Identifying and multiplying your best customers – Tamara Grominsky on The Product Experience

We all want more customers—but being able to understand who your best customer segments are, prioritise for them, and then land more of them?  That’s a game-changer. We talked with Tamara Grominsky (Unbounce’s VP of Strategy) about some easy-to-implement techniques that will help you do just that.

Featured Links: Follow Tamara on LinkedIn and Twitter | Tamara’s Website | Unbounce Segmentation Presentation | Strategyzer’s canvas:  How to Capture Customer Jobs, Pains, & Gains that aren’t Subjective | Forbes‘ Guide to the Van Westendorp Pricing Model | Profitwell’s Patrick Campbell wrote about  Pricing for Bottom Line Growth

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Episode transcript

Randy Silver: 0:00

So, really the last time I saw you in real life, you’re just finishing up the day of customer research. How did it go?

Lily Smith: 0:08

Yeah, I was doing some field research. And to be honest, it didn’t go the way I expected it to. I did learn a lot, but it was more about who we shouldn’t target rather than who we should.

Randy Silver: 0:19

Well, that’s always annoying, but I’ve got a treat for you today. We all know that understanding your customer segments can be really, really rewarding when it goes well. But it’s also really hard to get it right. And I saw unbounce Chief Strategy Officer tomorrow Grumman ski, give a great talk on the topic a few weeks back, and it was complete with some really easy things that you can put straight into practice. And she was so great, and I just asked her to join us here to dig into it more.

Lily Smith: 0:47

You’re right. This talk is full of smart and easy to use methods on how to identify your best customers beyond that boring persona, and create rich profiles to use across the business. Tamara is an absolute genius. The product experience is brought to you by mind the product,

Randy Silver: 1:11

every week, we talk to the best product people from around the globe about how we can improve our practice, and build

Lily Smith: 1:16

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Randy Silver: 1:26

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Lily Smith: 1:39

Mind product also offers free product tank meetups in more than 200 cities. And there’s probably one near you.

Randy Silver: 1:49

Tomorrow, thank you so much for joining us for the conversation today. We’ve really been looking forward to it. Thanks so much for having me. I saw you talk just recently at the empower conference. And it was fantastic and said, We need to have you on on the podcast to learn more about this. But before we jump into the topic at hand, which is about identifying and multiplying your best customers, can you just give us a little bit of background for anyone who didn’t attend the conference or see you talk somewhere else? What do you do? And how did you get into the whole world of product and strategy?

Tamara Grominsky: 2:21

Yeah, for sure. So I’m currently the Chief Strategy Officer over at unbounce, which is a landing page and conversion intelligence platform for small to midsize businesses. And I really got into that strategy role making my way through the world of product marketing. So I’ve been doing Product Marketing for about 10 years. That’s my discipline in my craft, but I really subscribe to more strategic philosophy around Product Marketing. And I’ve been at the forefront of championing that really across the world was one of the founding members of the product marketing Alliance, and really helped to drive this idea of Product Marketing isn’t just about working with a product manager to write a blog post or the website copy. But it’s actually about this idea of like, how do we partner with product managers and other product folks to really build a holistic go to market strategies, they’re actually understanding what customers in the market want, before we even build something we understand things like willingness to pay before we even get it on the shelf. So that we know that when we bring it to market, our chances of it being successful are much higher than without that product marketer. And really, along that journey of you know, understanding Product Marketing and championing the field, started to really fall in love with the more strategic components of the role. So I’ve slowly made my way into more of a strategy role, although I still oversee Product Marketing at unbounce, as well.

Randy Silver: 3:41

Okay, so there are some words that come up in terms that come up, sometimes that can be really subjective. So if we’re going to talk about identifying and multiplying your best customers, what is a best customer? What does it mean to you? Yeah,

Tamara Grominsky: 3:55

that’s such a great question. And there’s so many different synonyms for it. And lots of times you’ll hear like ICP or target customer, I love the term best customer, because I think it’s like jargon free, it just actually gets to the nuts and bolts of like, okay, we want to acquire, convert and retain more of our best customers. So that’s why I use that terminology. But when I think about what a best customer is, it’s someone who you know, finds your value compelling, has a customer problem that you’re able to solve for today and that you continue to want to solve for, and is really just that kind of connection between value. And so a lot of times people will have like an aspirational ICP or an aspirational target market. And I don’t think that’s quite the same thing as a best customer with the best customer. You’ve kind of proven that there is some value there that you’re unlocking for them. And that’s why when you think about the customer lifecycle, you should be able to see high business metrics across the whole thing from acquisition all the way to like churn and retention.

