J12 Ventures
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J12 Ventures

Product-led growth is a trend spanning across verticals (image by author)

PLG and the “Modern” GTM — what’s the hype about?

Product-led growth (PLG) has emerged as the buzzword of 2021 in the startup and venture capital scene. As go-to-market strategies continue to transform, we are seeing a movement from sales-led to PLG motions. According to OpenView, PLG is “an end user-focused growth model that relies on the product itself as the primary driver of customer acquisition, conversion and expansion.”

Image source Bessemer State of the Cloud 2021 report

🤝 PLG — the end of sales?

Instead, PLG just means that we need to reimagine sales: PLG changes the role of sales and customer success, blurring the lines between the two.

So when is the right time to add a sales team layer as a PLG startup?

Image source Bessemer State of the Cloud 2021 report

📝 The importance of Product Marketing early on

Product marketing is the vital work of developing e.g. a customer lifecycle journey, pricing, sales support materials, and community. Demand generation consumes the outputs from product marketing and injects them into marketing machinery that delivers content to prospects at scale consistently.

Image source Product Marketing for New Products by a16z

Content is king

The Old Way vs The New Way by Dave Gerhardt

Don’t forget the early importance of design and UX research

🏟️ PLG = Community

“Marketing adds scale / reach to community efforts, community brings authenticity / human perspective to marketing. It’s a perfect match.”

Image source dbt Lab’s Series C announcement

Be the expert in your category not just of your tool or platform.

Expertise, champions and influencers

Image source Bessemer State of the Cloud 2021 report

Lightning in a bottle

Time to value is a key metric that every PLG startup should track.

📚 Recommended further readings



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Oliver Molander

Co-founder at Validio and early-stage tech investor at J12 Ventures. Preaching about the realities & possibilities of Data & ML.