With the bounty of resources present in the marketing world, it has gotten harder and harder to one-up your competitor's marketing strategies. But the truth is having a stellar marketing strategy isn’t going to make up for a bad product.
A good product is going to fill the needs of your market and solve for your prospect’s pain points, without needing to rely on your email campaigns, conversational marketing or co-marketing partnerships. Companies that focus on the product itself first have a higher chance of success.
But, how do you get there?
Understand Your Market
The first step to developing a stellar product is to understand your market.
“You should know who the people using your product are before you know what your product is,” says Guido Bartolacci, New Breed’s Head of Demand Generation.
If you thoroughly understand the folks that will be using your product, you’ll do a much better job of serving those people.
Develop a Product That Serves Your Personas
Every product is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all product development solution (and if you think there is, you need to go back and look at your market again). During this stage, there are some key things you need to think about:
- Retention: How are you going to get customers to continue using your product?
- Positioning: What are the tactics you’re going to use to bring interest to your product in the first place?
- Core value proposition: At the most basic level, what need does your product solve for?
Once you have developed a cohesive answer to those three things, you will be in a much better position to continue moving forward with your product development.
Ultimately, your goal is to develop a product that serves a need folks aren’t aware of yet.
For example, Vidyard’s solution enables users to host a variety of videos through their product with the ease of simple integration. Because video was growing at a rapid pace, Vidyard solved for their customers’ need to be able to easily access their sales and marketing resources while communicating with their prospects in a fun and exciting way.
Don’t Forget About Onboarding
The first 30 days of product usage can make or break whether or not a consumer comes back — and you only have one chance to make a first impression.
“In order to have an effective onboarding, you need to first understand how your users are engaging with the product,” says Guido Bartolacci. “How are they utilizing it in their day-to-day life? What questions are being frequently received by your customer service representatives?”
Knowing these questions will help you better understand what aspects of your product are confusing to your consumers and identify ways to best solve those needs.
HubSpot is a great example of a tool that makes it easy to understand their user interface and provides a comprehensive onboarding. Whether it’s on their CRM or the HubSpot Academy, HubSpot consistently provides tutorial-based introductions to the platform.
Your user experience doesn’t end at onboarding. You need to build a product that is intuitive to your customers well after the aid of your initial tutorial wears off. Oftentimes, this involves looking at case studies and doing some extra desk research to see how useful your product actually is. Once you’ve done that, it’s important to continue integrating feedback into your product updates.
“If you have a product that does a really good job of solving for X but it still needs some adjustments on Y, take that feedback and find a way to make Y more intuitive for your consumers,” says Guido Bartolacci.
Once you’ve finished developing your product, you need to find your viral loops.
“Start by taking a look at your network: how do you fit that into your product? Are you going to build in a referral program?” says Guido Bartolacci.
Virality can play a big role in a product’s success. Slack is a great example of a tool that requires a network to be successful. By solving a need for streamlined communication, Slack empowers users to utilize the platform with their colleagues through it’s targeted messaging to corporations and integrations with other tools like Google Drive.
Once this process is set up, the best thing you can do is build awareness, and your brand can you help accomplish that. By using your brand as support, you can position your product to bring folks into the door and design your marketing strategies around how people connect with you. Your core value proposition will inform this as you continue to build your brand and develop communication strategies.
A product-led strategy will not only bring you closer to your consumers by meeting them where they are, but it will continue to better inform you of the needs within your market. It’s not that marketing won’t contribute, it’s that the product and your users become your focus. Since you aren’t relying on just a marketing strategy to carry you to success, you have a much higher chance of genuinely providing value to your market, which in turn, will lead you to a positive outcome.
Topics: Demand Generation