Lessons from Product Leaders: Episode 1 -‘ Leveraging a product-led approach to drive growth’
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Lessons from Product Leaders: Episode 1 -‘ Leveraging a product-led approach to drive growth’

Published : May 19, 2021
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We caught up with Avadhoot Revankar, Chief Growth Evangelist at Netcore Cloud, to hear his thoughts on how a product-led approach is a driver for enhanced conversion, user retention, and other important metrics for any product organization. Catch him as he shares his insights on how brands are leveraging “Product-led Growth” to turn their products into growth engines while highlighting some noteworthy trends around product experience. 

key points that were discussed on product-led growth

Read on to deep-dive into these points: 

Q1. Everyone has their own stories to tell when it comes to customer experience. And with your expertise and years of experience, what are the major changes you have seen at the product level that drives smooth customer experience for brands? 

  • To begin with, it’s important to stitch a user’s experience from the moment a user is a prospect, till the time the user becomes a loyal customer. This is an element which a lot of brands miss out on. 

Now, let’s say that Nykaa, a leading online Indian lifestyle retailer, is running an ad for a 40-50% discount offer. So, when a user clicks on this ad and lands on to your app, you have to ensure that the same messaging and communication continues on the app too. When the user comes on to the app even after 2 days, he needs to see that 40-50% discount banner. Even when you nudge or guide the user to take the next step/action,  the user may or may not make a transaction with you in the first go. So, it’s important that even your welcome email or notification talks the same language around the discount since that was the ad that got this user to explore you as a brand. 

Let’s look at another instance – Spotify’s daily subscription plan ad. Let’s say that this ad leads you to Spotify’s app but you don’t get any information about this plan, on the app. This would lead to a broken experience which would further result in your user dropping out.

Switching experience from an ad to the website is important to deliver a smooth customer experience
  • This gets us to the second point. Today, not having a personalized experience is a crime. Brands like Amazon and Netflix are setting standards for it. The homepage of Amazon is completely personalized for users based on the recent orders, add-to-carts, browsing history and more such data points.

Even every recommendation given by Netflix is highly personalized based on the user’s watch history. And this is the kind of experience customers expect from all brands they interact with wherein brands ‘HELP’ a user in doing things faster and not just ‘SELL’ 

Here’s the kind of expectation I am talking about: Pharmeasy, which is one of the top online pharmacy apps in India, tells users which medicines they ordered the last time, allows them to repeat the order and in a click or 2, users get what they want. 

And with the amount user data apps have, stitching and personalizing the user experience shouldn’t be the most difficult thing a brand has to do. 

Unifying the data to get a 360 view of every individual customer is crucial for product-led growth
  • Lastly, user experience is the heart of any successful product. It has to be relevant and contextual at every stage of the user journey. Brands need to be more careful about not going too overboard with their communication in the form of notifications/emails and other channels. The moment users start feeling nagged, it hurts the overall customer experience. We’ve seen that if too many notifications are sent, the app uninstall rate goes up by as much as 8%. 

Q2. What are the key trends one can expect around product experience? 

A2. There are a couple of observations to make here: 

  • One of the most important things is, experimenting at scale.
Product-led growth is all about experimenting with different aspects of your product

This is something which again, Spotify has done well. Most OTT apps have yearly/quarterly/monthly packages. But Spotify brought in the weekend/daily packages. So, for a small amount of Rs 10-15, users can enjoy premium features for a day. 

Consumers are dynamic and so are their expectations. In fact, human behavior in general is very irrational. We ourselves don’t know how we would react to certain things. And this is something which brands can leverage to drive growth experiments. It could be something as simple as running different offers to different user segments. 

In a recent conversation with a leading online gaming platform, we spoke about an experiment they rolled out. They wanted to understand what would work better – Giving Rs 100 to a new user or Rs 10 for each day for the next 10 days they come to the app? What would be a better way of retention? What would drive more usage? The answer lies in experimenting and seeing what would work and what wouldn’t. 

Having said that, implementing these experiments and tests is certainly not a piece of cake. Products need to be built in a way that allows product teams to run these experiments on the fly. 

Related read: Top 5 Trends in App Engagement and Product Experience for 2021

Agility packed with an experimentation mindset is an obvious trend

Making this mindset as a part of the organization culture is important. 

