The New Pragmatic Institute Market and Launch Classes
In July of this year Pragmatic Institute introduced a big change to our curriculum that reflects the feedback we’ve received over the years. Many of you have asked “What’s new? What’s different?”. I’ll give you a high-level overview in this post. The new curriculum consists of five classes, anchored by a prerequisite class titled Foundations. As the name implies, Foundations covers the foundations of Pragmatic Institute and teaches the core concepts that are needed for the other four classes: Focus, Build, Market, and Launch.
This post focuses on an overview of the new curriculum with an emphasis on the Market and Launch classes.
One of the important improvements of the new curriculum is flexibility. You start by having your team trained in the Foundations of Pragmatic Institute. This class has been designed for a broad audience, not just product managers or product marketing managers. In other words attendees are not going to hear a bunch of industry lingo they won’t understand. If your desire is to build an organization that identifies and responds to market needs, everyone needs to understand what that means and how they can contribute.
A second big improvement is that each of the five classes now have certification exams! It’s now possible to become Pragmatic Institute Certified in five distinct areas, not just one.
Understand the Curriculum Flow
The easiest way to think of the new Pragmatic Institute curriculum is that it forks after Foundations into two directions. One is for product management (what to build), the other product marketing (taking it to market). However, once you’ve taken Foundations you are free to take any of the other four classes.
The implication is tremendous flexibility to choose the classes you need, whether you choose one day or five days of training.
After taking Foundations, the Market + Launch path contains the two classes that cover go-to-market and launch. I like to refer to these as the product marketing path because the classes start with an assumption of a market-driven context.
While highly complementary, Market is not a prerequisite class for Launch. Many technology companies throw good money after bad experimenting blindly with promotional tactics. It’s one of the key reasons why marketing teams get a reputation for ‘wasting’ money.
The Market class emphasizes a strategically-oriented approach to building a solid go-t0-market plan. The topics covered in the Market class include:
- Connecting business goals with marketing execution
- Building Buyer Personas – the people who influence a buying decision
- Exercise in building a Buyer Persona
- Buying Process – understanding how your buyers in a market segment make a buying decision
- Identifying the Target Buyer within a market segment
- Prioritizing marketing programs
- Identifying marketing asset gaps – what’s missing that buyers need
- Optimizing content for purpose
- Measuring the impact of marketing through return on investment (ROI)
- Developing a marketing plan
The time horizon for the Market class is assumed to be 12 months, as we typically build marketing plans that cover a year. The Launch class focuses on a specific launch instance within that 12 month window. Mostly we will be discussing product launch, but the methods used in the class are equally effective in launching other initiatives (think pricing, licensing, changes in corporate direction, etc.).
Without a doubt the most common problem with product launches in technology is a lack of organizational readiness: the product is done but Sales doesn’t know enough about it, Marketing is not ready, Finance can’t book a sale, Customer Support can’t help customers. Sound familiar?
The Launch class explores marketing execution in general, as well as operational readiness for a launch. The topics covered in the Launch class include:
- Why standardized launch checklists are insufficient
- Connecting execution with strategy
- 7 Launch Strategies
- Exercise in choosing launch strategies
- Assessing operational readiness
- Understanding organizational constraints
- Developing a launch readiness scorecard
- Enabling the sales channels
- Understanding Sales Resistance and how to address it
- Leveraging Marketecture in the development of marketing assets
BTW, if you’re wondering why Positioning is missing from Market and Launch, it’s because it’s now in the Foundations class. It is such an important core topic we elevated it and teach it to everyone, it’s not valuable just for messaging. We refer to Marketecture and Positioning throughout Market and Launch, leveraging what was learned in Foundations.
If you have any questions about the Market and Launch classes please post your comment below, visit the class pages on the Pragmatic Institute website, or call our office at +1.480.515.1411.
I hope to see you at a Foundations, Market, and Launch class sometime soon!
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