The goal of the early product strategy research is to validate the customer segmentation model and the needs of each segment. In examining a truly novel market opportunity, I highly recommend qualitative research. That means direct conversations one-on-one with customers in each segment. One of the best ways to visit with a customer is to observe them while they are doing the activity or solving the problem you are interested in. You may find a few surprises in the way they approach the problem, and that may lead to solution breakthroughs.
In only a few structured conversations with members of each customer segment you can validate the basic segmentation model. I strongly urge you not Continue reading
The next product strategy step is to develop a hypothesis of customer segments that may exist in the market. I often speak with clients who think of a large market for their product or service. They say things like, “we are going after the car market”. This is a huge market. It also has a large number of companies energetically trying to win a place in it. For this reason, segmenting the market is one of the most important product strategy activities you can engage in.
Customer segments are defined as Continue reading
The first step in product strategy development is to determine the types of customers you want to serve and their problems and needs. Either you have experience in this area due to customer requests you have received over time, or you are venturing into a brand new market that requires a fresh product strategy. Each case requires a different approach. In this paper, I assume you are interested in developing a new market opportunity.
The first step is to gather the team together and ask them the questions they have about the opportunities and key decisions to be made. Continue reading
In a series of upcoming posts I will describe methods for developing a product strategy for new market opportunities. These posts will show you how to:
- Understand the market area.
- Define customers you want to focus on.
- Research target customer needs, wants and unstated desires.
- Examine competition.
- Determine your value proposition.
- Build the solution or product strategy roadmap.
A nightmare scenario: consequences of a loose product strategy
Product development organizations often want to jump right in and develop a product without a product strategy. Product Marketers want to promote and get the product sold. So it is not hard to imagine that the product strategy is often developed based on a stirring together of sales force input, management team experience, and engineers who say: ”We could do that, and it would be cool”.
A horse designed by committee
Unfortunately, this method can lead to collection of features in a long list or spreadsheet. The target customer can easily be forgotten as the list is managed by determining how many features can be crammed into the next release. What about the problem we’re solving for the target customer, or the benefits we will deliver? Continue reading