Peishan Tan, Lead, Professional Services – APAC from LTP sponsor, Mixpanel, shares with us her thoughts on how to keep your products relevant and in tune with customer needs.
Technology and the market at large are shifting more rapidly than ever. As a result, organisations have to work harder than ever to keep their products relevant and in tune with customer needs.
Product-Led Transformation is a strategy for business growth that can help to refocus your business on the fundamentals of real value creation. It can also help you embrace the benefits of modern digital tools and Agile practices. But for a product-led transformation to be successful, you need to understand your product’s value moments and what levers are available to impact these moments. Crucially, your decisions, and changes, need to validated by data. Without this, you’re shooting blind.
As a Product-Led organisation, and a sponsor of LTP DIGITAL 2021, we know from our own experience just how effective this approach can be.
Understanding Product-Led Transformation
Focusing on what their customers find valuable (and hence would pay for), product-led transformation offers a more structured, more commercially successful, alternative to haphazardly conceiving new features. Product-Led Transformation encourages organisations to determine which features their target audience thinks are necessary, and so ensures the future viability of their products.
With a successful Product-Led Transformation strategy, your organisation will have the means to effectively discover and quantify customer problems. Your company will avoid investing time, money, and energy into solutions that your customer base doesn’t truly value.
If your organisation is undergoing a Product-Led Transformation, it is important for you to:
- Understand how customers are using your product
- Keep an eye on where users drop off or stop using a particular feature
- Define “value moments” or key moments during the user journey in which your customers derive significant value from your product
- Track why and how users get to this value moment
Identifying the Value Moments for Your Product
There is no single set of metrics that can universally help companies identify value moments. The nature and maturity of product, business, strategy, and organisational goals vary significantly from company to company. Given that you’re trying to build out a product for users though, you would – or should – already have a good understanding of what your product use case is, which includes the key actions that you want your users to take, and the frequency in which they do these actions. A great product analytics tool can provide you with useful metrics that you can use to validate your initial hypothesis and redefine your value moment if needed.
The following examples will help you get a clearer idea of what value moments can look like across different products:
- Twitch, a live streaming platform, might identify a value moment as the moment a user watches more than five minutes of a livestream.
- DocuSign, an electronic signature solution, might identify a value moment as the moment a user signs a contract.
Value moments can also differ between similar companies, for example Twitch and TikTok. Both companies offer video-sharing and social networking, but the nature of each offer differs. As a result, the metrics that define key value moments will also differ.
Twitch might identify a value moment as when a user watches more than five minutes of a livestream. But since TikTok videos cannot exceed 60 seconds, a value moment for TikTok might be the moment a user watches an entire TikTok video.
Driving users to the value moment is a key part of a Product-Led Transformation strategy. Consequently, working to accurately identify those value moments is a critical task for all product managers.
Using Product Metrics to Identify/Validate Your Value Moments
Suppose that your business is a media-streaming platform and you have defined one of your value moments as the moment a user has watched 250 minutes of video in a single month. In this case, you would want to:
- Monitor the average number of video minutes watched per user, per month
- Identify when this number decreases
- Identify ways to make this number increase, and prioritise those.
You should also ask more questions about other metrics that could affect the value moment, for example:
- Are users signing up but never playing any videos? If so, how can we encourage them to start playing videos quickly?
- How long does it take for a new user to get to a value moment? Can we shorten this time?
- Does social engagement with the videos encourage greater video play time? If so, how can we encourage greater social engagement? Can we encourage people to invite their friends to our platform?
- Are our overall number of users increasing over time? Who makes up this group of users? Are they brand new users, retained users, or resurrected users?
The ability to identify the right value moments and then the questions that affect these value moments, is critical. This is especially when any of your key metrics are trending down. Downward trends can quickly spiral out of control so you not only have to find the cause of a downward trend, but how to change it. This could be through tweaking the user experience, your marketing, or you may need to change or update your product features to fix it. Knowing your value moments, and what effects these value moments, has you well placed to arrest and reverse downward trends.
Getting your Product Questions Answered
A global survey of 450+ product leaders found that over 50% of product teams feel they’re unable to quickly get answers to critical product-related questions. Many respondents also indicated that they:
- Don’t have access to the data they need
- Have access to data, but lack the technical skills needed to answer their questions
- Feel that the product analytics tools their company provides aren’t designed for product teams
A product analytics tool like Mixpanel can help. Mixpanel allows product teams to:
- Build funnels, determine the most common user flows, and create user cohorts with just a few clicks
- Find out how users are interacting with their products, instead of spending hours waiting for data or writing SQL queries
- Integrate with 50+ key tools like customer data platforms, engagement and messaging tools, attribution tools, and cloud data warehouses to glean additional insights into how products are performing against key metrics
Equipping your Team for Success
For a successful Product-Led Transformation, you need to build a culture of being data-driven in your product decisions. You also need to respond quickly to what your data—and by extension, your customer base—is telling you. When you identify the value moments, set the right metrics, and have the data to measure them, then you can see whether your products, or product features, are truly making a difference to your customers. You’re then able to make changes if they’re not and, crucially, measure the impact of those changes.
As Mike Salway, Mixpanel user and Principal Product Manager at Domain, shared with us: “It’s about being able to leap, grow, repeat—get something out there, review it, make a decision on whether we need to iterate on it, go again, or fail fast.”
Equipping your teams with the ability to do this is crucial for success.