SaaS product strategy framework is a high-level blueprint for a company to develop, launch, market, and sell its SaaS product to achieve business goals.
Businesses are forever interested in sustaining growth. To achieve this goal, they keep optimizing their existing products or developing new ones to retain existing customers and expand their customer base.
In both ways, a solid product strategy is the backbone of a successful Saas product. Hence, businesses must develop a product strategy that translates their vision into a decisive plan.
This article is your guide to mastering the art of creating a SaaS product strategy framework. You will learn about product strategy, its importance, and the process of creating a winning product strategy for your SaaS product. Let’s dive in.
What is product strategy?
Product strategy is the comprehensive plan of actualizing the vision of a product from conception to launch, which outlines how a company will use its different products to meet its planned needs and goals.
It is a decision-making framework for product development, target market, competition, product marketing, pricing, key features vs. benefits, and distribution channels.
The overall strategy document is stable and feasible for long-term initiatives. However, it is necessary to review and make regular adjustments according to the feedback, market changes, and many factors that affect a product strategy.
Why use a product strategy framework?
A product strategy framework offers a structured approach to developing a plan on how a business will achieve its objectives and goals through its product. Below are some reasons companies use it for their success.
Clarity and alignment across internal teams
A SaaS product goes through many changes before and even after its launch. It takes time to keep up with all the changes happening to the features.
But the right product strategy aligns different organizational departments, such as product, marketing, sales, customer support, etc. With a product strategy, all teams are on the same page, and everyone is clear about their role and required input to achieve one high-level product that aligns with the business model. It also facilitates communication and collaboration between different segments of an organization.
Hunt for a product positioning
A clever product positioning that meets the target audience’s needs and communicates its value effectively while differentiating it from its competitors is a game changer.
Take Usermaven’s example; this Saas tool has identified the gaps in Google Analytics, Amplitude, Plausible, and other famous analytics tools and solved them. And the product placement was right where big vendors could easily spot them, making them a successful analytics tool that is solving the audience’s problems.
A guide to creating a SaaS product strategy framework
Let's go through the steps involved in the process of creating a well-defined product strategy framework.
1. Define your vision & mission
The first step is defining your product vision - it is the “why” behind your product. Defining the vision helps find out “why does our product exist?” "What problem are we solving for our customers?"
The vision must be concise and compelling, highlighting why the product is essential and what will be the future of the product.
Let’s do Usermaven’s case study. Usermaven is an analytics tool which is helping small, mid, and big business track and analyze their web and product data. But so are Google Analytics, Amplitude, and Heap, so what makes Usermaven different from, let’s say, Google Analytics? Usermaven is filling the gap that GA left and provides a better alternative to Google Analytics by doing everything that GA failed to do.
Some of the critical questions they addressed are:
- Who are our target customers?
- How does our product fit the marketplace?
- What are our competitors offering, and what are they NOT offering?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of their product?
- How to market their product?
2. Get to know your customers and how they are evolving
After defining the vision and mission, the next step is getting to know your target audience. Build an understanding of your customer’s needs & desires and their problems. All this information helps you develop a product the customers are ready to pay for.
The easiest way is to start with a thorough understanding of a smaller segment of your target audience and define the specific needs that your product will address. Focusing on a narrow segment will allow the prioritization of developing particular features that will solve your customer’s problems. Dig deeper to craft a customer persona that reflects your ideal customer’s demographics, profession, goals, pain points, motivations, and buying behaviors.
Get to know about your customers using Usermaven's data collection capabilities.
3. Evaluate how your product provides the solution
The next crucial step to forming a solid product strategy is evaluating how your product solves the target audience’s problems. It indicates your product’s perceived value among your customers.
You want your product to be part of your customers’ lives; therefore, sketching how your product will fit into your target audience’s lives in a greater context is crucial. While evaluating your product’s solution couple of things should be considered such as:
- What challenges are your customers facing?
- Find out your product’s unique value proposition, meaning why people will choose your product.
- Determine what specific features will build a product that stands out to your customers compared to your competitors.
