Product Strategy can be defined as the intersection between Product Management and Marketing. It is the process of developing a customer-driven product development strategy and product roadmap, to achieve long term business goals through products.
Only when you have an understanding of your customers’ wants, needs, preferences and behaviors will you be able to create successful products that meet their high standards while also being profitable for your business.
A typical Product Strategy contains information on all aspects related to creating great new products which will help you in the following ways:
1) Improve your company’s market position
2) Develop new sources of revenue
3) Create sustainable competitive advantages over other companies.
The typical steps involved in creating a successful Product Strategy are listed below:
- Determine who your customers are
- Identify what makes your product better than others in the market
- Create a Product Vision (Describe what your company is aiming at creating or providing to its customers).
- Define how you will know if you have been successful in completing your strategy. This is referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and consists of quantifiable metrics which indicate success. Typically, KPIs will be based on customer satisfaction levels and/or financial performance measures such as revenue growth or overall profitability.
- Develop a high-level Product Roadmap that includes the following: Product concept Product features Product positioning.
- Determine who your customers are and the problems you are solving for them.
- Prioritize what problem(s) to solve first. If possible, prioritize those problems with the largest impact on your customer and/or those which address a common need across multiple markets or segments.
- If there is more than one product being developed, determine how these products will be different from one another and if they have dependencies on each other (i.e., must have certain features in order to deliver a specific set of capabilities).
- Define your company’s brand identity – who you are as a company and why you do things the way you do – so that it remains consistent throughout all customer touch points from marketing collateral to product design .
- Prioritize your product’s features based on how they affect the end-user experience.
- Work with engineers to create a product roadmap that includes detailed information about the most important features, delineating which are most technically complex or challenging.
- Build the pricing structure for the pricing model you’ve chosen.
- Make sure everyone in your company has access to up-to-date customer feedback. Allowing them to make ongoing refinements both internally and externally.
- Once all of these are settled , start “coding” ! And once you’re ready to launch, you can work on some pre launch marketing activities like developing landing pages and giving away some samples.
And while this may seem like just another one of those lists of incredible sounding features of an app development startup. It’s actually got some good advice on how to build a successful company.
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Some important ones :
1. Team Work:
You need more than just developers. Marketing, sales, customer support and product management roles are all required for success.
Your launch plan is just that – a plan . Be prepared to iterate your idea based on what you learn after your first release.
3. Being data-driven:
Without metrics, there is no way of telling if users are coming back or even using the application at all! So be sure to keep track of everything relevant with analytics services like Google Analytics (amongst others). If you want to be extra ambitious, see what you can learn from A/B testing as well.
4. Building a business model:
Whether it be through ads or charging users for the product , all successful businesses have a way of earning revenue . Without an income, developers are forced to either try and release increasingly updated versions of their product indefinitely, or give up entirely.
5. Pitching your startup to investors:
There are no shortcuts here – if your goal is to attract investment then you’ll need to know how to present your idea in the best light possible .
6. Don’t forget about acquiring customers post-launch:
Even after successfully putting out an amazing application that everyone wants. You still have mountains ahead of you trying to reach potential customers.
7. Be prepared to face some harsh truths:
It’s not all about the money, and it never will be. The good news is that you’ll soon learn what your priorities are (if you don’t already know them) and whether or not you truly want to become an entrepreneur.
8. Know when to let go of a project:
Making mistakes is inevitable, but getting back up and pressing on towards success is what entrepreneurs do best. Knowing when to throw in the towel (or at least take down the website) can save time , effort , and (ultimately) money.