How to Ensure Your Product Is Designed, Developed and Marketed to Achieve Revenue Goals How to align your product with your company's growth goals — and how doing so can lead to increased success for your business
- The what and why behind aligning your product with growth goals
- How to align your product with your growth goals
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Growth is the ultimate goal for any company. Whether it's increasing revenue, expanding into new markets or gaining a larger customer base, growth is essential for long-term success. With an increase in "down rounds," funding and a greater demand for longer cash run-ways, startups and scale-ups, in particular, are feeling the pressure.
The concept of aligning product with growth is key here; how can it lead to increased success for your business?
The what and why behind aligning product with growth
Product alignment with growth is the process of ensuring that your product is designed, developed and marketed in a way that supports your company's growth goals. Where do you start?
Understanding your target market:
The first step in this process is understanding your target market. Although this feels like a no-brainer, you'd be surprised how many companies we speak to and work with that haven't drilled down into their personas and are operating on a top-line view of their potential customers. You must conduct market research to identify your ideal customer, their needs and pain points, as well as how your product can solve their problems.
By understanding this, you can better tailor (and continually iterate) your product to meet their needs and position it in a way that resonates with them. By consistently providing value and meeting — or exceeding — their expectations, you can build a loyal customer base. This will not only help you attract more customers, but also retain them in the long run (a big win for your bottom line and any circling investors).
Identifying key growth opportunities:
Once you have a clear understanding of your target market, the next step is to identify key growth opportunities. This involves analyzing market trends, competitor strategies and customer feedback to determine where your product can gain the most traction.
For example, if you notice that there is a high demand for a certain feature in your product, you can prioritize its development to attract more users and drive growth. Similarly, if you see that your competitors are not offering a particular service, you can capitalize on that opportunity and differentiate your product in the market.
Optimizing your product for growth:
Once you have identified key growth opportunities, the next step is to optimize your product to support that growth. This can involve making changes to your product's features, pricing or marketing strategy to make it more appealing and valuable.
For example, if you want to target a new market segment, you may need to add new features to your product to appeal to that audience. Or if you want to increase revenue, you may need to adjust your pricing strategy to better align with your growth goals. We recently worked with a client who was struggling with customer acquisition; we identified that the 27-step sign-up process could be shaved down to 6, drastically impacting experience and adoption.
How to align your product with growth
Now that we understand the importance of product alignment with growth, let's explore some strategies for achieving it.
Conduct regular market research:
As mentioned earlier, understanding your target market is crucial here. This is not a one-and-done exercise. It's important to conduct regular research to stay updated on industry trends, customer needs and competitor strategies.
By staying informed, you can identify new growth opportunities and make informed decisions about how to enhance your product.
Optimize your content for growth:
Content optimization is another key aspect. This involves creating high-quality, relevant content that resonates with your target market and drives them towards your product.
For example, you can create blog posts, videos or social media content addressing common pain points of your target market. Enough with the features and benefits! Focus on how you're changing their world. This positions your product as a valuable solution in the market.
Utilize technology for growth:
By leveraging the right tools and platforms (you don't need a ton), you can streamline processes, improve efficiency and gain valuable insights into your target market.
For example, you can use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track customer interactions and identify potential leads. Or you can use data analytics tools to gain insights into customer behavior and make data-driven decisions about product optimization.
What does this look like in the real world?
Let's take a look at some real-world examples of companies that have nailed this.
Airbnb is a prime example of a company that has done this well. By identifying a gap in the market for affordable, unique accommodations, Airbnb was able to capitalize on the growing trend of the "sharing economy" and attract a large customer base (six guests check into an Airbnb listing every second).
They also continuously optimize their product by adding new features, such as experiences and luxury rentals, to appeal to different segments of their target market. This has helped them achieve significant growth and establish a strong position in the market.
By identifying the need for a more efficient communication tool in the workplace, Slack has been able to attract a large customer base (over 30m daily users) and drive well over 30% year-over-year growth.
They're always adding new features, such as integrations with other tools and customizable notifications, to meet the evolving needs of their customers. This has helped them become a leader in the team communication market.
Who is responsible for this in the business?
Aligning product with growth is a team effort and involves collaboration between various departments within a company. However, the product team, including product managers and designers, plays a crucial role in ensuring that the product is aligned with growth goals.
They are responsible for conducting market research, identifying growth opportunities and optimizing the product to meet those opportunities. They also work closely with other departments, such as marketing and sales, to ensure that the product is positioned and marketed effectively. This is often the toughest part to actualize and get working successfully, as many organizations are still working in inefficient silos. We see this as the biggest barrier to success.
However, by implementing the strategies and examples outlined in this article, you can ensure that your product is aligned with your growth goals and set your business up for sustainable gains.