In an increasingly challenging market, growth can’t be left to chance.
Under pressure to deliver more from existing platforms, top performing companies are turning to product-led growth strategies to reduce acquisition costs, improve adoption and retention, and drive competitive advantage.
How can a product-led approach supercharge your growth to boost revenue and ROI?
We were joined by digital leaders who chatted about how they are using product as a key growth driver, why product-led strategies are not just for tech companies, and why product thinking needs to be at the heart of growth discussions.
Watch the video back on demand, or scroll to read the transcript.
Meet the panel
Georgia Diaconescu, Marketing Lead, Canva
Georgia oversees the marketing efforts at Flourish, Canva's data visualisation platform, and is responsible for the development and execution of all growth marketing strategies. She has over a decade of experience in product marketing and has previously worked at Meta, what3words and other global brands.
Zack Wragg, Global Head of Optimisation and Delivery, Merlin Entertainments
Zack is a generalist, having dabbled in development, data, marketing and e-commerce (and a stint as a professional skier), Zack is now working as the Global Head of Optimisation and Delivery at Merlin Entertainments. His current focus is on driving digital transformation across Merlin Entertainments, whose brands include LEGOLAND, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Sea Life, Cadbury World, Madame Tussauds and London Eye, to put the customer at the heart of everything they do.
Caz Brett, Director of Product, Smartsheet
Caz is a Director of Product at Smartsheet, where she looks after all things integrations and automation. She formally led product at a consultancy building global enterprise products, and spent a decade building internal tools at the BBC.
Sheryl Preen, Senior Product Manager, 383 Project
Sheryl's role is vast and is an amalgamation of different roles. She bridges the gap between the end user and the client to maximise value for both. It’s her job to understand customer needs and problems, but also to understand the business objectives and requirements. This insight allows her to assist in creating opportunities and solutions, validate the desirability of the opportunities, and turn the validated options into a product vision that ultimately rallies a delivery team.
Looking to drive growth from your current products & services?
Let’s chat about how we can help you to unlock business growth and boost conversion - book a two-week growth sprint here.
Byte | Product-led growth transcript
Sheryl: Hello and welcome to Byte, the latest in our series of events diving into digital product. I'm Sheryl, Senior Product Manager at 383 and I'll be your host this morning as we explore product led growth strategies.
Top performing companies are turning to product led growth strategies to help deliver more from their existing platforms.
And today I'll be chatting to a panel of digital leaders about how they are using product as a key growth driver. Why product led strategies are not just for tech companies and why product thinking needs to be at the heart of growth discussions.
Please join me in giving a very warm welcome to our panellists this morning.
First up we have Georgia. Georgia oversees marketing at Flourish, a data visualisation platform from design platform Canva and is responsible for the development and execution of all growth marketing strategies. She has a decade of experience in product marketing, and has previously worked at Meta and What3Words.
Morning, Georgia. Thank you for joining us today.
Georgia: Morning. Thank you for having me. Thank you.
Sheryl: Next up we have Zack. Zack has worked in development, data, marketing, and e-commerce over the years. Not forgetting his stint as a professional skier. That's very interesting, Zack. He's currently the Global Head of Optimization and Delivery at Merlin Entertainments, working across brands like Legoland, Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds.
Morning Zack, how are you today?
Zack: Good morning, I'm good thanks, I'm happy to be here.
Sheryl: We are happy to have you. Finally, we have Caz. Caz is a Director of Product at Smartsheet, where she looks after all things integrations and automation. She formerly led at a consultancy building global enterprise products and spent a decade building internal tools at the BBC.
Good morning, Caz.
Sheryl: We are super grateful you could all join us this morning. We would also love our audience to get involved in the discussions this morning too.
At the bottom of your screen, you'll see a react button where you can share emoji responses. Please feel free to get involved and do so.
There's also a questions tab to the right. If there's anything you'd like to ask our guests, please drop your questions in as we chat. Or you can upvote any questions that you like the look of. And we'll have some time at the end of the panel to pick these up.