Lily Smith: 4:58

When you say aspirational Do you mean, like almost people getting their own bias in the way of, you know, in the way of identifying who actually is their best customer? Yeah, I

Tamara Grominsky: 5:11

think that and also maybe future focus. So for sure, one of the major challenges and one of the reasons that I actually built this talk and that I talked about segmentation a lot is that, you know, growing up in this world of product marketing, you hear the term persona a lot. And really, personas are so opinion based, and it’s so hard to make actual decisions. You’ve just like written a fake name, you’ve chosen some random photo, like, what does that even tell you. And so I started to really dive into this world of like data backed segments and data back personas. And that’s what led me to really all of my research and application of this idea of the best customer. So part of it is exactly what you’re saying, really, which is like, let’s take the bias and like opinion off the table, and let’s just look at what the data tells us. And then the second piece is, in order to look at what the data is telling you, you know, you have to have customers or customers have to be engaged with your product. And so sometimes when people say, Well, I want to go after this target market, or you know, I might want to expand into this market, whether it’s geographical or vertical, or whatever it might be, that’s great. That is where the term maybe more like ICP, or target customer might come in. But that’s not the best customer yet, because you haven’t proven that real value. So that’s a little bit about what I mean by aspirational as well

Randy Silver: 6:25

as best customer is something that stays constant over a long period of time. Or as things change, as you get good at one area and you start to go aspirational to another area. Does your definition of a best customer change sometimes?

Tamara Grominsky: 6:39

Yeah, absolutely. So it should be always this evolving thing, if you don’t want it to be evolving too quickly, because then you’re not gonna be able to actually deepen the value that you’re delivering for that customer. But you may find that you’re adding more best customer segments. So in the talk, Randy that you attended, I kind of talked about, hey, having somewhere between like three or maybe five best customers is great. And so maybe if you start you do all this work, and you’re like I have one best customer right now, you start there, and then you start to understand what are the adjacent markets that I could start to unlock? And how do I deliver that value, and then prove that they are also my best customer? And so absolutely, it’s an evolutionary thing, but you want it to be quite intentional as well.

Lily Smith: 7:18

And you sort of hinted earlier about how you identify your best customer is through using data. Like, tell me more about that? Because that that sounds like a very short answer to something that could be quite actually long winded.

Tamara Grominsky: 7:36

Totally. Yeah. So one of the challenges that I had fairly early in my career is exactly that is I would be like, Hey, who are our best customers? Or who should we be focusing this launch on or our go to market strategy on and I would go to the data team with this, like, really open ended question. And they’d be like, we have no idea like, we don’t know where to start, we have so much data available to us. And so I’ve actually worked to build a model, it’s called the map framework, or the map model that helps us simplify this and really put it back in the hands of the product manager, or the product marketer rather than, say, the data team or some sort of fancy software. And so in that model, I’ve simplified it. So M stands for measure volume, where you want to start by really understanding, who do you have today, if you look at your customer base, or you even look at all of the customers you’ve ever had, or all of the trailers, who do you have that because this is a really great sign that they have been attracted to you and that you’re solving some sort of problem for them. But you don’t want to just stop there. Because just because you have a lot of customers doesn’t mean that they’re your best customers, because we haven’t proven anything except that you have a lot of them. And so that’s where the second stage where you’re analysing performance really comes in, because we want to understand of these groups of customers that we have a lot of, are they performing as well as or better than the average customer? Because if we can prove that and we can isolate those clusters of customers who you have a lot of and perform well, the more that you’re able to multiply that group of customers, meaning you have more of them in your customer base and less of everyone else, then you’re naturally going to bring up all of those other business metrics, right? And so then your growth as a business is going to rise as well. And then finally, the last piece, which is a little bit more externally focused rather than internally focused, I call prioritise potential, which is really, are you able to actually capture this market? internally, you’ve proven that they’re a healthy market for you to go after. But what does the competition look like? Do you have sustainable acquisition channels? Is the market even large enough to support your growth ambitions? Maybe you’re like, hey, I’ve really into this real estate or real estate segment, but it’s like super small and it’s not going to match your growth ambitions, well, then you’re going to need several different verticals to go after, or you’re going to need to broaden your definition of a best customer.