  • Further adding to this, another emerging need of the hour is for Product Manager’s to be less and less dependent on developers to get new features out and rolling and delivering smooth user experiences. And here’s where the whole ongoing low-code/no-code revolution comes in. Giving agility to product teams is much needed for developing products that go on to become helpful. Take a look at these few examples: 
  • Netflix – It gives the option to auto-delete a downloaded video once you’ve viewed it. You can turn on the feature and save up on storage space
  • Pharmeasy – Gives the option of re-ordering medicines in 1-2 months on your behalf. They also launched an assistant feature that helps NRI’s order medicines for their parents. 
  • Cred – Timely reminders to pay credit card bills 
  • BigBasket – Reminds you of a product once it’s back in stock or when there’s a price drop

All of these examples that you’ve read are of brands’ attempting to address and solve major user pain points to become helpful go-to apps for users. 

While we talk about all these features, we can’t ignore the fact that all these features are meaningless if you’re not guiding your users to the right direction/action. This of course has to be contextual. You have to make sure that users are on-boarded and retained in the right way. 

It’s simple! When a new user launches an app, he/she is overwhelmed with the amount of things they see. 

New users should be taken to 2-3 of the best features of the app

For instance, a leading music streaming platform uses this for one particular feature which has all the gossip users tend to enjoy. 

For an app like Shemaroo, it becomes important to direct new users to the regional content depending on where the users are from. Else, it becomes difficult for users to find relevant content. Here, nudges could work wonders to make sure users easily find what they are looking for and keep coming back to the app. 

Q3. How is Netcore’s Product Experience Platform helping PMs address and ace key metrics like conversion, retention and more? 

A3. The first act of nudges is to help product managers become independent of hard coding. They can have more direct control of the experience they deliver on their mobile apps or web apps. This impacts important metrics like user onboarding experience, conversions, engagement, and more. Like for Netflix, you need to nudge users to use the download feature and this, in turn, increases app stickiness and improves retention. Again, the nudge here is highly contextual and relevant and shown only to users who frequently download episodes, making the whole experience delightful instead of annoying. 

Another example would be the Quick Ride app. If a new user does not find a ride, the user is most likely to bounce off the app. So, how do you keep your users on the app and make sure that they come back? Quick Ride deploys contextual walkthroughs to guide users to the auto-confirm feature of the app. 

Example of quick rider app

The main point here is to – 

Increase funnel conversion

Q4. It’s time like these that puts what’s important into perspective. A lot of conversations build up around product-led growth (PLG), so what are your thoughts on Product Led Growth being  a go to market strategy? Also, can you highlight any particular brand where you have seen  Product Led Growth in action and what makes it stand out?

A4. Product Led Growth may seem a buzzword now, but it’s something brands have been using for a while now, to drive growth. You can see this in offline brands like HUL when they introduced different sizes for their shampoos to drive growth. Once again, Spotify is an excellent example of this concept in action. Platforms like Dropbox and Slack have been using this approach to create viral loops. They get more and more users on board by offering the product free of charge and to access more features, users can upgrade their paid accounts. 

Bottom line being, it’s important to experiment with your product to better understand what’s working and what isn’t. It’s the simplest form of Product Led Growth where you are using your product as a unit to market the product itself. Your product becomes the driver of growth here. 

Q5. Is there any framework that you resort to when it comes to growth hacks for building successful products? 

A5. Some quick growth hacks to kickstart your journey to building successful products would be: 

  1. Defining and dedicating clear budgets to run experiments. And, more importantly, expect only a 20-25% success rate. You should be ready to take that risk and let go off the rest of it. You also need to be able to measure every outcome from it. 
  1. Forming focused teams – primarily a growth team that sits exactly between product and marketing and would help ramp up the growth efforts 
  1. The best ideas come from customers themselves. As regular app users, we all would have multiple feedbacks to give to these apps because we’ve spent a good amount of time on them and we’ve discovered some things which would make our lives on the app easier. This is something that would certainly go a long way in driving enhanced customer experiences and boost product growth. 

This brings us to the end of this insightful conversation that has left us with quick, smart, and actionable insights for driving growth for brands across different verticals.

Products themselves have taken the front seat in delivering relevant, contextual, and highly personalized experiences to every user by engaging with them at the right time and across the right stages of the user journey. 

By deep-diving into user behavior/psychology, deploying contextual nudges & walkthroughs, rolling out experiments to understand user preferences brands can further build products that customers love. 

To kick-start your product-led growth journey with us, reach out to us!

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Written By: Netcore Cloud
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