That's the housekeeping done, let's get started.
Product led growth is a term that's become increasingly popular in recent years, describing strategies that centre digital products and services to drive acquisition, adoption and retention.
Georgia, I'll come to you first with a question. What does a product led company usually look like in your experience? Are there any common characteristics or hallmarks that you can recognise?
Georgia: Yeah, there's, there's quite a few. I remember when I read the question, I was like, Oh, where do you begin? Cause I know everyone will have at least a couple of things on top of their mind. But for me, I think it boils down to two or three things.
Number one, the fact that a product led growth company does, it doesn't really resume only to the product organisation. I think it's very much about, obviously, everyone rowing in the same direction, it's basically a cross functional effort. It's more of a mindset than, than it is about just the product team leading the charge and setting the direction of the company. I think everyone just has to rally behind the same mindset.
And I think the second thing that comes to mind is really a healthy obsession and like a very honest look at how people move through the product and how we add value at each stage of that of that journey in the product and relying on data massively to really just tell us the truth.
I think we tend to become very in love with our product. And it's very easy to stick in the anecdotal subjective side of things and and, you know, really relying on data there can help you, can help you take a step back, be honestly dedicated to dismantling, figure out what's going right or wrong and more from my, I guess, from my product marketing point of view having a really clear value proposition and helping people connect to the value that, that your product is adding, I think is really helpful to get them into the product and then obviously, go into all the growth mechanisms in there, but I'll let the others kind of chime in. Don't want to hit on all the, all the topics there.
Sheryl: Yeah, I think that's really interesting. And obviously collaboration is super important when it comes to driving any change and working in a direction.
You almost need everybody rowing in the same direction just to kind of make that change.
Georgia: Yeah. Yeah.
Sheryl: Thank you. Caz, I'll come to you next with a question. What does a product led strategy look like? Are there any companies that you know that are doing this effectively?
Caz: I think this is a bit of a tough one to answer because I think a product led growth strategy can look very different depending where you are.
There's lots of chatter about what PLG, for the cool kids, can be and should look like. And I think there's a lot of, what I would call, rhetoric around product led growth. We know at the heart of it, it's about your organic growth being driven by what your users want to see. There's a lot of elements of social proof, I think, in PLG and getting people excited about your product by building the things that they want to see and that they use and allowing them very easily to build up their experience through your product.
Which is why we look at kind of freemium often is a, a first level approach to product of growth. It's not just about throwing out freemium model though. Try it before you buy, I think there's an element of getting your entire organisation circled around this sense that it's not just a product team that goes away and decides what's to build. It's not their total responsibility to build this strategy, this thing and to launch and have a big vision. That's not it. That's not PLG. It's cultural.
It's got to be a considered effort by everyone across your organisation.
That's really interesting when you look at a very large organisation. So I've worked for a number of very large organisations. And you may say, well, you don't really have a product led growth strategy in your businesses if you're at a certain size. I don't think that's quite true.
Now, this may be slightly controversial, but I think that you can have product led growth strategies that focus on building things that will keep your users in your product, engaged in your product, and you can have the same social proof. But for complex technical products, you are still going to need hand holding from sales teams. It doesn't mean just because you do have sales led motions, it means, you aren't doing product led growth, and I know that may be a little controversial, but I'm going to pause and see if anyone else has some views on this one.
As somebody with a very enterprise background, I think it can be very challenging to say, here's a very technical product, go, you figure it out and then you find your way through. I don't think it's possible. You need that extra handholding. I can see that you, Georgia, is nodding.
Georgia: Yeah, a hundred percent. it just made me think of basically the platform I work on Flourish on data visualisation side.
It's really not as simple as just letting people go and just try to create a data visualisation. Obviously all the things you can create in Canva. It's very easy onboarding, smooth sailing, basically. But when it, once you start to talk about data and visualising data and telling stories with data, then it's more than just launching someone in a product, be like, go ahead, take your pick. Here's a lot of stuff. There's a lot of education.