Randy Silver: 9:46

When you’re looking into the analysing the performance, one of the challenges I’ve seen and an impact may have right now possibly is dealing with leading and lagging metrics and picking the right things to do measure that performance on what? Any tips any secret on how this is done, you’ve done this? Well.

Tamara Grominsky: 10:06

Yeah, I think this is a really important conversation to have cross functionally because you as a product manager or product marketer, you might have an idea of like what the most important metric is. So for example, if in your portfolio, you’re responsible for customer churn, then you might be over indexing on finding best customers who have really low churn rates. And so I would say my best advice is to understand what are the metrics that matter for the business, because for example, if you are in a business where the whole business goal is to get as many customers as possible and as fast as possible, with taking on some level of risk around churn, then actually, you might want to optimise for more of top of funnel success, or vice versa, if the whole company is focused on minimising churn, and you have some aggressive churn targets, and you’re going to want to over index on the bottom of the funnel. And so understanding from a business perspective, what even matters, I would say is the first step. And then I think it really is about of leading and lagging indicators, where there isn’t going to be like one number that you’re looking at, that’s going to tell you everything, it’s not just conversion rate, or it’s not just activation rate, it’s almost in my philosophy, when I think about it, I want to be able to prove that they’re healthy, the entire customer lifecycle, or at least understand where along the lifecycle I could start to optimise for. And so that’s kind of how I’ve been approaching it.

Lily Smith: 11:25

I really love the map model, I think it’s really nice and simple, which is always great. And anyone can use it then as well. But in terms of the actual segment profiles, and you know, being able to then understand, okay, I have this cohort of customers or this segment of customers, which is performing better than the average, what kind of data are you looking at to create that segment? Is it similar to the sort of persona type data that you would expect to see around demographics? Or is it something else that we should be paying attention to?

Tamara Grominsky: 12:03

Yeah, I always love to think about this idea of the segment profile is almost a blend of a qualified and quantified persona together. And so you want to take you know, the best elements of that traditional persona, and then you want to merge it with data. And really, the intent here is twofold. The first one is that you want to deepen your own understanding of this best customer, right. And so this is gonna help guide some of your research. But then you also want to create an artefact that you’re able to share across the organisation so that others can also make really important business decisions based on who this customer is and what we know about it. So when I think about what to include in, in that segment profile, I really start with like the broadest of questions, which is like, what is the customer problem, or the jobs to be done that this target segment is looking to do? Like, why would they even choose your product in the first place, and you can just really take like a fairly traditional jobs read an interview style approach to start doing this. I also love the strategize ER model, and they do jobs to be done and combine that with pains and gains. And so I found that to be really complimentary at just getting like a multifaceted view of who these best customers are. So that’s kind of what I start with. And I want to be able to answer the question like, what is the value that they’re looking for? And how do we unlock that value for them? From there, I actually want to then connect that value back to our actual product solution, assuming we have a product solution that does that today. And this is where I would start to look at things like willingness to pay, as well as feature preference to understand what parts of my product or solution actually solve that value, and what parts are actually hindering it or preventing someone from buying it because they think that it’s going to actually add more friction. So I’ll usually do some feature preference, as well as event westendorp for a price sensitivity. And I’ll include all of that information in that segment profile so that my stakeholders across the organisation don’t have to do that work themselves, but they have all of that information at their fingertips. And then once I understand, you know, what’s the value that they’re looking for? How much are they willing to pay for that value? How do we connect it back to our product solutions, also build a positioning framework for each segment, so that we understand how to position and package that value when we’re going to market or even just going into our own customer base with go to market experiences.

