How to Improve Your Growth Product Management Efforts

Growth product management is essential for attracting new customers and retaining them long term. The best brands have a loyal following, and your growth product management strategy plays a key role in building your customer base — one who's eager to support your brand.

This article will look at the importance of having a growth product management strategy. We'll also provide some tips on optimizing your growth product management efforts.

Note: The examples provided come from our interview with Kevin Sakamoto, Director of Product Management and Product Operations at Dollar Shave Club. 

What is growth product management?

Growth product management is a specialized form of product management. Where product management focuses on managing the operations involved in bringing a product to market, Growth Product Management attempts to improve the success of an existing product. It focuses on finding ways to get a product into the hands of more people. Simultaneously it's used to identify friction points that may be preventing a product from reaching its full potential.

Individuals in this role usually concentrate on specific metrics connected to a product's success. That includes attracting new users, improving retention, implementing new monetization strategies and enabling an existing user base to make referrals.

A growth product manager's number one focus is "how can I drive more value from our existing products?"

Forming a Growth Product Management Strategy

All businesses are unique, so every business will require a slightly different growth product management strategy. Since these strategies will vary from company to company, you need to define what growth product management means to you. The size of your business, product offerings, existing customer base, business model, and available resources will all play into how you build a growth product management strategy. 

Example: Dollar Shave Club's Growth Product Management Strategy

Dollar Shave Club has operated as a subscription-based business for the past ten years and is currently shifting into an omnichannel environment. They started selling their products in Walmart at the end of 2020 and expanded into Target and other pharmacies throughout 2021. According to Kevin Sakamoto, Director of Product Management and Product Operations, managing this shift from a pure subscription model to an omnichannel approach has been a positive challenge for Dollar Shave Club.

In this current situation, growth for Dollar Shave Club means two things: how do they attract new customers who simply want to buy some razors and shampoo periodically, and how do they reduce churn with their loyal subscription customer base? A key part of supporting this growth has been adjusting their site to function as an on-demand retail site versus a purely subscription-based one. Additionally, changing their mindset internally about their business model has been crucial for their continued success.

Personalization in Growth Product Management

Customers have come to expect a personalized experience with brands. From receiving product recommendations and birthday discounts to seeing relevant ads on social channels, there are many ways brands try to deliver a level of personalization. However, due to increasing concerns around data privacy and cookie tracking, it's becoming more challenging for businesses to target their customers in these ways. Additionally, some customers prefer increased privacy and don't want to be targeted by the brands they are loyal to.

The question then becomes, "How can we still bring a level of personalization while respecting the privacy of customers?" Though there's no cut-and-dry answer to this, many businesses are looking to leverage content to deliver a personalized experience to their new and existing customers. Though brands may not be able to target customers as precisely as they once could, they can still build trust and help customers feel as though the content they are viewing was made for their specific needs.

Example: Dollar Shave Club has been thinking outside the box when it comes to how they are bringing value to customers through their content. In a recent blog post, they talk about how rubbing a small amount of shaving cream on your glasses before putting a mask on helps reduce fogging on the glasses. This type of content is highly relevant due to our times, and customers that wear glasses feel like they are getting a personalized experience by engaging with the content. Targeting customers in this broader way respects their privacy and can also build their loyalty to the brand. 

Leveraging Your Social Following and User-Generated Content

There's no denying the beneficial impact of building a large social following. It gives you the chance to get your products in front of tens of thousands of people, allowing you to further build trust by pushing helpful content. Furthermore, as your following grows, it encourages influencers or general customers to produce user-generated content. More and more customers are coming to love live shopping or unboxing experiences, and this type of content performs exceptionally well. This is especially the case when a well-known face is behind the camera. 

Additionally, user-generated content can be a great source for gathering valuable insights and data about your customers' preferences. 

Example: Before working at Dollar Shave Club, Kevin Sakamoto helped build the Target Finds social commerce platform. When customers would post products on Instagram with #targetstyle, Kevin's team would reach out to ask if they could post those photos on the Target Finds website. A vast majority of people were excited to do this, and it created a ton of engagement — and still does to this day. Not only was this a great way to build brand loyalty, but it provided Target with valuable data about what types of things people are buying and which trends have stood the test of time. 

The Importance of Patience for Growth Product Managers 

Growth product managers naturally want to move quickly when looking to scale products and attract new users. However, depending on the size of your organization, there will be other stakeholders whose concerns need to be addressed before moving forward. Gaining buy-in from your merchandising team, legal team, sales department, and other stakeholders ultimately takes time. 

According to Kevin Sakamoto, "It's okay for things to take time. Some of the best results come from letting ideas slow cook for a while. Be patient and have confidence that things will turn out great when the time is right."

Implement a Growth Product Management Strategy That Fits Your Needs

Having an effective growth product management strategy for companies looking to truly scale is a must. Though there are some common best practices to follow, every business will have to define its own unique growth product management strategy that will attract and retain customers. By understanding your customers' needs, building and leveraging your social following, focussing on delivering personalized experiences, and using data to stay on trend or predict trends, you'll be well on your way to optimizing your growth product management efforts.

If you'd like to learn more or have any questions, please reach out to us at Majestyk today!

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