There's a lot of looking at what the friction points are. What can we do better to help them come in with a prepared mindset of what they're about to encounter? How can we enable that and the data points like that data is really the source of truth for us. Yeah, I really empathise with what you just said, Caz. I think it's spot on.
Zack: Definitely. And I think as a consumer of a lot of complex technical products, you need to make sure you're getting the best out of it. You need to be using the full remit of that tool if you're putting that investment in, and you can't always just do that yourself through self serve.
You need some extra help there for sure.
Sheryl: Yeah, just comes back to that collaboration again, doesn't it? And how important that is of getting everybody onboard
Caz: I think that's the thing about your strategy as well. You've got to be really clear at what level of maturity you're at and how much you're going to be able to introduce this kind of thing across your company.
And if you've got multiple products, so you've got a portfolio of different products, who's your audience and who's aimed at, because you've got to start somewhere with a PLG strategy. You can't just go, it's all or nothing. You have to make decisions about how you introduce it, who you introduce it with.
You've got to make sure you have people bought into the idea that the experience is a kind of core part of what you offer, but you have to build trust with your customers. You have to build trust with the people who are using those products because then they will be the ones who will take that banner of your product and say, have you tried using 'bluh'. And there are so many products I could think of off the top my head that people have said, Oh, if you tried this thing, you should, you should give it a go.
Just based entirely off their experience of using it, addressing their needs. And also it not being pushed on them. I think there's an important element there of not feeling like you have to purchase something before finding out whether it's valuable or not. And that's, I think, why there is this tendency to try trials as a starter, but it's more than that.
You have to have your entire company set up behind these ideas, start small and build out.
Sheryl: Yeah, exactly. And it's just that reminder to yourself that it's not a sprint, it's a marathon when you want to kind of approach it with a product led growth approach. There's a lot that needs to happen in order to kind of get there, but it's not going to happen overnight.
It's something that you need to work with other people. It's something that you need to consistently do just to really bring it through to fruition.
Thank you. That was really interesting.
This emphasis on product is something that's reflected across the C-suite right now. Research from Product School shows a 41 percent growth rate in Chief Product Officer roles over the last three years.
Zack, do you see product taking on a more strategic leadership role and how influential do you think this is?
Zack: I think for us at Merlin, it's a little bit difficult. We're not a tech company, so we don't have a singular product that a customer comes in and purchases. We're an experience company, so people come and engage with us.
That's our core product, but within that experience, we have multiple different product lines that customers are going to touch. So this is web products and booking products and app products and how do we bring all of these into a place where everyone is pulling in that same direction, is taking that mindset of product led growth as we, as we call it here, but it's really an extension of customer obsession and customer focus and delivering on the expectations of what the customer wants because of all of these disparate touch points for the customer, that more strategic senior leadership role allows us to pull some consistency in there.
The complexity comes as to where does that sit within the business because we have operational teams, IT led product teams, marketing teams, all of these people are involved in that end experience. So the reporting lines and how this sits there is complex for us.
I do definitely see it taking that more strategic role. I think it, and the influence is coming, but for us as an older business as well, there's a lot of mindset change that needs to come with that. A lot of education as we take the business through a transformation into this new way of working.
So the influence will come. For us, it's not there yet, but it's, as you've just said, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Sheryl: Yeah, absolutely. And it just takes that time, doesn't it? Just to kind of put those roles in place, particularly like you've just said with those more traditional companies and those that aren't particularly that digital first.
Georgia, I'll come to you. Do you think there's anything that people can learn lessons from those more traditional companies who aren't digital first, like Zack's just mentioned. That can learn from companies like Canva. Is there any kind of key learnings there?
Georgia: I feel put under a spotlight now. If all my colleagues were here.
Sheryl: Or anywhere. It doesn't just have to be Canva.
Georgia: I could do it justice. I think there's a couple of things. Just chiming back to what Caz was saying around, people recommending the product to others. There's a couple of things that made me think about, on one hand, there's the storytelling aspect of it, where you enable people to tell stories about the experience they had with your product.
