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What comes after product market fit?

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Des Traynor speaking at WebSummit 2018. We spend a lot of time talking about how companies can get to the point where their product resonates in the market. But this is not the only thing that matters.

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What comes after product market fit?

  1. 1. What comes after product market fit? @destraynor from @intercom
  2. 2. There is an epidemic of start-up advice about finding product market fit.
  3. 3. Intercom started in 2011 with 4 people, $0 revenue and an ambitious $6M valuation.
  4. 4. 7 years later we’re 600+ people across 5 offices, 30,000+ customers and valued at over $1B.
  5. 5. It wasn’t all just product market fit
  6. 6. Sure, at the start, it’s just you and your product. 
 Here is where the “fit” is all that matters. Product
  7. 7. Marketing But if your product works, you’ll need to start marketing. Product
  8. 8. THE MARKETING STAGE Market the Job to be Done Practice effective testing Learn the ways people buy Solve from the inside out
  9. 9. Happy, paying customer Trialist Active 
 user Onboarded 
 user Signed up
 visitor Visitor Advert
 clicker Audience The marketing funnel
  10. 10. We tend to look at funnels from the outside in DEMAND GENERATION PRODUCT MARKETING ENGAGEMENT PRODUCT Happy, paying customer Trialist Active 
 user Onboarded 
 user Signed up
 visitor Visitor Advert
 clicker Audience
  11. 11. The temptation is to start marketing here DEMAND GENERATION PRODUCT MARKETING ENGAGEMENT PRODUCT Happy, paying customer Trialist Active 
 user Onboarded 
 user Signed up
 visitor Visitor Advert
 clicker Audience
  12. 12. • It’s short term responsive • It’s easy to experiment with • It can be high impact • There’s whole industries here to help
  13. 13. “If your customers aren’t happy, engaged, profitable, and sticking around for the long term, then the last thing you want to do is get more of them.”
  14. 14. The best marketing starts here Happy, paying customer Trialist Active 
 user Onboarded 
 user Signed up
 visitor Visitor Advert
 clicker Audience
  15. 15. …and works backwards Happy, paying customer Trialist Active 
 user Onboarded 
 user Signed up
 visitor Visitor Advert
 clicker Audience
  16. 16. THE MARKETING STAGE Market the Job to be Done Practice effective testing Learn the ways people buy Solve from the inside out
  17. 17. Are you building what you sell? Are you selling what you build?
 
 Are you selling what they’re buying? Are they buying what you’re selling?
  18. 18. Start by talking to your customers. Lots of them. All different types of them.
  19. 19. What are they looking for? What doesn’t work? What’s their definition of value? How do they measure things? Where are we most solid? Why does the job go away? You want a broad spectrum so you can define the job that people are hiring your product to do. SHOPPERS ACTIVE NEW CHURNED TRIALING INACTIVE
  20. 20. For each job, we produce a card that clearly articulates the job, what it’s more about, what it’s less about, and the journey a customer goes on when hiring Intercom for that job.
  21. 21. Understand your competition and why people should switch to you.
  22. 22. Know who you’re fighting with and why
  23. 23. existing solution new solution Know what angles to address The 4 forces influencing a customer switch from or to a competitor Reasons to switch Reasons to stay Problems with Current Product Attraction of New Product Existing Habits & Allegiances Anxiety & Uncertainty of Change
  24. 24. This is why switching is hard and your product needs to be ~10x better
  25. 25. THE MARKETING STAGE Market the Job to be Done Practice effective testing Learn the ways people buy Solve from the inside out
  26. 26. They search by the solution category They want a better version of what they currently have They want you! CON:You have to sell them on their problem, your category, your solution, and more
 
 PRO: There’s lots of them CON:You have to establish brand dominance in a category
 
 PRO: It’s defined a space CON:You’re competing on your competitor’s terms in many ways 
 
 PRO: You just need to beat one company CON:It takes years to get here
 
 PRO: They accept no substitute They search by the description of their problem
  27. 27. THE MARKETING STAGE Market the Job to be Done Practice effective testing Learn the ways people buy Solve from the inside out
  28. 28. Default to redesign, not optimise.
 
