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Product Discovery Stage of Product Development

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Product Discovery Stage of Product Development


Product development is the method of bringing a product concept into the market or adding new features to an already marketable product. This process is crucial to companies as it helps keep customers engaged by providing relevant and worthwhile products. Since product development involves creating a strategy and defining goals, project managers have better control of the quality and costs. The process includes identifying a need in the market, researching end-user needs, imagining the product, designing a roadmap, gathering feedback, and finally launching the product. Here are the steps outlined in further detail:

  1. Discovery/Research & Analysis: a valuable need in the market is identified, research is conducted, and feedback is given to validate the need for the product.
  2. Define: this step includes determining the minimal viable product (MVP).
  3. Design: a mock-up is created and tested by customers or beta users to gain feedback. This is also when a roadmap will be produced.
  4. Implementation: this step ensures everything is working as it should with the product.
  5. Marketing: marketing goals are defined.
  6. Training: materials are created in order to inform users on how to utilize the product.
  7. Launch/Commercialization: this is the final stage where everything comes together so that the product can go to market.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the discovery stage of product development and its importance, for example for mobile app development. The discovery phase is the initial step of the product development process. Depending on the complexity of the project, it can last from days to weeks to months. The project team may vary but typically include the following:

  • The product owner is the person that presented the initial product idea.
  • Project managers help lead and plan meetings with end-users, create a flawless communication process between the team and client, and track the project’s progress.
  • Business analysts examine market trends and help improve the product so that it meets existing needs or standards.
  • Key stakeholders manage the budget and approve ideas.
  • Tech leads work to determine technical probability, present solutions, and give timelines.
  • UI/UX Experts study what the target audience is looking for or their needs in order to create a user-friendly interface.
  • Some projects may also include a solutions architect to strategize solutions and software testers.

The first and possibly most critical step of discovery is researching and gathering information. This allows the project team to examine risks, decrease any possible issues, develop a business plan, define goals, and form scope for the project. Another part of this section entails understanding end-user needs by communicating with customers, stakeholders and investigating what problems the product is trying to solve. Some methods used to gather data are focus groups, customer interviews, surveys, or competitive research. This allows the project team to gain empathy and step into the end-users perspective. It also gives insight into any market gaps that need filling and flaws in the competition. After exploring what the target audience needs and pinpointing the problems the new product or feature is trying to solve by being brought into the market, the project team can ideate solutions using techniques like storyboarding or mapping. Once a resolution has been brainstormed, a prototype is created to showcase the idea and sent out to a select group of customers, end-users, or beta testers. Feedback is then collected from the test audience to be used for validation. Analyzing the observations provides the project team with the opportunity to improve the product and learn even more about what outcomes the end-user is looking for in a product. Testing the product or feature is the last step of the discovery phase. It helps verify its potential, usefulness, and practicality and allows the team to acknowledge any potential risks before the product is deemed worthy to go into development. The discovery process is not linear, and actions may need to repeat to create a viable product. While deliverables vary depending on the project, here are common documents you can expect during the discovery stage:

  • A journey map showing the steps customers take when using the product.
  • A list detailing key features established from user expectations and business needs.
  • A document explaining the features, hierarchy, and infrastructure of the product.
  • A development plan.
  • A visual concept or prototype.
  • A roadmap displaying a timeline of goals and objectives.
  • A risk assessment and mitigation plan.
  • UX/UI concept or examples and wireframe.
  • An estimate for how much the project will cost.

The discovery stage is an essential step in the product development process as it determines whether there is a need in the market for the proposed product or feature, validates its purpose through tests, and identifies potential problems. This maximizes profits by preventing costly expenditures, which may not have been identified without the research done during discovery. The discovery phase also helps align project goals to what end-users want as it involves research and feedback throughout the entire process from the targeted audience. Not implementing a discovery stage could have negative impacts, such as increased costs from not defining goals at the beginning of the process. Another adverse result of skipping discovery is the possibility of developing a product that’s not needed or doesn’t fit the market due to not conducting proper market and audience research. Other consequences could include a never-ending project resulting in a delayed launch and missed deadlines caused by not setting project boundaries or determining the scope.

As discussed, there are many benefits to following the product development process. Having a strategy helps to ensure customers are happy with the end product and business needs are being met. One of the most vital parts of the process is the discovery phase. Ensuring efforts are made within this first stage can help project teams design products confidently and form a trustworthy relationship with customers. Conducting extensive research into end-user needs, using various methods to gain feedback from their targeted audience, identifying competition, and validating that the product is viable are keys to a successful discovery phase. Ultimately, these actions reduce unnecessary costs and lead to a profitable launch and higher customer satisfaction.  



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The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing A Twitter Handle

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The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing A Twitter Handle


With over 200 million daily users, using Twitter right offers you massive benefits as a new or existing business. (more…)

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7 Steps to Use It in Any Campaign + Examples

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7 Steps to Use It in Any Campaign + Examples


Although you may have a desired path for your potential consumers to take when they interact with you online, the truth is you have no control over it.

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Want to Build a Content Marketing Career Path? Here’s What to Do

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Want to Build a Content Marketing Career Path? Here's What to Do


What Does a Content Marketing Career Path Look Like?

