job.
The question then becomes, how can this be communicated and done in the most effective way possible?
Driving adoption for your platform requires a detailed and carefully executed plan and there aren’t many shortcuts you can take. Below are some suggestions and key points to keep in mind.
Focus on the why – This is usually one of the biggest pitfalls. Organizations tend to focus on the what, this is what the product does, this is how you do it rather than focus on the why. Why does this matter to your end customer? How is their day-to-day job going to change for the better? Every time you are presenting your new platform, make sure you focus on the why.
Constant Education – In the case where the value is not immediately apparent, be ready to constantly educate your potential consumers. They’ve been able to successfully do their job up until this point so why should they change? It will take a while for the message to resonate so be prepared to repeat these sessions constantly.
Signal a long term commitment – This is where communication from leadership becomes critical. Corporate policy needs to assure and communicate to users that this new platform is strategic to the organization and is here to stay. Pay attention to the words used when describing the platform. For example, using the word “pilot” signals that it’s being tested but the organization hasn’t committed to it yet.
Leverage early adopters – Having peers of your customers already using the platform instills a level of confidence that is hard to replicate with presentations. As the organization rolling out a platform, reach out to a few early adopters that can help iron out any kinks and serve as proof points of the value your platform brings.
Document and showcase early wins – This relates to the point above, once you have some early adopters using the platform, document their experience and leverage it as internal case studies. If you can directly show how their job has improved, this becomes one of your most critical sales and marketing tools.
Be ready to roll up your sleeves – Your customers are already dealing with their daily responsibilities and spending time learning/adopting a new platform isn’t high up in their priorities. There are many cases in which you, as the owner of the platform, will need to do the work with/for them.
Rolling out a platform is not rocket science, but it does require a well defined plan, proper execution, and the patience to see it through. Hopefully these suggestions above can help point you in the right direction.
As you work through your platform initiatives, do not hesitate to reach out, we are happy to help!