Institute of Product Leadership
Close this search box.

10 Things to Remember for a Better Product Strategy

By Mr. Satyajeet Salgar – Group Product Manager, Google

Product strategy serves as the guiding compass for companies, outlining the direction and approach to creating and delivering products that meet customer needs while achieving business goals. Though many organizations struggle to develop a robust and effective product strategy, often mistaking it for a vision statement or a mere wish list of features.

This is all because crafting an effective product strategy is no easy task. It requires a deep understanding of market dynamics, customer needs, and the ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology. In this blog, we will delve into the importance of having a well-crafted strategy, common mistakes that organizations make in this regard, and explore the essential elements that make a product strategy truly exceptional.

Key Takeaways:

  • Building a good product strategy involves understanding customer needs, leveraging data-driven decision making, setting clear goals, and creating a strong value proposition.
  • Prioritization and resource allocation are important for effective product management.
  • Long-lasting strategies and competition monitoring are key to success.
  • Balancing innovation and execution is crucial in product strategy.
  • Effective communication, stakeholder alignment, and collaborative strategy development are essential for success.
  • Adaptability is necessary to align with changing market conditions and customer needs.

Building a Good Product Strategy

There is a surplus of bad strategies with a common misconception of mistaking a vision statement or wish list for a strategy. Not having a clear strategy might lead to immense discomfort, hence striving for a good strategy is vital. Let’s uncover the key components required to develop a good strategy.

  1. Customer-Centricity and Market Understanding: Understanding customer needs and preferences is highly significant to develop successful product strategies. Thorough market research, gathering customer feedback, and leveraging data analysis are the essential measures to gain insights into customer behavior. By adopting a customer-centric approach, product manager can align their strategies with real-world demands and deliver products that truly resonate with their target audience.
  2. Data-Driven Decision Making: Data plays a crucial role in guiding effective product strategy. Product directions can be informed with the power of data-driven decision-making and the use of analytics. By leveraging data, product managers can make informed decisions, prioritize features, optimize the user experience, evaluate product success, and drive strategy refinement.
  3. Defining Clear Goals and Objectives: Having clear goals and objectives is vital for driving a focused product strategy. Furthermore, setting up SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals provides product managers with direction and clarity in order to excel in their careers. They must also leverage techniques for aligning goals with broader business objectives and ways to establish meaningful metrics to track progress. By defining clear goals, product managers can ensure that their strategies are purposeful and aligned with organizational vision.
  4. Building a Strong Value Proposition: A compelling value proposition lies at the heart of a successful product strategy. Organizations must focus on crafting a unique value proposition that differentiates the product in the market. Furthermore, understanding customer pain points, competitive advantages, and market trends must be emphasized to create a value proposition that resonates with the target audience. By articulating a strong value proposition, product managers can attract and retain customers while driving product success.
  5. Prioritization and Resource Allocation: Product managers often face the challenge of prioritizing features and allocating resources effectively. Hence they must look forward to leveraging practical strategies for prioritization, such as the use of frameworks like the MoSCoW method (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have) and impact vs. effort analysis. Furthermore also set into considering factors like customer value, business impact, and technical feasibility when making prioritization decisions. By adopting a systematic approach to prioritization, individuals in product management roles can optimize resource allocation and ensure that the most valuable features are delivered.
  6. Long-lasting Strategies and Competition: To succeed in the field of product management, strategies set must be able to stand the test of time. Product managers must not only acknowledge the significance of monitoring competition but also be overly reactive and focus on building their unique value propositions.
  7. Balancing Innovation and Execution: A delicate balance must be struck between innovation and execution in product strategy because of the highly prevailing risk of getting trapped in the “innovation bubble” without considering execution.
  8. Aligning Stakeholders and Communicating Strategy: Effective communication and stakeholder alignment play a vital role in the success of a product strategy. Satyajeet discusses the challenges of aligning stakeholders with different priorities and provides practical tips for clear and concise communication. He emphasizes the importance of storytelling to convey the strategy’s vision and impact.
  9. Collaborative Strategy Development: Collaboration and involvement of cross-functional teams are essential for crafting robust product strategies. Involving diverse perspectives and skills in the strategy development process is also highly important. One must leverage several different techniques available for fostering collaboration and creating an environment that encourages constructive discussions and innovation.
  10. Adaptability: The nature of product strategies in ever-changing environments is highly dynamic. Hence adaptability and the need to continually assess and adjust strategies come out to be highly vital to align with evolving market conditions, customer needs, and emerging technologies.

About the Author

Satyajeet Salgar – Group Product Manager Google

Satyajeet leads the product teams responsible for the Media and Events to experience Google search and the assistant, besides leading the product team for features, UI experiences, quality, and policy for the Google Knowledge Graph and associated experiences.

He has also mentored and advised startups. Satyajeet often speaks about building products, technology, user experience, and management, and guest lectures at a few graduate schools including Stanford, the University of Chicago, and Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions

A well-crafted product strategy serves as a guiding compass for companies, outlining the direction and approach to creating and delivering products that meet customer needs while achieving business goals.

Understanding customer needs and preferences through market research, gathering customer feedback, and leveraging data analysis are essential measures to develop a customer-centric product strategy.

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives. They provide direction and clarity, helping product managers excel in their careers and align their strategies with broader business objectives.