Randy Silver: 14:24

Okay, there’s 1000 things in there. I wanted to get to all of them. So before we get to van westendorp, and the jobs to be done with two pending IDs and all that other stuff, I just want to do one last thing on the map model. So with potential prioritising potential, there’s always the challenge of you’re too close to you’ve got a bias based on where you’re sitting, how do you do research like a customer and really understand what who, you know, think like them, and understand whether you actually have the right to win in a segment or whether you’re just looking at it from you No abayas perspective? Oh, yeah, that’s

Tamara Grominsky: 15:02

a great question. I, when I think about the market, I take a pretty wide view. So when we are making sure that we’re doing market interviews, we’ll do like customers and non customers. And I try to immerse myself with as many non customers as possible. Even ideally, people who’ve never heard of unbounce, or whatever company I’m working at, because that’s actually where you’re going to get that unbiased view. And sometimes, like, I won’t even tell them where I’m from, I’ll just like join different communities that they’re a part of. So for example, we serve small to midsize businesses, I can find those anywhere, right? So I could just like go to a coffee shop, I could go down the street, and there’s small business. And so actually understanding what are your challenges? When you think about a solution? What are you looking for? I try to take that broad approach. I will also say, I think you have to have some level of opinion about your right to participate in the market. And if you’ve done all of this work, and you’ve gotten to that last stage, you’ve already proven that you’ve captured some of this market. So I think you can be pretty confident that you have some right to play in it. This is slightly different than say, full aspirational, like five or 10 year visioning work where you’re saying do I think I want to expand into this like international country. And I would say there’ll be like a different level of market work required for that then say this type of activity.

Lily Smith: 16:28

Sprake formally usually is an all in one product research platform that lets you ask bite sized questions to your customers within your product or existing user journeys.

Randy Silver: 16:39

Companies like Dropbox, square, open door loom, and shift all use springs, video interviews, concept tests, and micro surveys to understand their customers at the pace of modern software development. So they can build customer centric products that deliver a sustainable competitive advantage.

Lily Smith: 16:58

So if you’re part of an agile product team that wants to obtain rich insights from users at the pace, you ship products, then give sprig a try for free by visiting sprig calm. Again, that’s sprig SP r I Okay, so going back to the jobs to be done with the pains and the gains and kind of using that information to build up your segment profile. And so how, you know, once you’ve identified a segment, which is performing well, and you kind of want to create that segment profile, and you’re looking to include that jobs to be done and pains and gains information, how many people, presumably you’re interviewing people in order to, you know, to get that information. But how many people are you interviewing? And how are you choosing who you interview?

Tamara Grominsky: 17:55

Yeah, that’s like the famous question, right? What’s the right number of people to speak to? I think the rule of thumb is 10. However, what I would actually say is talk to enough people until patterns emerge. So if you’ve talked to 10 people, and there’s no trends or patterns across any of those 10 people talk to another 10 people, because it either means you actually haven’t found the right people that reflect that segment. Or maybe there’s not as many similarities within that segment as you thought, or you know, if you’ve only spoken to five or six people, but every single person has said the same thing, well, maybe you have enough confidence in what they’ve said, to move forward. So that’s kind of how I think about that. I will say one really important thing that many people forget about is that when you’re thinking about capturing the market, it’s not just about the customers you have, it’s about the customers you want. And so make sure that you’re doing equal number of customers and non customers when you’re doing your market research. Because if you’re just talking to your existing customers who fall within that segment, well, they already know your brand, and they already know your product. And so they themselves are biassed in their answers, versus someone who falls into that segment, but isn’t a customer perhaps has never even heard of your company, they’re going to give you completely different answers. And they may not even be like solution aware yet. So they have a completely different way of thinking about it. So that’s always my like pro tip when thinking about interviewing. And then when it comes time to actually select like in your customer base, who do you talk to, hopefully, as you’ve done some of that data analysis, you will literally have lists of customers that fall within those target segments. And so you can just start to refine, and usually we’ll just send out an email to as many people who fall within that segment as possible, ask them to book in an interview. As you know, it can get pretty difficult to get people to actually commit to that. And so, if you can go as wide as possible at that stage, then you can kind of narrow in once people actually start to sign up for the interviews.

Lily Smith: 19:46

And then we kind of mentioned then about choosing sort of non customer, people as well to interview so that you can understand the segment that in its entirety. For those who are customers and those who are to be customers. So in order to identify those non customers, what data would you be using then is that you just using demographic data or just assumptions that you have around? You know, it’s going to be someone who uses these types of tools and reads these types of magazines, or I don’t know, if whatever, whatever information you might have around that segment.