4. Look at changing market trends
Analyzing market trends is a primary factor for the success of a Saas product. Since it helps gather valuable insights into how the market trends are evolving and what the customers are looking for - enabling them to plan their product strategy accordingly.
Understanding the changing market trends can also help businesses to stay ahead of their competitors. Since they can anticipate future market trends putting them one step ahead of their competitors. Market trend analysis can be done in several ways, like examining industry publications, trend reports, etc.
Analyzing the changes in market trends results in a responsive and agile product strategy capable of adapting to changes.
5. Identify how to make your product more "relatable"
Analyzing the market trends gives you a deeper understanding of your product and helps you discover what changes are needed to make your product more “customer relatable.” Businesses can better target their audience by aligning their product with customers' needs.
In the market, a business can make its product stand out by making it more “relatable.” A relatable product increases customer retention and loyalty, leading to product growth in the long term. A product must evolve as its customers evolve to stay relevant during the different phases of its life cycle. Thus, shift towards a customer-centric product strategy framework.
6. Work on your product strategy
After doing all the groundwork, it's time to outline your product strategy based on the output from previous steps and develop measurable KPIs.
Different components of the product strategy include a clearly defined business goal, target audience, value proposition, key features & functionalities of the product, pricing & revenue model, and launch plan. Determine the metrics and KPIs to measure the success of your product strategy. It may include revenue, market share, customer acquisition, and retention.
Regularly review and refine your product strategy based on customer feedback and market changes. It ensures that your product remains relevant and competitive over time.
7. Work on your product roadmap
After proper strategy formation, developing your product roadmap is next. A product roadmap means following a high-level plan containing important information from the product’s goals to the timeline for delivery. Roadmap provides a clear direction for all the teams and ensures everyone works towards achieving the same goal.
Identifying the key features that are important to achieve the goal is also done in this phase. After identifying, the next thing is to break down these features into manageable tasks that the different teams can perform. Ensure that the product roadmap is flexible enough to adapt to market trends and lags in the development process.
8. Track and evaluate progress
Keep tracking the development process to align your product roadmap with your vision and mission. Setting quantifiable goals in your product strategy leads to better evaluation. You can use data to track the progress of various initiatives concerning different business segments.
Proper tracking keeps all the stakeholders, including product managers, marketers, and executives, involved and well-reported in the development process. You can mitigate any identified discrepancies and even prevent them timely. Continue to iterate based on feedback and insights gathered from your reviews. And celebrate successes along the way to keep the team motivated.
How Usermaven supercharges your product strategy?
Usermaven is a website and product analytics solution - a perfect tool for marketing and product teams. With Usermaven, you can:
- Leverage deep insights into user needs and preferences that delivers real value to your target audience.
- Make data-driven decisions to identify areas of opportunity, optimize product features, and prioritize product development efforts.
- Test your product with real users and iterate your product based on user feedback.
Incorporate Usermaven into your business tech stack and enjoy its simple yet powerful data analytics capabilities.
When a thorough product strategy is in place, the product is bound to flourish and the perfect example of that is Usermaven. Read how we made $120,260 in 3 weeks of launching. We hope this inspired you to get all hands on deck and form a product strategy that documents the possible pathway of your product and how everyone on the team will be incorporated into that path!
FAQs about product strategy framework
Some of the most commonly asked about product strategy framework
What are the stages of product strategy?
The stages of product strategy may vary across the organization but typically consists of the following stages:
- Concept development
- Market research and competitive analysis
- Minimum viable product development
- Product launch
- Managing product lifecycle
What are the 3 types of new product strategies?
- Cost leadership Strategy - The strategy involves creating a product that will be more cost-effective to produce and market than its competitors.
- Differentiation Strategy - It involves creating an innovative product or service that stands out from the competition.
- Focus Strategy - This strategy involves creating a product targeting a specific customer persona.
What are the main product strategies?
The main product strategies include the following:
- Product differentiation
- Cost leadership Strategy
What are the 5 product strategies in marketing?
The following are the 5 product marketing strategies.
- Product launch
- Product positioning
- Product pricing
- Product differentiation