The myth surrounding Product-led Growth (PLG) is that it is a specialty like a solo single by an expert artist with a specific genre to offer. I want to break down that myth by saying it’s not a specialty. PLG is inspired by things such as growth hacking, yet it does more than growth. It’s a paradigm-changing for the entire growth and acquisition of SaaS. With all of this context, I say it’s more of a cross-disciplinary act. Here’s why.
Product-Led Growth is defined as a “Go-to-market strategy that relies on using your product as the primary vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers.”
Diving a bit deeper, the product is a multidisciplinary aspect of the following elements, business, value, and design. Even if you were to merge business and value, the design stands out. Also, growth is usually a combination of Marketing, Sales, and the analytics behind to make this all work.
Product & design
Typically, the product function here combines the business smarts, customer knowledge, value to the customer, all in one nice package. To deliver this function, it’s critical product and design work well. Any growth or viral strategy to ask customers to take actions must be contextual, of business value, intuitive, easy-to-use and understand. Design teams need to invest in creating UX that’s native to the usage pattern. This means creating things backed by user research and then innovating on these patterns. It also means co-opt engineering into these feature sets. You technically can’t have all these roles being played by one person, so you need a product person who knows about all of this to deliver those growth and viral loops inside a product.
Marketing, while explicitly a communication activity, is now much more contextual in this case of PLG. It’s not enough that a marketer sends an offer or an engagement email; it has to be in the context of the user’s journey in the product. The communication can vary from onboarding, product education, case study, or plain follow-up on their activities on the product. Needless to say, it also needs to be augmented with relevant marketing messages. So, it’s a combination of marketing and contextual messaging. And this can be done by a good email marketing segmentation tool.
There are specific stages where sales play an important role in the PLG world, like, for example, during the acquisition for free trial and conversion to paid phases of a customer. Modern PLG suggests driving users to the top of the funnel but can never overcome the lack of human interaction. Sales augmentation in the critical phases of getting to know your prospect or enhancing his/her understanding of the value proposition is super important. Getting this right will help move the prospects down the conversion funnel. It’s also relevant during upsell. Understanding product usage, firmographic data, and then performing meaningful engagement through account management make the upsell easier.
Every aspect and activity of the above set of topics ranging from product to sales needs to be measured. The metrics to measure are different for each case, combining them, analyzing them, and then bringing all of these together into actionable insights is a whole different thing. This job is usually a combination of analysts, data engineers, data scientists (if you can afford it), and of course, many BI tools. The tools are a must only because there are different data silos. However, if you can achieve intelligence, that’d be ideal.
If you look at the above context, a multiplicity of disciplines and expertise come together to create a seamless machine or a flywheel. This is more of a symphony from a conductor with a strong grasp on orchestration than just a solo act.
It is this conductor experience we plan to deliver through Glance, and we’d like you to give us a shout if you’d like to try us out.