Create a product roadmap built on in-depth market and customer knowledge, with a USP that will continue to win, long into the future
You’ve conceived a product that represents your capability, but are you sure the product is “valuable, usable and feasible” (in the words of Marty Cagan)? Is there a market need for the product? Will it solve a problem? And will anyone want to buy it? Before you go any further, it’s important to validate the product viability through extensive market and customer research.
The Role Of The Product Manager
Being a product manager is no easy task. It requires you to be a CEO of your product; responsible for its strategy, development, user experience, financials and marketing. It means working across the entire business, with multiple stakeholders and functions, whilst having an in-depth understanding of the business vision, its delivery priorities, the markets, any technological developments, the customers and the competitors.
Having the capability to create and deliver a new product or product extension, internally or through the ecosystem, is critical to success, but equally important is having a strategy and development plan that is aligned to the market opportunity and customer requirement.
Being a product manager involves selling the product vision to the board for investment (or externally to attract funding), as well as the development team for their delivery time and the sales team for market penetration.
Defining a Product Plan or Product Roadmap
Before creating a product plan or roadmap, it’s important to understand why and how that roadmap will succeed, what needs to be delivered, and when and how for maximum market penetration. Likewise, consideration needs to be given to the product lifecycle extension.
This involves looking at the market, any changes in that market, future opportunities, the customers’ needs, motivations and challenges (in particular, how the product will address these) and the competitors behaviour, in order to find a differentiation, market gap and the best opportunity to exploit.
Once this is known, the product vision and goals can be established, alongside the plan to achieve these goals. Then the roadmap and plan of how to achieve this vision can be created.
Producing A Business Case
To achieve stakeholder buy-in, it’s good practice to create a business case, which should include the product roadmap, the audience, the market size, the route-to-market, the pricing model, the anticipated revenue and cost projections. Development of the value proposition and a clear articulation of why the product is going to succeed, alongside the projected ROI, is imperative for the product development to be approved.
Creating The Product or MVP
Now it’s time to start building the product and taking it to market inline with the product plan.
This will very often start with the articulation, creation and release of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP). An MVP is useful for meeting the most prevalent and urgent needs, ahead of the competition, and to gauge the market’s initial reaction. Each product release will draw insights from the market response and customer feedback to help shape the evolution of the roadmap.
Finding A Product Manager To Support Your Product Vision
Tidal Marketing can assist in facilitating the ideation phase, the creation of the product strategy, the plan, the specification, the business case and managing the development for successful product release.
We always manage the development of products based on an in-depth understanding of the market, customers and competition, with a clear articulation of how and why the product will succeed.
Tidal provided us with a clearly defined strategy for our new service that has guided the market launch and continues to be used across the business. They helped us define our tone of voice and key messaging for different stages of the buyer journey, which we are now using to help shape our marketing communications going forward.
Laura Warren, Digital Marketing Manager, MyLondonHome