Let’s say you have a great first version of a product based on an innovative solution that addresses one or more specific customer pain points. The product works, your branding and marketing strategies have helped it gather attention in the media, you have customers, and you have crossed the final hurdle, viz., the customers actually like your product. Yet, the question remains. Is your product ready for growth? Is it optimized to give you the best return on your advertising and marketing budget? Does it have the essential tools to not only attract customers but to retain them while acquiring great reviews as well as customer shares and recommendations? If you are unsure, then we have a checklist for you.
1. Optimize Customer Experience
Include analytics during the product development cycle. By analyzing metrics that track user activity and behavior early in the process, you have a better chance of finding the bottlenecks and rough edges in the product early on. This allows you to work on them before starting promotional activity, ensuring a smoother customer experience, which, in turn, reduces their chances of bouncing away. The metrics should be planned to take into consideration all the different channels that act as contact points for customers. Metrics should also be able to measure performances of promotional campaigns. This data is really significant because it can help you assess which channels are likely to prove the most effective for conversion.
2. Educate Customer
Your product should have enough information/documentation/navigational aids to make it convenient to use and a breeze to master. Product landing pages and promotional material should do more than just extol the benefits of the product. They should, in fact, contain enough educational material to not only explain the idea behind the product but also how to use it and its various applications. Consider the different preferences of your users while designing this material. A variety of formats can be used, such as videos, visual aids, onboarding tutorials, documentation with screenshots and animations, etc. Complex products may require a complete knowledge base as well as the option of in-person demos. Another way to get users’ attention while educating them at the same time, is via emails. Send users regularly spaced emails that tell a story around the product, focusing on one specific use case or one feature at a time. Provide a one-click solution link in every email that enables the customer to download/try/buy the product with minimum fuss.
3. Customer Engagement and Support
Once the user is on your website, they may have questions and concerns, even suggestions about the product. Besides FAQs, knowledge bases, and other support features, there should be easily accessible information about the easiest way to access your support team. The support team should be well informed and responsive on every channel, whether it is through call, chat, or email. Customer support is a great way to collect open-ended customer feedback and pinpoint the bottlenecks in the user journey. As such, it can be a great source of inputs to help you improve the product.
4. Customer as Brand Ambassador
Once the user is happy with your product, they will want to share it with others. You can encourage them to do so by providing easy ways to share the application through invites or recommendations, and incentivizing those. The best time to ask a customer to share/recommend is when they have just started using the application and are happy with having found a solution to their pain point.
5. Try and Buy
Customers are often hesitant to commit to a product unless they can see the value in it. They may come to understand this value through a free basic version of the product. By putting in a promotional offer at the right time and providing one-click solutions for their additional pain points, this customer can be converted to a “closed won.” For premium or pre-trial products with no free versions, customers should be able to test-drive the product through a free trial. It is important to ensure that the message about the product being free, free for trial, or having a money-back guarantee is conveyed loud and clear through your website and all other promotional material. Again, feedback about promotions can be used to formulate better marketing strategies. When a product does not have what we call the “growth attitude,” even if it does well initially, the potential for ultimately losing the marketing budget is huge. Furthermore, a product that is not optimized for growth could end up losing customers’ interest, which is really tough to regain. In the past, companies have practically ended up throwing away media attention opportunities, leads, and even paying customers for this simple reason. Based on our experience, this checklist has been designed over the last few years to avoid exactly these kinds of pitfalls. So make sure you go through this checklist before you start promotional activities to ensure that you make the most of your marketing budget.