How do you define product strategy?

Knowing how to make and deliver a product that is enjoyable to use allows you to leverage your design against what is technologically feasible, stretching your influence from hitting key business benchmarks now to creating a digital product that pushes the boundaries of your business in the future.

Building a product is more than just designing it and developing the MVP. A product strategy considers the product competition and relative position, the products’ business model, and the messaging and client communication used to help plan out what to build and when.

There are 7 general categories of product strategy; Market, Product, Business, Planning, Programs, Readiness and Support, each with numerous subcategory defining various elements of design, development and delivery of your product.

Here’s a couple of thought that will help guide your product strategy:

Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.
Reaching out to potential users of your product is the only way that you will define what they need. Any other approach will cause you to spend time, energy and money that will likely not work and not be recoverable.

The answer to most of your questions is not in the building.
Product design, product roadmaps, distribution strategy, competitive landscapes, pricing models, buying processes, user requirements, stakeholder communications, user and channel training, sales support, and customer support requirements all require you to reach out externally.

As good as plans are, product strategy involves testing product assumptions with real users against your business strategy. To create a digital product that is both innovative and competitive, understanding the domain you are engaged with, who your users are, and what differentiates you is imperative.

Need help with your product strategy? Contact me to discuss your product strategy challenges.

Gurus and end-of-year musings

As the year winds down, one thing that I’ve noticed this past year is so many people describing themself as a marketing “expert”. Not so long ago, one didn’t proclaim oneself an expert; That was left to industry peers. I’ve also being hearing more about marketing “guru’s” – What is a guru anyway?

It seems to me that professing oneself an expert or guru demeans the central point behind doing it in the first place … external recognition of one’s superior grasp of an industry, techniques or tools.

Some time ago, I went through an exercise to understand why someone would want to hire me (personally) and then use me in a trusted situation (such as working with their clients and prospective clients). Out of that process I made up a little card that I still carry around to this day to remind me of these things. I have many things on that card, but certainly characteristics such as passion for my work, humour in challenging situations, excellence in communicating, superb customer service, ethical and crediblity are some of the personal character goals that I set for myself. Now, as with any goal, I’ll be the first to stay that they are not *always” achieved EVERY day, but if one doesn’t have goals, then what can we strive for?

I wish you a happy holiday season; I look forward to speaking with you in the new year.