The single worst marketing decision any growth hacker can make is to start with a product that nobody wants or nobody needs.
Often times, a programmer or software engineer will spend months developing a new innovative software. In every instance, we all told ourselves that “You go to the market with the product you have, not the one you want”. Then, we start to wonder why the marketing strategies failed, and why those failures were so expensive.
In growth hacker perspective, we believe that products – even the whole businesses and business models – should be changed or tweaked until they are ready to generated explosive growth from the first people who see them. The best decision you can make is to build a product or service that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real group of people, regardless of how much tweaking and reorganizing this takes.
As a growth marketer, we want the best product-market fit, yet this only happens by series of product tweaking and changes. And most startups don’t want to go through the series of change due to their existing investment, and time spend on building a product. But when push comes to shove, you have to make the final decision of Tweak or Not-to-Tweak.
The role of a growth marketer in this series of changing product situation is to actively contribute in the process. You need to isolate who your initial customers are, figure out their needs, design a product that will blow their minds – These are the growth marketer’s decisions, not just developers and designer choices. Everyone in the team of a company should contribute in this process.
In order to achieve the Product-Market Fit (PMF) for any early startup or product, you need to do what Marc Andreeseen have said – “Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people. rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital – whatever is required”.
Additionally, you must be able to openminded of feedback from your users. We need to ask the socratic method of repeatedly question every assumption we made about the service or product. You need to be scientific and survey your users through using tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Doc, WuFoo or Qualaroo. Ask them following questions below:
1. “What is it that brought you (the user) to the this product?”
2. “What is holding you (the user) from referring other people to do it?”
3. “What’s missing in this product?”
4. “What’s so good about this product?”
5. “What do you think needs to improve and how do you propose that?”
PFM is not something that happens magically. Many companies work for it, crawl toward it and even throughout weeks or months of their word because the evidence supports that decision. If you need to change all of your product features based on the survey, then you should go about the change, and believe in the change is positive.