I have the biggest challenge with people who use spreadsheets to work on a target and then break it down with formulas. If marketing or product management was so formulaic, no product would ever fail.
If you check my team also, you will find them telling you that my fundamental question is “Why will it happen”
Spreadsheets are very good, especially for making lists and milestones. However assuming that the market you operate in will behave like a formula in the sheet is fallacy and targets will never be met.
The reason for that is markets and customers have a mind of their own. As I have mentioned earlier also marketing is applied psychology.
While the demographics and psychographics will list out typical characteristics, each of these people in the B2B segments, operate in an environment, where they interact with different functions. Each function has different priorities.
Unlike the consumer market where the risk is low for most of the items, when it comes to B2B technology products there’s a lot of perceived risk and people don’t like to change the status quo.
Since technology changes so fast one of the first inertia points for the customer is – am I investing in the right technology, how will it impact my other operations. Then come other questions like, what if it doesn’t work, what if this company sinks etc.
For the product management folks its critical that they take into account all these inertia or resistance points. Think through as deeply from the customer’s point of view, write an autobiography of the customer.
You can’t do this if you take a broad spectrum of the market. That is why it’s important to identify a niche in the market and then a market in the niche. Then actually go out and meet customers and understand all the reasons, why they won’t buy, then continuously improve your offerings.
Never rely on spreadsheets to govern the actions for your product but use them to govern the milestones.
Till next time.