 A billion dollar company isn’t built off better button colours.
  29. 29. Sign up now Sign up now We know that big calls-to-action outperform small ones.
  30. 30. Sign up now Calls-to-action in the right location outperform ones in the wrong location. Sign up now
  31. 31. Sign up now Sign up now Calls-to-action that are visible outperform ones that are not.
  32. 32. Don't get sucked into black hole of tiny optimisations. Know when to reset.
  33. 33. 1. How much could this experiment impact the metric? 2. Given that impact, how long will you need to run the test to get accurate results? 3. Is it worth the wait? Before you experiment, ask yourself…
  34. 34. Sign up now Time to implement: 2 hours Time to test: 68 days Total time: 70 days Percentage improvement: 1.4% Sign up now CONTROL SIGN UP FLOW TEST SIGN UP FLOW
  35. 35. Time to implement: 15 days Time to test: 13 days Total time: 28 days Percentage improvement: 9% CONTROL SIGN UP FLOW TEST SIGN UP FLOW
  36. 36. Marketing Getting Product and Marketing right are the first steps to Product Market Fit. Product
  37. 37. Marketing But it gets complicated from here onwards Product Customer Support Finance Sales Analytics Brand Design Content Public Relations Infrastructure Security Compliance
  38. 38. THE SCALE STAGE Evolve how you build Beware of dogma Maintain your edge Evolve your roadmap
  39. 39. What got you here won’t get you there.
  40. 40. Early product companies work off intuition, inspiration, gut, feel, etc. This doesn’t scale.
  41. 41. Even if it did scale, it’s not a good idea.
  42. 42. Develop your roadmap process
  43. 43. Roadmap Current customers Product 
 iterations Voice of sales Competitive landscape Churn 
 reports Product 
 health New ideas
  44. 44. Current customers Product 
 iterations Voice of sales Competitive landscape Churn 
 reports Product 
 health New ideas How you allocate your time here is crucial
  45. 45. Current customers Product 
 iterations Voice of sales Competitive landscape Churn 
 reports Product 
 health New ideas Some will flare up, some you have to earn
  46. 46. THE SCALE STAGE Evolve how you build Beware of dogma Maintain your edge Evolve your roadmap
  47. 47. Innovation and problem solving are different modes of work Addressing problemsIterations & new ideas Speculative Open ended Failure is acceptable Opportunity to differentiate Well understood outcome KPI driven Failure rarely acceptable Follow best practices
  48. 48. Every piece of product work needs a revenue hypothesis This work will… Help Sales close more deals Help us sell at higher prices Decrease customer churn Improve our site conversion rate Give us a unique position in market Decrease costs to serve our customers
  49. 49. But adding features just to close deals is easy. It leads to consulting-ware long term.
  50. 50. Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature %ofcustomersthatuseit Most products have a few important features…
  51. 51. Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature %ofcustomersthatuseit Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature “Just this once” “Look at the ARR tho!” “Said they’ll quit” …but adding features that are only used by a few customers is how your product becomes a bloated mess.
  52. 52. This isn’t some product purist bullshit. 
 You pay for that complexity in your Marketing, Customer Support, Success, etc. 
 
 It’s “easy” to build everything customers want.
  53. 53. Act on your customers’ behalf, not their request
  54. 54. THE SCALE STAGE Evolve how you build Beware of dogma Maintain your edge Evolve your roadmap
  55. 55. How to think about you vs your competitors
  56. 56. You If you have a successful product, you’ll get customers
  57. 57. Your competitor Then you’ll get a competitor who will start to attract your customers You
  58. 58. So what do you do? You Your competitor
  59. 59. If you begin to copy their features… You Your competitor
  60. 60. …they’ll begin to copy your features. You Your competitor
  61. 61. You’ll end up looking and talking like your competition. You’re now a commodity. You Competitor
  62. 62. Beware of prioritising product requests that make you more like your competitor.
  63. 63. “We need be much more like them” will soon turn into “We need to be very different to them”
  64. 64. THE SCALE STAGE Evolve how you build Beware of dogma Maintain your edge Evolve your roadmap
  65. 65. All opinions in your software cost you customers, so they better be worth it.
  66. 66. • “We don’t think we should collect email addresses up front” • “We have specific ways we want our customers to speak” • “We think the messenger should always ___ and never ___” • “We think there’s only ‘X’ ways you can set up permissions” • “Our bot Operator should always sound like a ____” Real examples from Intercom:
  67. 67. When an opinion is costing you more than it’s earning you, it’s dogma.
  68. 68. • Attract a set of target customers • Inspire your team • Fuel your marketing • Reduce your product scope • Simplify your product • Block sales • Confuse your team • Are only surfaced in product • Paint you into corners technically • Confuse your users Good opinions vsBad opinions
  69. 69. “But we’ve always done that” “I remember back when…” “But on the blog it says…” “I found this Google Doc and it said” “Des once said at an all hands that…” Opinions should expire
  70. 70. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
  71. 71. Either you kill your dogma, or your dogma kills you.
  72. 72. Thanks slides:intercom.com/blog from @intercom@destraynor

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