Are you launching your startup or a new product? This article should interest you… If the notion of searching for Product Market Fit has yet to become familiar to you, it will nevertheless occupy your mind for a while! Is your dream to see your product succeed with its target market? Here, we offer you a 6-step method to find your Product Market Fit, thanks to digital. After defining the PMF and recalling the challenges for your company, we will guide you step-by-step until you achieve the perfect match between your solution and the needs of your ideal customers.
What Is Product Market Fit?
Project leader, entrepreneur, intrapreneur… Whatever the name that suits you, what you have in common is wanting to create something new. Starting from an idea, you design a product (or service) to make it a viable business. Before investing further in the development of your project/business, you will need to ensure that your product meets the expectations of your target. And that your assumptions are verified in “real” life. This quest has a name: the search for Product Market Fit (PMF), in other words, the perfect match between a product and its market.
Why Is Product Market Fit Fundamental To Your Business Project?
At the end of this Product Market Fit research phase, two scenarios will present themselves: Either the PMF is reached ( we will see how to check it a little later ): the growth of your business will begin naturally—well done!
- Either the PMF is not reached, your product does not resonate with the targeted market, and your sales do not take off. Several possible causes and remedies:
- The message intended for the target audience may differ from the right one. It needs to be understood. You can vary this parameter.
- You may have to modify your product so that it better suits the needs/expectations/problems of your target market.
- You will eventually decide to address another target market with the same product.
- Or maybe a little of all of these at once, adjusting the three variables: [product x message x target]
- This research phase is, therefore, essential to see what the potential of your idea/activity/product is.
And when we talk about “potential”, we are referring to questions like:
- “How many customers could I reach? »
- “How much will this cost and earn me? »
- “Will this business idea be profitable? “.
Digital marketing – and in particular, online advertising – can provide answers to these questions in a relatively short time. But at what point do we know that we have reached the state of grace of PMF?
How To Know If You Have Found Your Product Market Fit
There are several clues to observe:
- Commitment. _ This is a sign that your target audience is interested in your product and fully understands its value.
- The conversion. This results in customers paying to get your product.
- The ROI of customer acquisition campaigns (i.e. when the revenue generated by a customer is greater than the cost of acquiring the customer).
- The recommendation. If your customers speak highly of your product to those around them, it’s a win!
When these elements are positive, organic growth should occur, and the number of customers will increase… that’s it: you have found Product Market Fit! Our methodology for researching PMF is inspired by Lean Startup and its three iterative phases:
- Build. This involves confronting the reality on the ground with the first version of your digital customer acquisition journey as soon as possible.
- Measure. The analysis of the results obtained allows us to move on to the next phase.
- Improve and repeat. We optimize the system to gain efficiency while seeking to reduce costs.
With experience, we have succeeded in developing the optimal system, with implementation reduced to 6 weeks, which makes it possible to collect relevant information for Product Market Fit research.
What System Should You Put In Place To Find Your Product Market Fit?
Before launching your action plan, clarify this: your system must meet the three conditions below to be effective.
- It must collect relevant data to confirm or refute your hypothesis.
- He must collect enough data so that the interpretation is representative of reality.
- It must provide you with answers within a reasonable period.
Here is now the content of the different stages of the deployment over six weeks:
Step 1: Targeting
In this step, we are interested in the audience you want to reach online. Beforehand, you will have done research on your target: who they are, what interests them, what are their concerns, on which channels they are present, etc.? You will have created one or more personas (semi-fictitious representations of your ideal customer) to synthesize this information. There are different tools to rely on at this stage:
- You are targeting tools made available by advertising agencies, such as Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads, etc. By varying the targeting criteria (demographic and behavioral), you can get an idea of the size of your audience on different channels.
- Search engine marketing tools. These tell you about the most searched keywords (or queries) in the areas that interest your target. We can cite Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, Semrush, AlsoAsked, Answer The Public…
At The End Of This Step
- Your target audience is identified;
- Targeting criteria are defined on each channel;
- The keywords on which you wish to position yourself are listed.
Step 2: Online Advertising
This second step corresponds to the construction of the message that we will send to the target audience via online advertising. The objective? Attract their attention and arouse their interest in your product. Remember the 3 variables mentioned previously: [product x message x target]. The previous step focused on the [target] variable, while in this one, we will work on the [message] variable. We can distinguish different types of advertising that will relay this message:
- search engine ads (SEA);
- advertisements on social networks (social ads);
- display banners on web pages.
