Product-led Growth (PLG) is defined as “a growth model where product usage drives customer acquisition, retention, and expansion”.
PLG has become super popular in the SaaS business as a way to accelerate growth on many of the key SaaS KPIs like MRR, CAC, churn, CLV, NRR, OMG, WTF and so on… When it’s talked about on the by experts, it’s often framed as a marketing or sales motion.
It’s that too, but it’s also a super valuable tool when planning and developing (road mapping) the actual product or service! Here’s why:
Track, measure, and analyze. Everything.
“You can’t improve what you can’t measure”, they say. A key ingrediency in PLG is to instrument everything, analyze the data, and run experiments (often called “growth hacking”) with the purpose of improving the SaaS metrics mentioned above, and at the end of the day, grow and make money.
- Build For The End User
- Build For Flexibility
- Deliver Instant Product Value
- Deliver Instant Customer Experience
…and maybe more.
“This is what we’ve always been doing”, you might say. Yes, this is common topics to discuss during the design phase of a product.
The difference in this context is that the feedback-loop is super short!
You may roll out a feature shortening the “time to value” one day, and the next day you might have a verdict on how successful it was!
Because all the metrics and KPIs you care about is continuously monitored by dedicated people, you immediately know the effect of the feature rollout.
This is in sharp contrast to a traditional model where feature requests come from customers or your sales team complaining about competitors offering a feature you don’t have. Then you’ll have to put it on the roadmap for next year, maybe….
Taking it a step further, having user behavior and product usage constantly monitored, also might give an “early warning” of changing user needs.
PLG may offer a leading indicator for features, use-cases or even megatrends.
The new product differentiator may be right under your nose. you just don’t know it because it hasn’t been visible before.
What is great about PLG is that it is really how sales and marketing would be executed if a developer or product manager was running the business:
Build features into the product which make the product attract new users, use cases, bring more value, be more efficient and solving the right problems. Measure, monitor and visualize.
Short, fast, efficient feedback loop
Get instant feedback on UX and product features. Running growth hacks becomes super easy.
Leading indicator of use cases
Don’t play catch-up with the mega trends in your niche. Be the first to discover them. Look at the data to identify use cases your users have, but you (nor your competitors) are aware of.