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What it means to be product led


Many successful organizations including Miro, Figma, Spotify, Atlassian are using products as vehicles to drive customer acquisition and growth. These organizations use their products at the centre of their strategy to win customers and retain them. 


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán via Pexels

If you use any of these tools you are aware of the free trials and freemium versions of these products. These organizations use free versions to generate prospects, drive adoption and convert to paying customers. These organizations are always customer focused and drive to provide friction-less customer experience. 

Recently I learned about the inner workings of these organizations by taking the course from Mind your Product and Pendo. Currently the course is available for free and I recommend signing up for the course while the offer is available. Please find the details at the end of the post. 

I found the course very insightful and I summarized three (3) key pillars of being a product led organization below as discussed in the course: 

Being a product led organization

means permeating product led goals across each function and departments to ensure everyone is aligned with the product led strategies.

  1. Put product at the centre of all operations and functions within the organization. This includes:
    • Marketing team using the product as a marketing channel to identify prospects
    • Sales team identifying product qualified leads (PQL) using prospect’s product usage and adoption data 
    • Product operations team delivering product outage messages in the product.
  2. Use products to drive activation and feature adoption. This includes providing in-app messages to guide activation and feature adoption. Then complementing this will self-serve training materials.
  3. Build products based on user usage, adoption and feedback. The key emphasis is to use product analytics to obsessively unearth what users do, want and say. Then use the generated data to drive conversion. The course shares an example of how New York Times uses product usage data to identify the optimal number of free articles the readers can be allowed to read to drive the maximum conversion. If the number of free articles are reduced it fails to engage the reader potentially driving the reader to a competitor's platform and if the number of free articles are too high then the readers will never convert to a paid customer. 

The course did a great job in outlining several benefits of being product led. This includes but is not limited to providing lower cost of sale to consumers. For example, by using the product as a channel for customer acquisition the organization can significantly reduce their acquisition cost and thus pass the savings to the consumer. More importantly, being product led drives product usage and adoption thus ensuring consumers get the most return on their investment. 

If you want to learn more in depth of how to make your organization product led I highly recommend you to take the course - 

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