In a landscape overwhelmed with new products and business models, finding your niche product while also being able to break into a responsive market is essential for success.
If your business is looking to increase sales and improve your ROI, finding the right product/market fit will set the pace for how it survives the current competitive landscape.
Product/market fit means “being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market” (Marc Andreesen).
While it is true that offering the right product to your target market is the building block to success, it takes more than that to ensure longevity in a completely volatile business environment.
More than having a great product, you have to anticipate the current need of your audience in order to resonate with them and become relevant.
So how do you achieve product/market fit? This is essentially one of the questions tabled during the Stump the Strategist session at the Chief Strategy Officer Summit.
In summary, to determine product/market fit, you need to do the following.
Choose Your Customer
You need to first identify your target customer. Who needs you and why?
To answer this, it will be helpful if you create a buyer persona, which is a semifictional representation of who your ideal customer is.
How can you give them what they need? You need to make sure that this customer can benefit from your product and in the long run become an ambassador for your brand as well.
Once you know who your target buyer is, the next step is to understand their triggers and needs.
What thought or moment in their day would likely trigger them to think about your product? What current needs do they have that match a good market opportunity? And how do you make sure you are there and visible to them when they have that micro-moment?
Know Who’s Got Your Money
Now that you have a basic idea of who your customers are, you need to know exactly who they are talking to on the other end of the line and position yourself against them.
Who are your biggest competitors? Ask yourself what they are doing differently and why it is working. More importantly, what are their pain points, and what are they not offering?
Understanding these will help you come up with an effective strategy that will help you level the playing field before working on a strategy that will help you dominate the market.
Recommended reading: Turning Marketing on Its Head: The Rise of Predatory Marketing
Look for the Value They Can’t Match
Write down a list of all the features, benefits, and implications of your product. Identify your competitors and drill down on that one important value that they can’t satisfy.
Find that gap and work to become great at it. Once you’ve found that one thing you can be really good at, use it to feed your value proposition and stand out from everybody else.
There will be lots of opportunities to share the rest of these product values to your potential customers, but what you need first is to get their attention by focusing on that one specific value proposition.
To help you determine that, ask yourself, “What’s our buyer persona’s biggest pain point right now, and how can we fill that gap?”
Recommended reading: Create a Value Proposition that Makes People Buy
Ask These Questions
To actually know if your product has achieved product/market fit, our CEO, Ashton Bishop, shared these guide questions.
- Is there pain there?
- Is it pain that’s currently unsatisfied?
- Is it pain that you think you can solve?
- Is it pain that they are willing to pay for?
Find the Right Partnerships
Ashton shares that when it comes to the go-to market, you need to look at an aligned partner who is already in the B2B space, who is potentially providing complementary services around your product.
Found this interesting? Watch this Stump the Strategist video, Developing a Strategic Plan in the Absence of a Business Model.
About Stump the Strategist
- Questions from the floor, answered live in nine minutes
- It’s opinion, not advice
- Step Change charges clients for advice — Stump the Strategist is free