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How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI

Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.

Once you’re tracking your product-market fit KPI and you understand why your biggest fans love you product, the next step to advancing your product is identify product improvements that will turn more people into fans.

Your best-fit customers are the ones that absolutely love your product and all like it for the same reasons. You asked your customers how disappointed they’d be if your product went away. The ones that would be extremely disappointed are your top customers. Then you asked what they like best about your product. The most similar answers are your top product attributes.

The people who identify the top product attributes as their favorite thing about the product are your ideal customers. Getting more of those requires that you expand the number of attributes that people love while expanding the group of customers that love them.

To expand these and advance your product-market fit, ask one more question. "How could we improve this product?"

Then ignore most of the answers.

It’s tempting to look at what the biggest fans are asking for and build those features. If you do this you’ll end up building things that the early adopters want instead of what the broader market wants. You’ll be improving the product for those that already are customers instead of making the product more attractive to people who aren’t already customers. You’ll expand the number of top attributes, but not the number of customers that love them.

Likewise, you should ignore the improvement ideas from people who say they wouldn’t be at all disappointed to lose your product. These people are far enough away from your target market that building for them will take your product off on a tangent.

The opportunity for product improvement lies in those end users that would only be somewhat disappointed if they couldn’t use your product. They like the product but could live without it. These users are telling you, "I really want to love your product, but..." If you want to make your product better, work to convert these users into your best fans.

You need to be careful, though. Changing the product to better cater to these users could move your product in a direction that’s less attractive to your existing customers. To increase your product-market fit, you need to make these people happier. But without moving the product away from the things that make your biggest fans happy.

The secret to doing this is to realize that not all your "almost fans" are the right market. The right market is the subset of these users are most like your ideal customer.

Look at the clusters of attributes your biggest fans loved most. Then find the almost-happy users that identified these same attributes as the best thing about your product. This is the cohort of users that like your product for the right reasons. Now, look at what they think would improve the product. Fix these things and you’ll move these customers into the raving fan category.

Take this cohort’s answers to "what could we improve" and cluster them. Find common requests. These requests are the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.

You asked, "How could we improve this product?" You ignored most of the answers. The only answers you’re listening to are from users who like but not love your product, like the same things as your top fans do, and are asking for the same things that others like them want. These users want to love your product and want to love it for the right reasons. They just need a little nudge.

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