Product Management Leader.
We had gone from trying to form a new market on a whiteboard to stepping into an incredibly fiercely competitive market. The tech scene felt different in the pandemic, a totally different dynamic as compared to 2020 [pre-pandemic], but it turned out to be a much better one for the product org I was lucky to lead.
As with all product teams, there was a core thesis of how to build a differentiator in the product vertical we chose, and we started on quite early. All sorts — good and bad — were ongoing in fintech / lending at the time, but we were focused on our goal and flexible on the vision.
We launched a fintech product in Asia, where our Market risk [demand] was fairly proven, execution [strategy] was well understood, but the hard part was in the delivery of value against existing competition. I am sharing these important lessons and recommendations we learnt with you, to show how we reached $210K MRR from 0$ in just 5 months.
We knew that our Marketing had to begin before we built the product. We wanted an audience to drive top of mind awareness to all stakeholders about our product before any hard coding starts.
Next, the success of your launch day is heavily dependent on your preparation level, weeks/months out. We leveraged a product aggregator [ imagine product hunt] and recruited a list of beta users who were happy to support us, we built omni channels to drive engaging conversation about our launch, laced with exclusive content and a carefully crafted posting cadence.
Because we knew our customers [with the largest size/audience] were spread thin online, we launched on multiple channels. This also helped us to know what channel to double down on and which to kill
Launch was here and we had the ‘regular’ first day boost. Product managers should place laser focus on the following days. We captured and engaged the users permanently with newsletters, trivias, and exclusive content curated by us.
Acquisition might have been achieved [to an extent] but we had to maintain it. One reliable method was SEO. We wanted organic users and we focused on that from day 1 by adding relevant tags to our page - title, meta, h1s, h2s and optimizing the tags with our content. Be patient as SEO takes time to show results. For instance, our organic traffic grew 200% from 5.5K to 16K in 9 weeks.
Distribution is key and we decided to build a core loop around it. I moved 75% of our man-hours to focus on distribution and 25% on building. Take note, ensure that you build a structured distribution strategy to achieve clear results and easily catch bugs.
Our 25% was mostly spent talking to customers, listening to them and prioritizing what made sense to our goals, their problems and the market trajectory. It's fine if you want to use MOSCOW, KANO, RICE, BRICE, etc. But most importantly, listen to the market.
Finally, we continued to share our product's story everywhere we could, online. Why we built it, other user’s experiences and some feature updates to get customer feelers in real-time. Nobody wants to just see links to your latest blog or your feature announcement.
Finally, take advantage of forums and communities and build trust by providing value selflessly. An example was helping a set of gamers fix some tokenized payments with some of our engineers. Those folks rallied the [online] community when we needed them the most, just a few weeks later.
I hope this helps anyone building in some way. Building a SaaS product is very complex and chaotic but I guarantee that you could use some bits and pieces from our experience to drive some clarity on your teams.
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