Are you looking to pursue a content marketing career path? You’re in a good place. Content marketing is blowing up, set to be worth $600 billion in 2024 (Technavio research).

What’s more, 89% of companies that hire content marketers plan to either continue or increase their current investments throughout 2022.

If you have natural writing ability, a knack for creativity, and are driven by data, content marketing may just be your dream field.

But, what does it take to be successful in content marketing? Are there specific hard skills you need to have? Let’s take a closer look.

Why Choose a Career in Content Marketing?

For starters, it’s a growing field with a lot of opportunities. Additionally, it allows you to be creative and work independently – two things that are increasingly important in the modern workforce.

Growth Industry

Content marketing continues to grow as an industry for one main reason; it works. In a recent Semrush survey, 73% of companies who increased their content marketing spending from 10% to 70% of their total marketing budget were very successful.

In addition, 72% of companies have stated they plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2022. As the industry continues to grow, the need for individuals in the field also increases.

Pay

While having a career that feeds your creativity can be rewarding, the paycheck is a significant factor.

As a content marketer, you can create a stable and solid income. The average base salary for a content marketer in the United States is $56,036. Not too shabby for an entry-level position.

It only goes up from there. According to PayScale, the median base salary for a management position is $70,332 and $168.183 for an executive-level role.

Continued Learning

One thing a career in content marketing won’t be is stagnant. The way people consume content is constantly changing, meaning the way you create it will also shift. You’ll need to stay updated with the latest trends and best business practices.

The learning doesn’t end there. Depending on your role, you may be creating content for various industries. This means you may have to educate yourself on topics you have no experience in.

The more you increase your knowledge, the more room you have for personal and professional growth.

If you consider yourself a lifelong learner, this is an excellent career.

What type of marketer are you?

What Does a Content Marketing Career Path Look Like?

The content marketing industry is a sprouting field with many opportunities for those willing to invest time and effort. While a bachelor’s degree may help you start on the right foot, it’s not a surefire ticket into the industry anymore. Instead, think of building skills that clients and employers will immediately hire for.

There are specific skills that are vital to your success in content marketing.

6 Key Skills You Need to Succeed in a Content Marketing Career

This rapidly growing field will require essential hard skills to land jobs. While this may slightly vary depending on your specific role, we found the skill set listed below as being necessary for all positions within content marketing:

  1. Writing skills: This is a must. The majority of content marketing is writing, so it is vital that you can craft compelling copy that draws in your target audience.
  2. Knowledge of SEO: To ensure you create the content your audience wants to consume, you need a basic understanding of search engine optimization.
  3. Data & analytics skills: This is essential in determining the success of the content; whether it’s measuring engagement, subscriptions, or clients, you need to be able to quantify your success.
  4. Social media literacy: You may need to craft and distribute content for a range of platforms, knowing how to leverage multiple channels will set you apart in the industry.
  5. Research skills: Depending on your role, you may be crafting content for several industries. You need to know how to find reliable and factual information no matter the field.
  6. Time management skills: Your content is only strong if it’s still relevant. Adhering to deadlines is crucial so employers can publish on time, in season.

Seem to be missing one or two skills from your portfolio? Don’t get discouraged. We offer a wide range of resources that can set you up for success, such as our Head of Marketing Bootcamp.

While the knowledge mentioned above is going to be key to getting you into the door you can’t forget about some essential soft skills.

To truly enjoy your career and continue to grow in your field, the additional skills below are another essential set to add to your content marketing toolkit:

  • Curiosity
  • Persuasion
  • Creativity
  • Good intuition
  • Growth mindset

Content Marketing Roles

A career path in content marketing can look different for everyone. In fact, content marketing is a pretty broad term, and you’ll have your pick from various roles within the industry.

Typical roles within a content marketing team include:

  • Community Manager: The middleman. The community manager acts as the brand voice through content distribution, community support, and digital engagement.
  • Social Media Manager: Responsible for creating and distributing content across social media platforms. This can also include content strategy, analyzing analytics, and digital campaigns.
  • Video Marketing Manager: Helps brands tell their story through engaging videos to connect with potential customers on a deeper level.
  • Brand Journalist: Produces a variety of written content that communicates the capabilities and values of the company. They grab the attention of potential clients and turn them into customers.
  • SEO Specialist: A research and analytical guru that uses search engine optimization to create strategies and in-demand content.
  • Graphic Designer: Responsible for the visual aspect. From websites to logos, the graphic designer creates engaging visuals that are brand and captivate the audience.
  • Copy Editor: Ensures all written content is in tip-top shape before distribution.
  • Managing Editor: Also known as a content manager, this individual often oversees designers, writers, and researchers to ensure the success of all visual and written content.
  • Director of Editorial: The boss of the boss. This editor manages a team of producers, along with creating and implementing strategies and upholding vendor relations.
  • Chief Content Officer: This is the top dog. The CCO oversees all content creation and distribution, ensuring it is on par with the company’s brand.

Start Your Content Marketing Career

In today’s digital age, content is king. The best way to succeed in content marketing is by producing high-quality content that engages your audience.

If you want to start a career in content marketing, we can help. We offer courses and training that will give you the skills you need to succeed. Check out our Content Marketing Mastery course to start your content marketing career path.




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