Tamara Grominsky: 20:24

Yeah, it’s gonna be it’s gonna depend on who your segments are, for sure. But let’s say for example, you have done all of this work, and you’re like, hey, our best customer, our digital marketing agencies who have less than 50 employees, well, that’s great, now you have a place to start. And so I would make sure that I’m hanging out in all of the communities where those types of agencies would hang out. And what I would do is I would create almost like a little survey. So I would say, Hey, we’re doing a study, we’d love your feedback sign up here to participate. And of course, we would offer some sort of incentive, like a gift card or something. And then when they go to sign up, we would then prequalify them with a few more specific answers, like, how many employees do you have? You know, how many clients? Do you have enough that we could rule them in or out as best as possible at that stage? Because of course, as you mentioned, we don’t know anything about them until they tell us.

Randy Silver: 21:18

So once you figured out who you’re going to talk to, you’re actually talking to them. One of the things I’ve seen people do a lot is just say, Would you like this feature? Would you like that feature? Things like that. And you showed me a different way of talking to your customer set of measuring relative feature preference or ranking them against each other? That was a lot more practical. So I asked you just to go straight into that because

Tamara Grominsky: 21:44

I’d left? Absolutely, yeah. So this is one of those things I’ve seen 1000 people do wrong, as well as wrong as maybe I’ve been harsh. But in a way that’s not as informative as it could be. So to your point, what usually happens is you’ll give someone a list of 10 features, and you’ll say, which of these features Do you want, or like stack rank them from one to 10. But it’s almost impossible to tell how much someone prefers the first choice over, you know, the second choice, or the fifth choice, or whatever it might be. And you can’t tell at all, if any of them actually have negative preference. And so when I do feature preference, I do mass differential or trade off feature preference. And it’s so simple, like, it’s literally using the same survey question. But the way that you have them answer the question is slightly different. So instead of stack ranking all of them, you ask the customer the prospect to choose which feature would you prefer the most? And which feature would you prefer the least. And then when you actually produce the chart with this information, you can see the relative preference. And so it’s really easy to see, oh, wow, these four features are like highly preferred by this target customer. And actually, these two features, not only are they less preferred, but they’re actually detractors. Like if I offer that in the package for this customer, they might not even like buy my package at all, because they’re going to think that this is not meant for them. So you can start to get some really juicy details about how people are perceiving the value of your features.

Randy Silver: 23:08

Okay, so this isn’t like when you give your stakeholders Monopoly money and say you have $100 to spend on on features in that. It’s literally just saying, which do you like the best one? Which do you hate the most, essentially. And that’s it, and you just need to ask a whole bunch of customers?

Tamara Grominsky: 23:25

Yes, that’s exactly it. And then you want it. This is where obviously, the surveys come back in rather than the one to one interviews, you want to get as much feedback as possible. And you want to make sure that it’s at the segment level. So let’s imagine that you had two different customer segments that came out of your like map work, you wouldn’t want to blend at the feature preference for both of them, you’d want to make sure that you can differentiate between the two, because obviously, each segment might have different feature preference, and that would connect back to that value that they’re looking for. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for that. Yeah, of course,

Lily Smith: 23:58

when you’re doing the feature preference survey, are you is this for features that you already have in your product, or for a mix of existing and potential features? Yeah, you can do both,

Tamara Grominsky: 24:13

which is where that starts to get really fun, actually. So I’ll usually break it down. Even with the features that are in our existing product, I’ll break it down into like core functionality, maybe advanced functionality, maybe integrations depending on how many different buckets of value your product has. Then I’ll do like potential future features. And you could even break those down into a couple of different categories. And what’s super interesting is where you start to see what are the things that they’re interested in. And then we always chat with our product managers and our UX team about Wow, let’s do some more testing around like concept testing around these top three concepts. We’ve already got like an indicator that customers would be interested in that. And then if you’re we talked a little bit about the Van westendorp but if you’re able to do the Van westendorp and then you lay That data on top of this trade off feature preference, you can also start to see what are the features that people have a high preference for, and a high willingness to pay. And those kind of go in that top right quadrant of like, you should 100% build these, because you can charge people money for them. What are the things that are kind of like table stakes functionality that people expect them, they have like a high preference for it, but kind of like an average willingness to pay. And so you kind of need to have them in order to secure that business. But what are the things that not that many people have a high preference for, so you’re only going to see a few people that have ranked it number one or two, but they’ve also ranked it with a high willingness to pay. And so if you were to build those types of things, you might have to have it as like an add on. And so you can start to see how you can make, you know, product decisions based on this, go to market decisions, and even like pricing and packaging decisions.