And I think that just goes to, again, back to the idea of, understanding their time to the value and how can they be an ambassador for your product? What is the surprise and delight you can add to that aha moment like, Oh, okay, I get what this product is all about.
And a bit of extra that will lead them to talk to everyone about your product. Maybe IKEA is a great example of this. I just put my whole room together. And I spent 10 percent of what I would on normal furniture, just for the sake of example but also the power of community.
And I've seen this firsthand with Canva and a number of other products where you, especially for products that maybe need a little bit more hand holding, where you get people to help you derive value from that product. That also can be really powerful a powerful way to bring people in the fold and, and stick a bit longer with the product so that they get eventually to the to the value that that delivers to them.
Those are like a couple of things that come to mind and I think they're they're applicable to more traditional businesses because they're not, they are related of course to the product itself, but I think they're fairly straightforward steps to start implementing.
There are things that will benefit regardless of the growth strategy you pick. They're just universally true that you do need people to talk about your product. And help them connect to each other and have that sense of community. That, and of course, putting the customer experience at the, at the forefront. So really understanding through and through from beginning to end what that looks like and where your friction points are. Yeah, just a couple of thoughts on that.
Sheryl: Yeah, I think that's really interesting. And particularly the putting the customer at the forefront of what you're doing.
I don't know whether anybody's got any examples of how they've gone about doing that, or places that they see doing really well of putting the customer at the heart of what they're doing and how that can influence product growth strategies.
Caz: I think one of the companies that I see getting a lot of love, support, and I can see the way that their strategy is turning into product led approaches, even filtering down to their customer service is actually Slack. People have a lot of love for Slack. People have a lot of hate for Slack. People have a lot of love for it. You can see people saying, oh, we should turn this into a Slack group. We should move into using this for our communications tools. And you can see in the way that they respond in their customer service, they have a specific brand and approach, but it's all about making sure things work for their users, they're responding to those and they're putting that experience really at the heart of it.
It's their company approach, it's not just one area somewhere deciding on something. So, I love the way that Slack approaches their growth opportunities. And although there are some companies that very much, if you look at growth patterns, you can see high takeoff of some products. Some of that isn't product led growth strategies. Some of that is all about acquisition strategies. I'm not going to name some of them and be their competitors, but you may be able to figure out who I'm talking about. If you bundle your product with other products or pull them into procurement strategies and say, you have to use these tools if you use this suite. That's actually not really product led, you're pushing that onto your users.
As you might say, great, I've got lots of users. Are they going to stick around? When they move to a new company, as I often see people go, should we go back to using Slack? Because I really like that. They love the tool. And that's, for me, what a good example of that working well looks like. I'd be interested if anyone else has any, any thoughts on examples they see?
Georgia: While you were talking, that was one one that I was thinking I was like, oh, but I have I have my beef with with how many notifications Separate story! Yesterday, is speaking of which one of those moments, Spotify wrapped Right Spotify.
It was my first really real subscription right out the gate when I first got my full time job. I can't work without proper music. And just really interesting to see, first of all, I remember when they maybe for a couple of months, they disabled this control F searching for a song in your playlist.
And I remember anger tweeting them like, how is this even possible? Who made this product decision? This is just a few years in my career. So a bit bold, I might say for that time, but, and they replied. They're like, Georgia, we'll let our product team know. A lot of people have told us that, that's great feedback.
And what do you know? The next time it was actually the next time they updated the app, that was the case, but also the surprise and delight aspect of understanding what you listened to this year. How does your mix of tastes and genres and artists looks like compared to others.
And it's, it's one of those cute, almost traditional, almanac type of things where you compare it to your friends. What do you have? What do I have? That's, that's a really, that's a really beautiful way to put the experience at the forefront and to make me feel like I want to come back to the product.
Zack: Yeah, so I'm a big fan of Todoist as well, keeping myself organised in my personal life and when they make product updates, they're really quick to to seek feedback to see how that's working for the users. So that they're not too quick to push you into some of these new ways of working until they've validated it a little bit.
