The world of product development can be overwhelming.
There are tight deadlines, innumerable deliverables, and then managing the operations of it all. But the simple fact is, none of these factors would be possible without product-market fit.
This term is fundamental in the field and essential when developing any new product. Want to learn what the term means? We break it down in the guide below.
What Is Product-Market Fit?
Let’s start with the basics. This term refers to whether your product is needed in the market and if it will be of interest.
Every product manager knows that product necessity is the driving force behind the whole game – there has to be a problem, need or fancy that satisfies the market.
Product-market also fit engineers a unique selling point, or USP. Because if there is no consumer out there that would be interested, or if they could get the same result from a competitor, why would they put money into your pockets?
Thus, understanding product-market fit and analysing it closely will be critical for all new startups. This phenomenon is achieved when a business successfully identifies its target customers and serves them with the right product. The next step in the process is finding more customers and targeting them and their unique needs.
How to Determine Product-Market Fit
Wondering how to tell if you have product-market fit? There will likely never be one answer that means if your product has efficacy or not. It is a subjective field that has a lot of hypotheticals involved.
Luckily, there are some metrics you can use to understand how your product will survive in the market. One of the easiest ways to do this is through market research surveys.
Conducting surveys will give you real-world answers from potential customers. This will provide you with a good idea of if consumers think your product is worth spending on and if they feel they need to have it. You’ll also understand your target demographic and whether the product will gain growth from word-of-mouth spread.
Surveys will also give you an upfront idea of how you could improve your product to better your product-market fit. This will save you significant dollars down the line trying to reverse actions and decisions.
But remember – the market is constantly evolving. The product-market fit needs to be watched consistently, as sometimes it can satisfy a more significant segment of the market, while other times it doesn’t gain any traction.
Another great way to determine product-market fit is through maintaining a great relationship with your customers. A constant feedback loop will help you stay on top of things with ease.
Utilise the Lean Startup Method
Even veterans of the product development world can struggle with getting product-fit right. It is a time-consuming process, one that takes research, time, and money.
A lean startup is a digital product strategy used when new products need to be introduced or developed. The idea behind this helpful method is to create products that customers have already demonstrated interest in.
This is very different from the approach many developers take, where they create a product and hope that demand for it emerges. Not only is this approach a shot in the dark, but it is a significant investment that could go either way.
The lean method was developed by Eric Ries, the CEO of the Long-Term Stock Exchange. He said that the reason the poor way was effective is that it uses validated learning.
This term refers to the research and analysis developers use to gauge interest in a successful product. The product is then refined, fine-tuned, and adapted. The idea here is that if an idea does fail, it fails quickly and cheaply, rather than slowly and expensively.
Questions to Help You Determine Product-Market Fit
Product management is all about seeking. You need to be seeking out answers to essential questions early and upfront. This will avoid any development and consumer-oriented mistakes down the line.
Following are some essential questions to consider:
- Is there anyone interested in this product?
- If yes, who are they?
- Would they be willing to spend money on it, and if so, how much?
- Does it bring actual value to the consumer?
- Does it have long-term growth potential or is it a product that capitalises on current market conditions?
- Is there a USP to the effect that differentiates it from your competition?
- What could improve the product from any existing versions?
- Would your demographic be upset if the product didn’t exist in their lives any longer?
It is also important to note here the importance of data collection. The cardinal rule of product development is don’t make any assumptions.
Don’t answer the questions on behalf of your consumers; instead, go out and ask them. This will cement your success in a long-term manner.
Product-Market Fit Needs the Proper Tech Backup
If you’re a first-time founder, MVP, or new startup, you’ll know how challenging it can be to launch a product.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most consumers don’t even know about! However, by focusing on product-market fit and utilising the lean startup method, you’ll be setting yourself up for serious product success.
At Cyber, we believe that bespoke software products can skyrocket your digital growth. Our team has developed intuitive, scalable, and cost-effective tech solutions to help clients streamline and automate their processes.
Be sure to check out our software development services here today!