How Finding the Correct Product/Market Fit Drives Better Product Decisions

By February 14, 2017E-Commerce Marketing, Strategy

The phrase “product/market fit” was coined by Marc Andreessen in his post “The Only Thing That Matters.” In short, product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.

Many companies create an MVP and simply hope their product takes off. You can have a huge market, but if you don’t have a product that fulfills the needs of that market, you’re going to be missing out. So product/market fit is all about finding cohesion between having a good product and a large market.

We recently interviewed Joana Kogan, Product Manager at Gooten, who explained how to line up your product with your market. We’re going to cover the same topic here.

How Do You Achieve Market Fit?

It all depends on what end of the table you sit at. Most ideas start with someone running into an issue, developing a hypothesis, and testing it out. From there, you can see if other people face this issue, and if the pain points are actual and solvable.

The most important way to figure out market fit is by talking to your customers. Figure out where they live and where their pain points are.

Joana 1,000% recommends developing buyer personas. Gooten does interviews with customers, to get to know them as best as they can, then builds out personas based on existing customers.

Though no two customers are exactly alike, you can build out segments. Give them a name, a background, where they went to school, and marital status, because all product decisions reflect those personas.

How to Understand Pain Points

There are multiple ways to glean true pain points from customers. One is to send out surveys. You can also talk to your users.

Joana jumps on online chats with the customer service team. She sees where people get stuck, where most of the questions come from, and then she digs deeper.

Brands Evolve. How Do You Stay on Top of Personas as They Evolve or Pain Points Are Solved?

In product management in general, a lot of it is trying to predict the future and staying ahead of trends. That way when something does come up, you’re aware of it and ready.

To reiterate, it’s extremely important to be talking to customers. Even if they aren’t exactly sure what they’re in need of, you can find out if you dig deep enough, and as a company you can figure out how to (or whether you should) solve it.

Once you’ve got the feedback, how you can roll in into product development with clear organization. Gooten takes future requests, pain points, and praise, and they bucket those into different themes. Based on what metric they’re using, they go from there. They start with assumptions, test them, and hopefully validate them.

Only then do they build out a product.Bonus question for Joana: You’ve got a nice behind-the-scenes view of brands selling stuff online. What are some differentiators that make a brand selling clothing, etc. special? What defines a good brand?

Bonus question for Joana: You’ve got a nice behind-the-scenes view of brands selling stuff online. What are some differentiators that make a brand selling clothing, etc. special? What defines a good brand?

Joana: Understanding who your customer is, where they live. If you have designs and and your brand is geared toward teenagers, putting it onto a technical blog and marketing there is not going to get you the sales you need. Everyone nowadays has the same T-shirt with the same four sayings. It’s a matter of getting in front of the right people.

Conclusion

Your market could be as large as Earth’s population, but if your product isn’t a fit, it will inevitably fail. Talk to your customers and dig deeply into their pain points before recklessly diving into product development that may end up being a waste of your time and money.

If you’re interesting in Gooten, they work with designers, artists, marketer . . . people who jump on trends. They help those people with over 100 products. If you’re looking for home decor or just apparel, or prints in general if you’re an artist or photographer, they’ve got all those products.

For the e-commerce end, they are a free app on Shopify. If you sell, they make money. If not, it’s free. Check them out.

This episode is based on an interview with Joana Kogan from Gooten. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Hawke Media Podcast.

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