Reboot your product health for 2020
by Leica Ison
Understanding product health can help you find growth opportunities, and improve customer engagement – and now it’s never been easier to take care of your product. Our 5-day product guide shows you how.
Transform your product health and boost commercial growth with Skyjed's 5-day product guide.
Monday - Get a handle on market and competitors.
Markets are changing rapidly in our digital era, and it’s no longer enough to review your competitors on an annual basis. More and more product leaders need to assess their market, competitors and value proposition.
Assessing your market and competitors need not be complicated. It’s about asking the right questions. As well as understanding your competitors, review how they are finding growth. Maintain your grasp of competitors by reviewing monthly – often great insights come from your sales team.
Tips (or How to Fix it)
Analyse your market and competitors with these areas:
- List the top 10 competitors
- Rate their market structure – e.g. challenger, leader, emerging player and visionary
- For each competitor list out how they are unlocking growth
- Compare your target market and value proposition– know your product buyer persona and influences
- Understand your market size and underlying year-on-year growth metrics
Tuesday - Fine-tune your product value and margin
Product profitability is critical to the commercial success of your business – however, a lot of business don’t break down or allocate costs to individual or product portfolios. Sales or revenue are essential. Profit is what matters.
You need to be able to start by identifying and segmenting your product costs. Build out a better understanding of your product’s direct and indirect costs. Start by defining the biggest ‘buckets’ of the cost areas that relate to your product. This section helps you get a grasp on your product costs and product margins.
Analyse your product value and margin with these areas
- List out main cost areas for your product – fixed or variable
- List out cost areas as customer, product or operational
- Understand the prior year margin % performance and forecast for the next 18 months
- List out a cost improvement plan – areas where a process, gap or bottleneck can be addressed
Wednesday - Reset your customer focus for product success.
Customer engagement is a critical result area for all product managers. However, it can be challenging to understand all of your customer experience and engagement factors if your organisation is built around silos or has hand-offs between agile and product operation teams
Build out a customer journey map and key engagement metrics. Customer engagement includes awareness, consideration and buying decisions through to any ongoing interactions (often called customer success). You can’t improve customer engagement and trust unless you measure it.
Analyse your product experience with these areas:
- Understand the various channels a customer can become aware of, consider and buy your product. List both direct and indirect distribution channels
- Map out a customer journey map, the friction and breakpoints.
- List out the areas you want to measure and gather data on monthly and quarterly performance.
- Develop a customer experience improvement plan for your product.
- Monitor the success metrics monthly and track actions. Ideally, this would include 'shadow buying' and a visit to your customer service team to get their grass-roots input on what is driving customer complaints.
Thursday - Capture your regulatory obligations
Having a single point of accountability to set and monitor product regulatory obligations can be hard. It is challenging to ensure your product is designed for a specific target market, including monitoring any distribution and post-sale conditions and restrictions.
Set the product design obligations for your product and engage your regulatory and legal teams to monitor and review any triggers or changes. Understand what a 'negative' market is for your product to avoid customer trust issues.
Set and monitor your product design and distribution obligations:
- First, start with a regulatory pipeline – the regulatory trends impacting your product.
- Define your market segments and target market for the product. For your ideal target market, define a product buyer and user persona - their needs, behaviours, and objectives.
- Conduct a monthly review of your distribution channels and make sure they understand any restrictions or conditions on your product.
- Issue a report on the health status of your product compliance and customer complaints
- Monitor the monthly success metrics and track non-financial risk actions.
Friday - Find innovation opportunities
Product innovation never stands still, and therefore you must have a routine to monitor, update and evolve your product innovation plans.
Product innovation can be an initiative that delivers a business outcome and solves a customer problem – growth, margin performance, customer retention or experience or regulatory compliance for product trust.
- List out the substitute products and adjacent markets for your product category and complete a SWOT analysis
- Define your industry dynamics
- List out all the campaigns and initiatives to improve your product in 90 day rolling plans
- List out your roadmap – new features or new products
- List out your big innovative ideas – things that are in the medium-term horizon – i.e. your 2030 view
Although launching a new feature or product might be the first thing that comes to your mind for product success. It’s essential to also think about disciplined updates of your product 360-degree health status, risk profiles and 90-day actions.
Risk should always include financial, non-financial and operational risks. Risk can be forces like:
- Technological innovation (market or competitor)
- Regulatory changes
- Disruption to supply channel or modern slavery
- Product or service performance
- A new entrant to the market
- IP risks
- Negative target market
- Knowledge retention
- Climate change
Are you looking to save time and deliver product success in 2020? Check out Skyjed for a complete 360-degree view of your product health and risk status in hours not weeks. Save time with automated insights, reports and our unique product health-check index.
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