After years of making products in technology niches, I found the things that I should have known long before, to be successful.
This series of article conduct all of my experience about launching a product as well as the mistakes we should avoid.
In this first part, I will focus on market analytics, market validation, understand customer, research customer behaviors.
The definition of the term “Market” is the place where the buyer and seller meet each other. The seller will fulfill the buyer’s demand by the products or services.
And we have another term, called “market size“.
The simple explanation, it means how many users you will gain through your product or service.
So, before start making a product, especially in technology fields, the questions I have to answer is:
- What is the customer needs and wants?
- Who will use your products?
- Who will pay for your product?
- Will your product be affected by 3rd parties or policies?
By answering the questions, one by one, you will see if your idea worth doing.
Let’s dissect the Wh-questions to understand why they are the first thing to do.
Customer Needs and Wants
The need is something you feel that you might have it or not.
The want is something you have to achieve, no matter the cost.
The common problem when making products are idea overthinking. Those ideas lead us to the functions that the customer needs, but doesn’t want.
So, what’s the solution?
- Have a survey or interview the target customers, to understand the real problems that they are facing.
- Focus on solving the most painful point, instead of creating a miracle.
Who will use your products?
The product you are going to sell, who will use it? Either the tech-savvy guy a normal office worker?
You have to put yourself in the position of the consumer, where you will think just like them, see how they react with the problem, how they solve the problem.
When you know it, you can create the product that closes to their expectation, as well as the User Interface also easy to use to them too.
Who will pay for your product?
The party or company that pays for your product might differ from who you will use it as we discussed above.
By understanding who you will pay for the product, you will be able to set up the marketing channels as well as the distribution channels better.
If your product is good, probably it will go far.
With the right marketing methods, creative growth hacks and efficient distribution strategy, it will go further.
Will your product depend on 3rd parties or policies?
This question should not be ignored or underestimated.
You should consider this issue as the one that will affect your product or business in the short term and long term.
I will give you 3 examples that you will see how fast it will ruin your business:
- Product: Long tail keyword SE (my product)
- Using SEO data from 3rd parties, like crawling API.
- They put captcha on the site, your main data feed died, the product is gone.
- Product: Google search result scraping (my product)
- Using the API to get the SERP result,
- The API cost increase so fast, your profit margin goes down.
- Business: Craft beer (my friend @Thoai business)
- The products in your store affected by beer provider
- Will they last long enough to build a long-term relationship with your business?
- The government issues the decree to tighten beer consumption.
In the last example, you will see the threat from a policy will have a strong impact on your entire business.
Time to Market
Time to market is the point of time when you release the product.
Think big, do small, move fast.
There are 2 different problems that you might meet.
- Too soon: when your idea is good, the product is good, but the market is not ready for your product yet.
- Too late: when your idea is good but too late to release the product, on the market full of rivals, the resource to enter/dominate the market will be bigger.
So how to avoid missing time to market? Here’s my checklist
- Using Minimum Viable Product modal to validate the customer needs/wants.
- Listing carefully to your early product adopter to improve the product.
- The product must be a complete one, if something is incomplete, hide it till it’s done.
- Testing the product regularly, especially the product owner. Because you are the one will communicate with your customers. Be sure the functions will meet the customer’s expectations.
Just to be sure, the core idea of releasing at the right time is how much you understand your customer.
A good product will not make you rich. The right marketing method will.
If you have your partner in the marketing field, you should be good.
But most of the products now are from the Single Member Company, where the founder is the developer.
So, let’s see how marketing will help your product growth.
Why do you need marketing?
You might think that let’s post your product to ProductHunt, or Facebook Group or so. That’s will work, but, still as a part of Marketing.
To understand why you need marketing, you must understand how to enter the market.
We will divide the products into 2 types:
- Totally new, no competitor.
- A lot of competitors, players on the field.
Both types need marketing. Time makes us old, marketing makes our product grow.
Totally new product
When you’re totally new to the market, no competitor, you will need to:
- Educate customers to use your product or use your product as a habit.
- Increase the visibility of your product on channels.
While there are other players, you will need to:
- Gain market share.
- Product promotes.
So, without marketing, how do you achieve the business goal?
A good product = A profitable productIt brings you money!
How to do product marketing in the right way?
We have mentioned before on the post, we need to understand customer needs and wants.
We – the developers, solve the “wants” by functions.
While our customer solves it by searching around with the keywords and expectations.
And searching means the customer will use Keywords to search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex…etc
They might come from other sources, like Advertising or Referring. But in this article, I will limit to one source, Search.
So, we will have the strategy to make your website ranking better on Google, the method called Inbound Content.