In business, as in politics, “the movement is the message” — whether that “movement” is a product that’s taking off grassroots-style in an enterprise, or is a political candidate. In fact, you can think of political campaigns in general as a lot like startups … only there’s no second place in politics! And you can definitely think of business — and in particular go-to-market strategy — as a lot like political campaigns: in allocating marketing resources, going up against incumbents, and much more.
Ultimately, it all comes down to the message — setting the criteria and narrative as tailored for different “buyer” personas, from developers/users/CxOs to the voters you have to persuade. But how do you tell a message is working? With such complex, coordinated efforts behind a visionary product or person, is there room for instinct in message development and discipline?
And where does the competition come in? They’re laying traps for sure, and while that’s obvious in politics it may not be so obvious in business. So pay attention to political campaigns as a way to think about go-to-market business principles, argues a16z’s Mark Cranney, with longtime political operator Todd Cranney (who is also his brother!) on this episode of the a16z Podcast … another one of our “hallway conversations”.