Digital Product Strategy 101: How to Turn Your Idea into a Successful Product
Everyone in the digital world talks about a product strategy. You probably understand the importance of a digital product strategy. But how does it play out in reality? How do you go about creating and implementing a digital product strategy from start to finish?
How can you connect the dots and make it a part of your digital product lifecycle?
You’ll discover the answers in this article.
When we look at some of the most successful products, it may appear that their success is due to a fantastic idea, a creative strategy, or millions of dollars invested. The truth is – every product has highs and lows, challenges, and difficult periods.
We have seen it all the time. Sometimes, even the most well-crafted products fail to gain traction. While seeming average digital products make giant leaps.
In both scenarios, a digital product strategy or the lack of it plays a major role. Simply because even if you do not think about a product strategy consciously, it still exists.
On the other hand, many potentially profitable ideas never see the light of the day. The absence of a coherent digital product strategy is one of the reasons why so many businesses fail to build successful products.
Why is a Digital Product Strategy So Important?
At the end of the day, digital product strategy helps in the comprehension and organization of the following:
- Who are your customers and what inspires them to purchase your product?
- What differentiates your product in the marketplace and how will it fit into the existing market?
- How can you keep your product growing while also meeting your business objectives?
That being said – let’s try to understand what a digital product strategy means.
What is Digital Product Strategy?
The vision for a digital product when combined with market needs and a cohesive development plan can be referred to as the digital product strategy.
A well-thought digital product strategy can help you generate immense value for your business and customers alike. It allows you to get your team on board, and decide on a product roadmap while taking into account potential challenges and opportunities. You can create a digital product strategy to build a new product from scratch or upgrade an existing product – the process pretty much remains the same.
Digital Products Strategy Definition
The strategic plan to build a product development process for digital products and a product roadmap with a unique value proposition to get the desired outcomes and cater to customer problems in the online world is known as the digital products strategy.
Let’s look deeper into a digital product strategy and how it fits into the grand scheme of things.
What is the Meaning of a Product Strategy?
A product strategy determines the product’s strategic vision. It’s a framework of attainable goals in which team members strive for positive outcomes for both the company and the users.
Think of it like a map, where you must first determine your destination before planning your journey. Instead of trying to please everyone, the digital product strategy helps in creating a high-level vision for the product. It helps you define measurable outcomes.
So how do you go about creating a digital product strategy from scratch? Where do you get started?
Building the Foundation for Your Digital Product Strategy
Every structure is built upon a solid foundation. Likewise, your digital product strategy needs a strong foundation and a lot of groundwork.
The following questions will help you build the right foundation for your digital product strategy:
- What’s the motive behind building the product?
- What are the needs and desires of the target audience?
- What problems does the product solve?
- What are the core competencies of the product?
- What are the business’s desired goals and outcomes?
These are difficult questions to answer. But answering them will help you get off to a flying start.
While doing so, bear in mind that you need to acknowledge the difficulties of the digital product environment.
You also need to think through the strategy that incorporates the entire product development lifecycle – from idea to execution
Many business owners believe that product strategy is only necessary once the product has been developed. The truth is – the best time to create a digital product strategy is before it is built.
In a nutshell, your digital strategy outlines your purpose, objectives, and the actions that must be taken to achieve product goals
Click here to download our digital product strategy evaluation framework
Key Components of Digital Product Strategy
Now that you have the right foundation, let us take a look at the key components of your digital product strategy. Product strategy is the interplay of market needs, the product’s key differentiator, and business goals.
Market and its Needs
The target audience for your business is referred to as the market. The market requirements relate to the questions and issues that users face and how the product would aid in their resolution. Make sure you have clearly articulated marketing needs before you embark on your product development journey.
Product's Key Differentiator
Don’t try to make a logjam of all the features you want. Instead, concentrate on important features that will entice customers to use your product. Remember the Pareto principle or the law of the vital few? 80% of your customers are going to use 20% of the features. Think through this deep enough..what’s your 20%?
The business goals specify how the product may benefit the company. Each asset has its own set of goals and objectives: increasing revenue, assisting in the sale of another product, lowering costs, increasing the number of customers, and so on.
Product Market Alignment: The Key to Successful Business Outcomes
To deliver successful business results, you need much more than just building a good digital product or deploying it in a scalable cloud environment, or using cutting-edge tech. Of course, these things do matter.
But when it comes to delivering successful business outcomes, product leaders must focus on the “market side” of things.
We are talking about things such as:
- Studying the market, and the competitors.
- Having conversations with end users to ascertain the needs
- Building upon the foundation of marketing to evolve products based on the needs of the end-user
If you would like to deliver successful business results, you must align your product with the market’s needs and be realistic about it.
Let us take a look at the step-by-step process to build a robust digital product strategy.
Steps to Building a Digital Product Strategy
The steps for building a solid digital strategy are as follows:
Research and Discovery
You begin by defining your product’s values and vision. At the same time, identify customer obstacles and evolve potential solutions. This step also includes conducting extensive research to determine the number of people affected by the problems and how much of an impact you can have by addressing them with your product. These insights will eventually be used to guide your development and design decisions.
Product Value Proposition
Try to comprehend the precise difficulties that your product would address for consumers. You can’t please everyone. It is important to understand that what distinguishes you is how you find the solution and not just the problem you solve.
Benchmarking and Competitive Analysis
Examine and compare similar products in your category. Learn from your competition but do not stay limited by it. Identify the techniques they are using to accomplish the biz goals. Finally, evaluate your competitor’s strengths and limitations. How does your business compare to other options available in the market? Does your product truly stand out in some way?
Knowing Your Users
Before creating a long-term product strategy and business model, you must first understand your consumers’ demands. Understand as much as you can about your customers, who they are, what motivates them, and what they expect from your product.
Goals of Your Product
How will your service or product help your business grow?
You’ll only be able to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) and check the effectiveness of your product after you have a clear understanding of your goals.
The development of User Stories, User Requirements, User Journeys, etc. is part of the conceptualization planning process. As an outcome, you can be sure you’re contacting the right people and steering them along the right path.
Finally, your digital product strategy must include information on how you plan to set the price, such as its perceived value and a pricing system.
Implementing Your Digital Product Strategy: From Strategy to Execution
Once you have articulated your digital product strategy, you need to ensure that the development team and customer-facing teams are aligned to it.
You also need to keep in mind that the markets and business environments are constantly evolving. So being agile and adopting the product strategy based on these evolving conditions is of utmost importance.
Your digital product strategy needs to be executed with agility without losing core focus.
You need to regularly monitor, assess, and change strategic objectives to address new problems and market needs.
Here are some key points that you can use to effectively implement the product strategy in your business:
- Figure out what the core objectives and core principles are. These don’t change often.
- Develop a clear understanding of what each person is responsible for and build the right communication framework that allows for an effective exchange of ideas
- Make your team understand the vision of the business and ensure that they are algin with the product strategy
- Check in with your staff members on a regular basis to see how well they’re doing and listen to their suggestions.
- Instead of rigidly following the product strategy, be adaptable, receptive and adjust plans as you review the implementation
- Keep every team member in the loop. Make sure they have all the tools they need to get the job done and feel satisfied with their performance.
- Once you complete the implementation stage, examine the process and analyze how things actually went.
A well-documented digital product strategy will provide you with all of the resources you’ll need to create a product that customers will enjoy using.
And then you will see the happiness loop in your business. Since your customers are happy using your product, your team will be happier delivering great stuff to the customers. And that’s the ultimate win for your product.
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