A product strategy is the plan you will make and follow in order to deliver a product to a market and optimize its reception and, therefore, its sales. This plan, or roadmap, helps the product manager communicate with the team and even with key stakeholders when explaining what steps will be followed and what the product will become.
Three important points you will need when laying out this plan:
Vision: here is where you analyze the company’s goals, what market you are aiming at, what are the needs and wants of this market, what the go-to-market plan is. Consider it the big picture of your plan.
Goals: these are what the company expects from the product strategy in the following quarter, year, or 18 months. Increase revenue and expand market, for example.
Initiatives: these are the high-level efforts you will be making to optimize the delivery of the product and its sales.
Several key elements should be taken into account when putting together the product and the product strategy:
- Design: think if the product is appealing to the market that has been chosen, and how you can make it more appealing, as you will be competing with other companies.
- Features: analyze the features the product present, and if there are any benefits you can add to satisfy the customer.
- Quality: this is as important as the product’s design and its features, as it will be one of the things that will make the customer keep choosing this product over the others.
- Branding: think of ways of conveying the message of reliability and quality so that the company can differentiate itself from its competitors.
- Target Market: examine what customers are you aiming at, and what are these people’s interests, wants and needs.
- Positioning: study where you want the product to position in the market. Take into account pricing and quality, as positioning will be like a first impression for your market.
In this day and age, where technology development is moving at the speed of light, product strategy must adapt itself to this new speed also. In a day where we want things now, and we have access to information 24/7, technology companies need to go above and beyond for their customers.
Trying to always be ahead of their competitors, tech companies have to always be working on improving their products. And without a plan, a product strategy to follow, this simply can’t be done, as it would mean waste of time and money for the company, trying to be everywhere and everything for everyone, but not focusing on one big thing at a time.
Take books, for example. You have a company that sells these books online. What things can you offer that will make people choose you over bookstores or other websites? Here are some tips that will help you better the offers:
– offer free shipping over a certain amount of money spent.
– offer used books at a price that catches the eye of the customer (pricing). You can find used books everywhere, but make it interesting enough so that people choose to buy from the comfort of their own home, rather than go out and start looking.
– offer good prices to self-published authors, when even nowadays can be sometimes hard to do.
And these are just a few examples.
As you can see, product strategy can be applied to any product or service you offer. It’s only a matter of analyzing the market, the competition, and putting the effort needed in finding ways to improve your work and always staying one step ahead.