Calendar Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
February 1, 2023
Clock Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
 min read

Your Product Vision is just a pretty phrase unless you consistently execute the vision

Your Product Vision is just a pretty phrase unless you consistently execute the vision

Let’s rewind the clock to the mid-2010s. Product Analytics was a fast-growing and highly competitive category. There were multiple well-funded and fast-growing companies with a similar vision to ‘help companies build better products.’

While most of the companies found Product Market Fit as they were solving a genuine customer need, what happened next was a great validation of why execution against the product vision is all that matters. Some Product Analytics companies chasing the same vision went wide in building out messaging/ A/B testing, surveys, etc. Amplitude kept its laser focus on solving customer pain on its core offering by iterating on its core Product Analytics offering until it had established a clear lead as the dominant Product Analytics company. In 2021, it ended up being the first company in its category of Product Analytics company to go public.

As the title eludes - Your Product Vision is just a pretty phrase unless you consistently execute the vision.

First off, why even have a product vision?

Because it genuinely matters to have a guiding north star. A product vision provides your team with a common reference point as they move forward, creating a shared understanding of how your product will serve your company vision and customer needs.

Tactically, a product vision is a short statement that captures your product’s purpose, the problems it will solve, and the goals it will achieve in the future. 

In a list of 10 product vision principles, product manager Matt Andrews recommends “Start with why” at the very top. Your customers are your purpose. Their challenges are exactly what your product hopes to solve. That’s the starting point for a clear product vision.

As an example: Asana’s product vision is, “In the future, anyone can prioritize their day across all of their apps in Asana.” They’ve crafted a vision that speaks to how their product will address common frustrations with workplace management software.

Alright, you got your Product Vision down. Now what? 

Three ways to ensure excellent execution leveraging customer insights:

1. Marry Quantitative and Qualitative Data to understand the complete picture

Every investment you make in your product is a tradeoff. Each time you roll out one feature, you consciously choose not to address something else. Not only that, but you’re also committing to maintaining and improving on that bet over time.

To confidently make the right product investment decisions, you need to understand both the critical actions users take in your product and understand the patterns of feedback emerging in different feedback channels.

Manually tagging feedback with categories is technically possible, but it’s way too time-consuming, laborious, and ultimately unreliable for critical decision-making. 

When it comes to analysis and decision making, you end up consuming curated insights in a PowerPoint or are riddled with recency bias, the Senior most executive’s opinion, and even confirmation bias. You need to learn from customer feedback, not customer support feedback!

The right way to do this is to have a ground truth analytics system that unifies all of your relevant feedback sources and allows you to prioritize product investments confidently. So this way, it’s less of ‘I feel Enterprise users would value X integration more’ but more of ‘let’s see what the data says for most requested integration by Enterprise users’.

Respond to Product Quality issues faster - much faster!

Shipping continuous product improvements is table stakes now for any product organization that is even moderately ambitious. However, with that beautiful bouquet come the thorns of bugs and product quality issues that happen in every new release.

The best product development organizations keep a very high bar on product quality and are prompt in detecting and fixing these issues whenever they happen. Similar to how you have error monitoring set up through tools like Sentry or Datadog, you need a system that detects product quality issues emerging in customer feedback and notifies your team.

In the example below, we can see that a product quality issue of “Unable to Change Name” has spiked from a flatlined 0 to 4 within a week— issues like these merit notification and timely investigation.

Build hypotheses for experiments rooted in an insight

All good strategy is rooted in insight. Similarly, all successful experiments are rooted in a hypothesis informed by customer insight.

At Enterpret, during our early product-building days, one of our design partners was a consumer marketplace company. Using Enterpret, they noticed that there had been a new issue with consumers asking for the character limit to be removed from one of the core text boxes - their frustration was that they were not able to describe their needs adequately within the given character limit.

This feedback was new and surprising to them at the time. So, as an experiment, instead of just increasing the character limit, they ran an A/B test to see if consumers would be willing to pay a small one-time fee for a higher character limit on the core text box and if and how that would affect their conversion rate to the critical purchase event. 

As it turned out, people were willing to pay a little bit more for a larger text limit (those who had the need), and it did not negatively affect the overall conversion rate to the critical purchase event. 

These kinds of hypotheses would have never occurred to the team on their own. While not all growth experiments are successful, those that are successful are rooted in genuine customer insight.

Don’t let your customer insights rot away - set up the right infrastructure to leverage them effectively.

Your product vision is incredibly important. It is the guiding north star for your entire team on why they come to work every day. But, having a product vision is meaningless unless you have a plan to execute it consistently and ruthlessly over a long period of time.

While your product vision could remain the same for years, your execution needs to be nimble to the pull of the market and the needs of your customers. Leveraging customer insights to accurately inform product prioritization, responding quickly to product quality issues, and finding hidden gems as hypotheses for growth experiments is the right way to ensure high retention and monetization of your customer base along the journey.

At Enterpret, we live and breathe this stuff every day, helping product organizations of all shapes and sizes leverage customer insights along their journey to execute their product vision.

Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to learn more.

Join our newsletter

Get updates on customer feedback best practices, building customer-centric products, and the latest in ML/NLP.
Thanks for joining our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong.

Latest articles

Browse all