Picture the scene. You’re on holiday in Rome. You’re super excited to see all the most iconic landmarks and eat the best food the Italian capital has to offer. Only thing is, there’s a fundamental flaw in your plan. You haven’t done any planning, you don’t have a guide map, and you don’t know the city. That means you’re left to figure out your itinerary as you go.
No doubt you’ll still have fun seeing the sites, but there’s a very good chance you’ll miss a great restaurant or two, visit each place in a more time-consuming and less efficient order, and likely do far more walking than you initially intended.
Approaching a software development project without creating a strategic plan ahead of time has similar knock-on effects. Backed by a clear product strategy, you’ll have a project roadmap from development through to market launch.
Continue reading to discover the importance of a product strategy, and learn why it pays to put the thinking in early on to create a digital product your end-users will love.
What is a Product Strategy?
A product strategy is a written vision of the end product. It’s a tool that outlines every task a development team needs to complete to develop your product and/or features successfully.
The best product strategies describe how your digital product fits into the market, how it complements your wider business objectives, and most importantly, who will benefit from using it. A great product strategy accounts for uncertainty.
The Importance of Product Strategy
Creating a comprehensive product strategy boosts your company’s chances of long-term success and return on investment. True value lies in the ability to differentiate your product from the competition and give your customers every reason to use your app or software.
A well-thought-out product roadmap is key to having visibility to see how you can achieve your objectives.
Benefits of a Quality Product Development Strategy
- Planning in advance minimises risks and helps set measurable goals that allow for a progress review at each stage of development.
- Better performing digital products open up the opportunity for you to increase revenue by charging higher prices for a superior product.
- Strategically tackling your product in sprints and iterations helps manage quality control.
- A product strategy gives development teams oversight to reduce project costs by managing resources in an efficient and logical way.
- A clear roadmap allows developers to identify potential problems or shortcomings before they become larger issues.
- Coupled with an agile approach, a product strategy also gives teams the tools to make performance improvements along the way, rather than at the latter stages of a project.
How to Develop a Product Strategy
From your product’s conception to launch, it’s vital to think strategically throughout the journey. A product strategy should include:
- Product design
- Technical features
- Target audience
- Branding and marketing
- Realistic goals and timeframes
In this section, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of crafting a powerful product strategy to deliver a high-quality end product.
Identify the ‘why’
Every product needs a purpose. Understand the problem you’re trying to solve and why your product is the solution. Take a step back and ask yourself: why are you creating this particular product? Why do your users need it? What gap in the market does your app fill?
Understand the ‘how’
Following your reason ‘why’, you’ll need to factor in how you’re going to turn your ideas into a reality. At this stage, the software house or development team you choose can help you craft user stories around any technical requirements and capabilities.
Be clear who the end product will be for
Software products are used by real people with real needs, so putting users first is an unbeatable approach. Make user research an essential part of your product strategy and development lifecycle by conducting studies and user interviews to truly understand what makes them tick.
Plan your marketing strategy to promote the product
Align your product marketing strategy closely with your vision and business objectives. Think about where your target audience spends their time, how they talk and interact with brands like yours, and think about how you plan to position your new digital product to stand out in a sea of fierce competition.
Don’t forget about monetisation
As a company looking to make a profit, you’ll need to generate revenue from your digital product. App and software monetisation is simply about converting your app users into revenue. Will you make money with in-app ads? Do you plan on using a “freemium” model? Or does your app require users to purchase a physical product?
How to Implement a Product Development Strategy From Start to Finish
Before crafting your product strategy, it’s important to talk to prospective users before assuming what they do and don’t want. Develop a high-level product vision before mapping out the product strategy to stay flexible and adaptable.
As you set off, define clear product goals. Use top-level product goals to guide the project roadmap and keep the development team working towards the same objective. Along the way, continually align the product vision and project roadmap to make sure the product development remains feasible.
At each iteration, periodically review your product strategy to accurately inform future changes or adjustments needed before launch.
Product Strategy and Management: Why it Pays to Put the Thinking in Early On
Just as planning out your Roman excursion is key to having a great holiday, creating a product strategy before you embark on your development journey is a vital part of creating a great digital product.
We’ve seen the success our past clients have had from carefully organising their projects before starting. Our team are pros at implementing and managing all elements of the product strategy so that you end up with a competitive and user-centric end-product.
Discover Product Strategy You Can Count On
Our friendly team of pros will be with you every step of the way, from our initial sit-down chat all the way to releasing the finished product. Discover our process to find out more about how GearedApp works.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.