LinkedIn principal author Doug Winnie describes the audiences you should speak with to get valuable information on why or why they aren’t using your product. Through speaking with users, non-users, target personas and out-of-target personas, you can identify product issues, confirm exiting facts, and uncover potential new audiences or uses for your product.
- The perfect time to find out what people think about your product is when it's released and in the market. The natural thing to do is to reach out to the users of your product, but that will only get you half of the story. There are a few groups you should contact when you want to get your feedback. Think of your audiences you need to talk to as a two-by-two grid, the columns are those that are current users, and those that are not. The rows are those that are within your primary and secondary personas, and those that are not.
The obvious groups to talk to are users who fit your primary and secondary personas. You want to find out if the product solves their problems they told you existed and if they are finding value in the product and will continue to be a user. It's also important to reach out to the individuals who fit your primary and secondary personas, but aren't users of your product. There are some key things you can ask to find out why they aren't users. Did they even know the product existed? If so, how did they find out about it? And was there something in the messaging or positioning of the product that was off-putting or not in line with what they were looking for? What you're trying to find out is when that potential user churned, or fell out of the process of becoming a user of your product.
Think of it as a funnel. The top section represents all of the potential users. Next are those that were reached with your advertising or marketing, followed by those who sought out more information. The funnel gets narrower and narrower with those who might try the product, and then there are those current users of your product. As you talk to users and non-users, listen for themes at each level of the funnel to determine when the user churns, or falls out.
Perhaps your positioning was off or the product wasn't priced correctly, or the user was never even aware that it existed. These are all issues you can address down the road with tweaked messaging and product features. Then there are those individuals that aren't within the definition of your primary and secondary personas. They can provide valuable feedback about why they use the product. Sometimes these unexpected users can lead you to new markets that you might never have considered.
Adding a few features to support this unknown persona could increase your potential market significantly. The final group is the non-users that aren't within your target personas. It is important to confirm that your persona definitions are correct and that the personas you aren't targeting really don't find your product useful. Sometimes their attitudes and needs change, but if you don't speak with them, you'll never know how and when that might happen. By speaking with these four types of audiences you can validate your product, your marketing, and you can target audiences to help direct where you take the product in the future.
- Types of products and industries
- Leading through influence
- Understanding your team
- Using an agile or waterfall development cycle
- Managing your product life cycle
- Researching your market, customers, and ideas
- Planning the product
- Building the product
- Releasing the product
- Refining the product
- Understanding when it's time to retire the product