Randy Silver: 25:49

Just saying the words Van westendorp makes me sound smart. But I have not come across this one before, and will obviously link to it in the show notes to give a little bit more detail about it. But can you give a quick overview of what’s the difference between using this method? And just saying, how much would you pay for this? Totally.

Tamara Grominsky: 26:10

So I also discovered the van westendorf, you know, many moons ago, but through Patrick Campbell over at price intelligently a profit? Well, it’s like a pricing genius. And my mind was also blown. And I was like, This is amazing. And also I sound so fancy now. So previously, what many people would do is you would be in your customer interview, you’d be showing them a concept or prototype. And you’d ask the customer, well, how much would you be willing to pay for this? And of course, they’re gonna give you a lowball answer. If they think it’s worth $40, they’re gonna say 20? Because why would they want to pay you more? And so it’s just really tricky to actually understand. And so again, almost like the maxdiff feature preference, this is a bit of like a hack or a trick to get the real answer. So with the van westendorp, it’s actually so much simpler than it sounds, it’s four questions. And essentially, you want to ask at what price point would this be getting way too expensive that you would never consider by, it would be getting expensive, but he would still consider to buy, it would be I forget exact wording, but like it’s affordable, and you consider it a great deal, or the price would be so low that you would actually worry about the quality of it. And again, they have to answer all four questions. And usually I’ll provide a sliding scale. So they could they could just move the slider. And you plot the answers to all four questions on a graph. And you can actually see where all four questions intersect, and it’s going to give you about a grey bar somewhere in the middle. And that’s going to be the range within your willingness to pay. And so if you were to choose a price point on the lower end of that, you’re going to have a slightly lower average revenue per customer, but obviously a higher conversion rate with that slightly lower price point. And then vice versa if you go higher up on the scale, but it gives you a bit of a range that you can play around with. And again, this is not perfect science, but it’s better than a best guess. And then if you’re constantly optimising your pricing page and your packages, and this will be like a really great foundation for you to start from.

Lily Smith: 28:06

I love that model. It’s I’ve never heard of it before. And either. Yeah, it’s so it’s very, again, very easy to understand and very easy to apply. So I’m looking forward to using that one. And okay, so you’ve got your, you’ve got all of your customer segments, you’ve got your best customers, and you understand who they are. What do you do that? What do you do with all of this information?

Tamara Grominsky: 28:32

Yes, I know. Now, you are so passionate about this customer segment, you just learned everything about them. And so honestly, I think it depends on what your role is. So as a product marketer, I believe your role now is to be the champion of this customer segment across the company, making sure that everyone understands who this customer is, and that they’re prioritising it in their work. If you’re a product manager, then you’ll actually be thinking about, well, how can I start to evolve my product roadmap towards this customer segment? How do I start to make decisions about what I build based on what my target customer segment really wants? So really, it depends, when I think about it holistically. It’s all about realigning the entire organisation around your best customers. So that we’re delivering a really holistic and kind of compelling customer experience and every single touchpoint from the first time they find out about your brand, to you know, their buying journey on the website to their activation of the product all the way up to like a customer service interaction that they have. Now, this is easier said than done, you know, at unbounce when we did the work like three years ago to deeply understand who our best customer is. We’re still rolling out components of that strategy today. And it took probably six to nine months to start to get all of the teams on board and with like that shared definition, shared plans, but now we’re like radically focused on our best customers and we’re all moving in one direction. Then much quicker than we were when we were all moving in like slightly different directions.

Lily Smith: 30:04

How long did it take you to identify your best customers? I know, you sort of mentioned earlier that it’s like a slightly moving, moving target. And but if you kind of go through this process end to end, is there, you know, do you would you expect to have it done in a week or a month? or?

