There are a great many who respect the Beatles as being one of the (if not the) greatest rock bands of all time. Their success on the charts and the longevity of their influence are but two of the many measures used to defend such claims. Despite a short career time-wise they were prolific in their number of releases and adaptive in their approach to their writing and production. They are one of the most studied groups of musicians ever even beyond their adeptness to their instruments because of their business experiences too.
There’s a lot a product manager could take away from the Beatles and their career. The lessons to be learned though can be much more simply boiled down into a handful of popular song’s titles directing every product manager to the most important lessons to know.
Here’s the top five take aways the Bealtles inadvertantly had to offer about your product:
Cant Buy Me Love
Much as the title alludes to in your personal romance, no matter how much you throw at product marketing no amount will ever buy your product long term love by consumers. Sure a well played marketing ploy might get them through the door but retaining them will be next to impossible with a less than respectable product experience. You can try and buy a good review (albeit now, more increasingly illegal) but poor experience will foil the effort. You can incentivise customers by subsidizing some, or all, of their first experience but poor execution will foil the effort. You can buy all the traffic you want, foot or digital, but if the product (or service) sucks there’s no way they’re coming back and the effort ends up being all for not. Focus on the long-term value of the product and don’t get caught up trying to buy your customer’s love. Real loyal and evangelical customers are always earned.
With a little help from my friends
“I get by with a little help from my friends” is a refrain we’ve all sung before. Using all the resources at your disposal will greatly improve your experience as a product manager. Know who your friends are in the process and lean on them beginning. These friends are probably all part of your stakeholder circle. They are your marketing, development, customer care and legal teams, your project managers, c-level execs and IT support staff. And, important not to overlook if you have them, your most loyal and highest consuming customers. They’ll appreciate your asking for help and provide valuable feedback that otherwise solicited might cost significantly more through different channels.
Incremental changes are part of natural product progression and keeping that in mind things will always be getting better all the time. The product should never stagnate. Even if you’re in the process of sunsetting it there are probably efficiencies to be considered and iterative changes that will produce a return on the investment. No product is ever perfect, and even if you thought you’d found product perfection the marketplace would eventually dictate a change due to regulation, shifting consumer preference, competitive adaption, etc.
Money (that’s what I want)
In the end isn’t that what everyone wants? Moreso, would be positive margins – the distancing of revenues as compared to expenses. Not everything you do has to directly hit the bottom line (as there are plenty of required activities that don’t) but everything should have a meaningful impact as to facilitate those activities that do impact more explicitly. Without positive margins it’ll all eventually fail.
All you need is Love.
Retaining customers is cheeper than acquiring them and evangelical customers are the best source of marketing on can have because there’s no cost of acquisition usually associated with their good will. Gaining the loyality of your customers can be just as challenging as maintaining any romantic love and the affairs just as sorted but in the end all you really need to drive success this kind of success for a product is the same as every other part of life, show the love to receive the love.