Our advice at this stage is to design advertising messages that address the issues of your targets. Distribute them as a priority where your marks are! Later, when you have collected enough information about the performance of your ads, you will be able to answer these questions:
- Which argument works best with the target?
- What types of ads have the highest click-through rates?
If the results do not meet your expectations, return to step 1 to rework the audience targeting.
At The End Of This Step
- You have selected the channels and types of advertising to launch;
- Your ads are ready to show.
Step 3: Landing Pages
In this step, it is about creating the landing pages for your advertising campaigns. You should best respond to the search intent of Internet users. However, a single landing page can only answer some of the problems of all your targets. We recommend creating several versions of landing pages, even if they all relate to the same product or service.
Each landing page will have the mission of responding to a person’s problem by providing the appropriate arguments. On the other hand, make sure to send traffic from your ads to the homepage of your website. Too generic. It is not designed to convert… The best practice to remember is to ensure end-to-end consistency between:
- the keywords searched by the target;
- ad messages;
- ad landing pages.
We feel free to include as many landing pages as necessary! Thus, each Internet user understands that the solution perfectly meets THEIR needs and takes action more willingly.
At The End Of This Step
- Your different landing pages are ready to go online;
- They are linked to the advertisements that you prepared in Step 2.
Step 4: Conversion journey (forms)
You have everything in place: the right keywords, advertising campaigns with the appropriate messages, and contextualized landing pages. But if the form is impractical, it’s like having a failed basket! Apart from the classic email-sending form, several possibilities are available to you, depending on your activity (and what will appeal most to your visitors):
- You can suggest to the Internet user to “make an appointment” with an advisor/salesperson → in this case, set up a system like Calendly or YouCanBook.me.
- Do you need to pre-qualify contact requests? → a scenario with a few structuring questions would be ideal (Gravityform, Typeform, Heyflow, Landbot).
- Are you ready to respond and communicate directly with the contact, as long as they are “hot”? → install a “chat” (Tidio).
The Internet user is thus guided with maximum fluidity in his journey until taking action. In addition, the “form” step can reinforce the promise to the prospect by adding perceived value. Example: a scenario of relevant questions suggests the seriousness you will treat their request.
To reduce the risk of abandoning the form, we recommend limiting the collection of personal information to what is strictly necessary. The questions should be clear and concise, and it is best to direct them to the person’s context or project (and not to the person). Completing a form is an effort for any Internet user: it has to be worth it! The counterpart must be evident to him.
At The End Of This Step
- Your forms are connected to landing pages;
- You have a CRM tool to save contacts (Airtable type).
Step 5: Measuring Performance
We have already mentioned the importance of testing and observing the results to improve the device. Each step must, therefore, be accompanied by a data collection system and dashboards to make it easier to read. The analysis is carried out regularly (every month at least), observing trends and comparing the results of the different courses. However, remember to take a quick look from time to time to make sure there are no bugs and that everything is working correctly! We recommend the Piwik PRO tool because it allows you to collect traffic data on your site while respecting GDPR guidelines.
At The End Of This Step
- Your tagging plan is put in place;
- Your web analysis tool is ready to collect data;
- The dashboards are developed.
Step 6: Test & Learn
This step is not a final step. It repeats to form a continuous improvement loop: launch > test > measure > analyze > improve. Here are some examples of what an analysis can do for you:
- Measure average conversion rates at each stage of the user journey funnel. ⇒ This allows you to detect if there is a step to optimize as a priority.
- Determine which versions perform best (ads, landing pages, forms) ⇒ This allows you to invest in the most efficient combinations and abandon the least efficient ones.
- Identify which targets react best (by comparing conversion rates by audience). ⇒ This allows you to place your efforts towards a particular target and possibly pivot exclusively towards this target.
- Observe the dropout rates for each question on the form. ⇒ This allows you to delete or rewrite questions that Internet users are stuck on and thus increase the conversion rate.
At the end of this step:
- You have launched the system (activation of campaigns, posting of landing pages, web analysis);
- Your process [test – measurement – analysis – action plan] is in place;
- You can iterate as many times as necessary to verify your PMF.
In summary, here are the six steps to finding your Product Market Fit:
- Audience Targeting
- Messages and advertisements
- Landing pages
- Performance measurement
- Test and learn
Anode can help you design such a device and implement this approach in 6 weeks. Then, we constantly adjust the different parameters to increase the number of leads generated while lowering the cost per lead. Thus, we help you get closer to your Product Market Fit with optimized and profitable acquisition campaigns. Get in touch to find out more about our offer!