Prepping for your first go-to-market (GTM) experiment. (Part 3)

Prepping for your first go to market experiment P3

Okay, founder! You’ve made it to the final part of prepping for your very first go-to-market experiment.

This is where the rubber hits the road.

By now, you’ve gone through parts 1 and 2 of prepping for your go-to-market experiment. You know:

  1. Your ideal target audience and
  2. The challenges they face are their pain points and how your product solves these issues.

You should also have created messaging that resonates with them and designs that capture their attention – enough to drive action. Armed with this, you’re ready to run your ads or your first experiment. 🎉

Test your idea—even your B2B one—on Facebook first

There are three things you’re looking to test with your first go-to-market experiment: your audience, messaging, and the offer. As a founder, remember that the core of your first experiment is to validate your idea rather than generate revenue. The goal is to find which messaging, and audience performs the best and responds to the offer amongst the different ad sets.

The industry you’re in will usually determine which platform you choose to run your experiment, but at CrowdTamers, we typically start with Facebook. Why? The CPC is cheaper on Facebook; it has one of the highest ROAS for any social platform, and because of the vast user base, you have a chance to focus your ads so you can get answers faster. However, based on your initial research, the platform where most of your audience is where you’ll want to run your first experiment.

Head to the Facebook ad manager and set up your ad campaign. For a step-by-step guide on how to get started with Facebook marketing, check out this blog post – Facebook Marketing 101. As mentioned earlier, your first experiment in your go-to-market process is to validate your idea – not to generate revenue, so you should set your campaign to awareness, not sales. Ensure everything is correctly set up, so you’re capturing sufficient data for this first experiment.

How do you know which audiences to target? There are several factors to consider, most of which are covered in this blog – GTM Weeks 1 & 2 – Who Do You Sell To? From audience size (which is typically about 10,000+) to demographics, company info, and interests; there is a detailed guide on how to ensure you get your targeting right. When setting up your ads, you’re looking to target 4-5 audiences most interested in your product; this will also include targeting sub-niches.

2 things to think about when building an audience on Facebook

Building your audience correctly is the first step to creating and launching your Facebook campaign correctly. Facebook ad targeting has the power to be laser-like in its focus but that’s when your goal is to convert on a landing page. When audience building on Facebook, you have to make sure that your audience reflects the campaign goals you’re trying to achieve.

To get the right audience for your first go-to-market experiment, you should target by:

  1. Demography – this covers everything from gender, age, parental status, household income, where they live, and a ton of other factors.
  2. Experience – simply put, this refers to where they are in the customer life cycle.

You want a narrow enough audience – between 100,000 – 5 million people – this way, you can learn a lot about their preferences from the ads. You also want to test different ideas for the same audience to see a clear performance difference in the CTR. We go in-depth in this blog post about 2 ways to target an audience on Facebook.

Creating the test on Facebook

It’s safe to assume that you have your Facebook account all setup and ready to run ads. Head on to and select Ads manager.

Click on ‘Create’ to make a new campaign. Recall that the goal of this experiment is to validate your idea so we’ll set the campaign objective to ‘Traffic’. Name your campaign and click next. Then you set your campaign budget – you can set a general budget or a daily budget – depending on how closely you plan to track the ads. Set a start & end date and then move on to building your audience.

Here is where you pick your carefully selected target. Set up the demographic information, interests, and any other variables that adequately represent your audience, and then select Automatic when you get to placement.

Next, go to your ad setup, select Image/Video, and then click on add media. Upload the creative you created in Part 2. Keep in mind the different dimensions of your ads:

  • Facebook feed and in-stream videos should be square images (1080 x 1080 pixels)
  • Stories should be a long, tall rectangle. (1080 x 1920 pixels)
  • Search results & instant articles should be an oblong rectangle (1200 x 628 pixels)

If necessary, add any new assets based on placements when prompted. Afterward, add your Primary text – which appears above the image, your headlines, and in the description, you can add your offer. Add your call-to-action and add the destination website. You can duplicate this to add the other creatives you want to test.

And now you’re all set to go. You can now publish and run your ads.

Running your first go-to-market test 🎉

Typically, we let the ads run for about a week. At this time frame, you should have some data to let you know if you’re in the right direction or if you need to change your messaging or ad creative. This is where your ad reporting comes in, and you measure the CTR on your different creatives. The industry standard is >1% CTR – which will give you a clear indication of whether you’re on the right part, hence the tests.

What to look for in your Facebook test results

After your ads have run for the designated amount of time, it’s time to look at the results.

There are a number of metrics you’ll see but what we generally look out for is the Click Through Rate (CTR); which is the number of clicks on a particular ad unit. Ad creatives with a performance that’s >1% will let us know which of the audiences are most interested in your offer and which message and design resonated with them. Based on this, we’ll know what step to take for our next experiment.

A performance of >1% is a good indication that you’re on the right part with your idea. Less than that means that you either need to switch up your messaging or try out a creative test – which is trying a different design style for your ad creative.

Common mistakes to avoid when putting together your first go-to-market experiments

  1. Don’t talk about this fantastic product you’ve built because, honestly, no one cares. Your audience cares about what you or your product can do for them. Focus instead on how their lives can be better after using your product. That’s your benefit statement.
  2. Don’t give up after your first experiment. Or second. Or even third. Even as the experts, it takes us about 4-6 tries to hit gold because it wasn’t the first obvious answer. Allow yourself to get it wrong so you can get it right. That’s why we always talk about the 9-step go-to-market process.

That’s all, folks. Have you successfully used this process? Or do you have something you’d like to share? Let’s chat in the comments section.

This process is captured from end to end in the book ‘Validate First’. Grab yourself a copy here.

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