Tamara Grominsky: 30:25

Yeah, I think it depends on how focused you are on this work. If you have someone that’s doing this side of desk, it’s definitely going to take a bit longer, you know, maybe a couple months, three months, if you have someone who can just dedicate, you know, a good chunk of their time to this, there’s no reason you couldn’t do most of this work in like four to six weeks. The reason I say four to six weeks is that you are dependent on some others. So first of all, you’re dependent on your data team to kind of unlock access to some of this data, right. And then you’re dependent on actually finding customers or non customers who will respond to your surveys, talk to you one on one. And then you need to bring all of this data together into kind of that final research or segment profile. So there’s some timing there, it’s probably not able to do it in like a week.

Randy Silver: 31:14

What’s the biggest mistake you see teams making when they try and engage in this, you know, and is it the kind of thing like, when new companies adopt okrs, they’re expected to screw it up the first time or two and need to read and get better? Is it the same approach with with working towards identifying best customers and trying to get that better?

Tamara Grominsky: 31:34

Not quite the same. But kind of, I would say the number one thing is starting with a really like deeply held personal opinion about who your best customer is, and not being willing to actually let the data guide you. That’s the number one mistake. It’s like, people say they want to do a data backed approach. But really the CEO or you know, the founder says, Oh, it’s actually this like, and you’re kind of almost having to like prove them wrong, the whole journey, you want to make sure that you have like high level senior leadership buy in to do this work. And to trust whatever emerges from it. I would say that’s number one. And then the second one, I would say is not really committing to actually implementing a holistic approach to this. So where I have seen this go, be less effective, I won’t say go wrong is, you know, say the product team is really excited about this, they’ve decided they’re going to start to build based on this target segment. But then like the marketing team doesn’t really buy into it. So they don’t change the website copy or the buy. Or like, let’s say out of this work, we discover actually, your target segment is more of like a smaller customer rather than a larger customer. And you discover that they would prefer self serve support model rather than like a one to one phone model. And the work to actually move that and get CS bought into it. Like if they don’t believe in this work, they’re not going to change the way that they’re servicing customers, just because you said that you discovered something. So I would say that would be the other main thing that I’ve seen go wrong.

Randy Silver: 32:58

Okay, so we actually have to talk to everybody internally, and we have to work with collaboration. Imagine that,

Lily Smith: 33:09

and really get the leadership to listen.

Tamara Grominsky: 33:13

This is all about using your like powers of influence and persuasion. That’s the biggest skill set that’s absolutely needed for this work truly. Fantastic.

Randy Silver: 33:21

I think that is the key to almost all strategy work. And most product work in the end, though. But these are really, really great techniques to help get there. So thank you so much for joining us. And this was fantastic.

Lily Smith: 33:34

Yeah, it’s such a great time. Thanks for having me. Thank you tomorrow.

Randy Silver: 33:48

I am so stealing all of that immediately. I mean, I’ve got a strategy off site tomorrow, and this will definitely come up. I only wish that we started to work a few weeks ago so that I could talk about the results instead.

Lily Smith: 34:00

I wonder if we could also use this to identify and multiply our best listeners. You know, the ones who rate and review us and tweet about us. Hint, hint. Actually, we love all of our listeners, including the ones who just listen.

Randy Silver: 34:15

We just love the ones who rate review and tweet even more. And I think we could potentially use this technique to identify them, but to multiply them that that might require some cloning.

Lily Smith: 34:34

Hey, it’s me, Lily Smith

Randy Silver: 34:37

and me Randy silver.

Lily Smith: 34:39

Emily Tate is our producer. And Luke Smith is our editor.

Randy Silver: 34:43

Our theme music is from Humbard baseband power. That’s p au. Thanks to Nick Hitler who runs product tank and MTP engage in Hamburg and plays bass in the band for letting us use their music. Connect with your local product community via product tank or regular free meet Epson over 200 cities worldwide.

Lily Smith: 35:02

If there’s not one Nagy you can consider starting one yourself. To find out more go to mind the forward slash product tank.

Randy Silver: 35:11

Product tech is a global community of meetups driven by and for product people. We offer expert talks group discussion and a safe environment for product people to come together and share greetings and tips.

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