For any startup, creating a new digital product is challenging. Apart from having a solid product idea, you need to know how to execute it successfully. And, this process requires a strategic approach. From target audience research to the processes you will use during the development, each stage of your digital product development impacts how it will scale up later.
Here are 5 key product marketing phases to build and launch a competitive digital product:
1. Planning Everything
Creativity and inspiration are not enough to create a product that fits the market. This is often a result of lots of research. Your idea is to identify the major problems your target market faces and find a solution to them. Your product should at least:
- Solve specific problems – the product or service you create should address specific problems your target audiences face. Now, this may sound easier than it really is. Keep in mind that problems in your target market vary, based on different segments within your target audience. Also, the market is changing rapidly fast. So, instead of asking yourself whether your product can solve your customers’ problems, ask yourself whether it can evolve along with the market and your users, addressing new problems and providing fresh solutions.
- Up-to-date – by frequently updating your software, you will maintain a competitive advantage and maximize conversions. Above all, you will prove that you care about the community and increase user experiences. These are all significant factors that will encourage customers’ loyalty.
- Easy-to-use – effective software is the one a user can download and use without any external help or guidelines. It needs to be highly responsive and user-friendly, meeting their needs.
2. Focus on Design and User Experiences
Next, you need to focus on the user-friendliness of your app. To avoid any complexities in your UX and UI design processes, you should first provide smooth browsing experiences.
Stay on Top of UX/UI Design Basics
For example, simplify your sign-up forms. Overly complex registration processes will only frustrate your users and drive them away. They should also be allowed to log in from platforms like Google or Facebook. Finally, provide exceptional navigation features, letting visitors find what they’re looking for faster. Keep the most important features prominent and easy to click on.
These tips are the basics you probably know. However, just getting these things right and providing exceptional user experiences is still not enough. Apart from being visually pleasing, your app should also focus on meeting your visitors’ specific needs.
Adopting the “Jobs To Be Done” Framework
That’s where adopting the “jobs to be done” framework can help.
When talking about “jobs to be done,” it’s important to emphasize that it’s not a feature, a product, or a service. It’s a mindset that revolves around a simple question – what does a user want to get done through your app?
In this case, you will need to strictly define the product you’re about to develop. You should research your audience. Start collecting their data, across multiple channels. Based on this data, you need to create a clear job statement and determine what features your product should have to address the market’s unmet needs. Above all, you will need to test the functionality of your digital product and assess how easily a customer engages with your product.
Reduce Unnecessary Content
When landing on your app, a customer has a specific goal. And, if they’re bombarded with a bunch of chaotic and irrelevant facts, they may stop using your digital product. That’s why you should reduce cognitive load. Eliminate all unnecessary actions, simplify and reduce content, and focus on the clarity of your content and interface.
Understand the Context behind User Behaviors
An app that understands the context behind users’ clicks can meet their needs easier. Namely, your app should understand what users need in a certain situation and meet their needs right away. For example, a customer that has already viewed a product on your app will want to have easy access to that product instead of having to scroll down endlessly. Your digital product should remember each customer’s interactions and be able to continue where they left last time.
3. Adopt the DevOps Mindset
If you’re constantly providing your customers with new digital products, that may be extremely challenging for your team of developers. To gain a competitive advantage, you need to be faster than your competitors. Still, there are many gaps in the system that may impact the performance of your developers.
For example, a developer needs to wait weeks for their code to be placed into production. For them, this means they will need to balance the features that are pending and the new code they’re supposed to produce. After their code is finally placed into production, many unforeseen errors might occur. They may impact the overall productivity of your team, as well as customer experiences.
These issues also impact your operations teams. They need to adapt the code to the production environment and identify the reason why certain issues occur. As the number of new product features and your clients will keep growing, the tools they use won’t be as effective as earlier.
That’s where adopting DevOps helps. In this type of delivery model, a DevOps as a service provider gathers numerous tools that cover different parts of your product development process and connects them to streamline your activities.
This way, you will be able to break down the silos between your development and operations teams. The main purpose of DevOps is better collaboration and happy customers. Your teams would share responsibilities and work better together. They would focus more on the automation of code testing, workflows, and infrastructure.
Your teams would be able to create software that is integrated, functional, tested, deployed, and monitored. Writing smaller chunks of code, you will be able to improve its development life cycle and deliver your services to your customers faster. Above all, you will be able to use iterative monitoring to improve both your code and operations daily.
4. Product Promotion and Deployment
Now that you’ve developed, tested, and optimized your digital product, it’s time to spread the word about it. Here are a few simple steps to take to increase the reach of your software:
- Collect feedback from early software adopters.
- Change the app based on the feedback you collect.
- Have a solid marketing and PR plan. Have a marketing team that will promote your product on the right platforms. They should set marketing goals in the pre-launch phase, create launch graphics on time, create social media content for each platform you will use, start writing blog posts, have a detailed email marketing strategy, etc.
- Improve customer experiences through continuous and real-time interactions.
- Build reach and grab attention with ephemeral content, such as live videos.
- Invest in influencer marketing to build trust with users and position yourself as an authoritative source.
- Measure your vital KPIs to track performance over time.
5. Scale your Digital Product
Finally, you need to learn how to scale your digital product. For starters, your goal should be to provide amazing user experiences and increase customer loyalty. Poor performance, slow loading, crashes, the lack of app responsiveness are just some of the numerous issues that may drive users away. Your goal is to encourage them to keep coming back to your app over and over again.
Some other goals you need to set to scale your digital product are:
- Acquiring new customers through valuable content and exceptional services
- Providing new features to attract customers and address the current market needs
- Maintaining a high uptime and reducing the downtime as the number of your customers grows
- Proactive data analysis and data mining help you improve code and user experiences
Over to You
When creating a digital product, you need to keep your target customers in mind. You always need to focus on creating products that are relevant to your niche and that solve specific problems. Create detailed buyer personas and try to get to know them better to deliver customized and smooth UX. Above all, focus on adopting the DevOps mindset that lets you eliminate the silos between your teams, improve their productivity, and automate many aspects of the digital product development process.