Attacking white spaces

Most Product Managers are busy handling day-to-day operational activities that they hardly focus on any strategic initiatives. But to ensure that our product stays alive and marches ahead of the competition, we have to constantly keep evolving our product to keep pace with the changing needs of market and customers. Sometimes it might also happen that the product has reached its logical end, so we have to quickly reconcile that the product is in sunset phase and take the bold step of burying our own product that we have nurtured over the years. In case of sunset phase, we can also start conceiving an alternate product. In any case, we have to occasionally take a pause from our regular day-to-day activities and obtain fair view of how the market, customer requirements/demand might take shape in few years from now. Such a view can be obtained through effective debate involving TMEs, Product Managers, and Product Marketing Managers. I call it a debate because there is no scientific methodology to anticipate the needs of the customer/market. For an effective debate backed by data, we have to solicit responses/ opinion/ feedback wrt competition, customer pain points, product trends (backed by evidence wherever possible) from multiple sources such as BDMs, Account Managers and Sales (primarily from the customer facing teams). Success of this exercise is purely dependent on the ability of the organization to create and capture synergies across different silos (Marketing, Business Development and Sales). Otherwise each silo will act independently and it will leave Product Managers without much input for key decision making. I will probably write a different article dropping my thoughts detailing the need to create such synergies. For now, increasing product revenue can be treated as a compelling reason to create such synergies because the entire exercise will ultimately culminate in increasing the revenue potential of the product. Now coming back to our discussion, we have to later use those inputs to do some careful analysis and frame our thinking in the following directions:

  • Identifying growth opportunities
  • Capabilities to create new market – Demand generation
  • Unserved vs Overserved market segments

The above directions are not mutually exclusively, it might at least help us to streamline our thoughts and ensure that we attack white spaces in all possible ways.

In the forthcoming weeks, I will share my detailed thoughts on each of those directions stated earlier.