They always give you the option to flow back to an older version as well if you want. So I like that flexibility of being able to engage with the product in a way that works for me.
Sheryl: Yeah, it sounds like all of those examples offer that real personalised experience, particularly the Spotify example, like the Spotify wrapped is completely personal and it's really nice to look back on your experience with that product.
And it encourages you to use it more because -I wonder what it'll look like next year. So you're already thinking a year ahead of like what your engagement is going to be over the year. So they're really great examples. Thank you.
Just to touch back on the CPO role that we talked about earlier, creating a product team or hiring a CPO of course is a great first step, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a company is automatically product led.
Caz, a question for you. How can leaders embed a product mindset and customer centric approach across an organisation in order to grow?
Caz: This is a really good question. I think I'm going to roll back slightly because I just want to repeat what I've already said about doing it at the right time.
It needs to be introduced at the right level of maturity. So just hiring a CPO isn't, you know, job done. You've got to hire a CPO anyway. But you need to make sure that you're thinking about product led growth at the right time of your maturity. If you have engineering or sales led growth motions, that's absolutely fine if you are at a certain point and there is nothing wrong with companies using different kind of approaches.
Sometimes that's how you find product market fit. You want to make sure that if you are in that cycle where you're thinking, Okay, we just really want to shift how we're thinking about this and how we're growing, you can then look to product led growth. There are some companies that have been around a long time as well, so having that huge shift into to PLG is a big step. And again, you've got to do that when you're secure financially in the right time. You've got the right kind of reports, not just having a CPO. You've got to have the right people down here as well. Can people look at things and strategise, or are they just going to go and execute on the little areas?
If you've got lots of little siloed chunks within your product setup, and the more enterprise you are, the more you find these silos exist. They're going to be shipping their org chart. It's going to be harder to have a strategy that sits across everything unless you've got the right kind of people in place, so it's not just about the people that sit up here, it's everyone across the company and how you organise around that.
I mean, I do feel as you mature growth shouldn't be about forcing things onto customers. That leads to frustration and this lovely phrase, and I can't remember who came up with it called the trust thermocline, where you think everything's going fine because all your customers are kind of there, and suddenly overnight everything goes horribly wrong and everyone's gone.
And that happens when people get complacent because they're going, well, everything seems fine today. And we'll just keep doing what we're doing. So going back to the product led growth approach is saying actually we're going to actively think about how we can reshape our structure and our thinking.
We're going to make sure we're tracking different kinds of measures. We're not tracking how much money we're made. We're tracking how many people are using a product and how they're using it. Are we getting people in? Are they are they adopting this and are they expanding their use? So at Smartsheet we talk about sort of landing and expanding is sort of our strategy.
So have we got people people in starting to use it? We introduced a free trial last year which then turned into a free plan, which is great.
People can come in, they can try the product out, they can then have a free basic plan, and we can then give them the opportunities to experience the product and understand how they might want to branch out and broaden their use of the product.
We've also been looking at additional trials for specific functions. Not everything, because it's such a complex product. There are some things that are going to need extra hand holding. So as part of our leadership team, we're saying, what are the areas that we think are good first steps for people to take if they want to expand their use?
It looks like I'm turning into a ghost as I'm talking, sorry. You know, what are the areas that are really going to make a difference to people? And how can we maximise trials for those specific functions that people are looking at using?
So I suppose just a little bit about sort of what, what we've done, how we're approaching product led growth. So we're shifting from 'here are some templates we've decided. Go and use them.'
So we're introducing a kind of curated, personalised approach to the product. So when you come in, you can build the things that you're looking for, rather than hunting around and seeing if anyone else has done something. So making it a little bit personal. We're shifting into being more of a philosophy than a box ticking exercise, which is really easy.
It's really easy to say, 'right, these are the things we need to do to achieve product led growth. Done it? Great, sorted.' People talk about metrics a lot when it comes to PLG. And, it's all about the right metrics. It's really easy to measure stuff, but is what you're measuring actually supporting your strategy?
Or are you just reporting numbers because you think they look good? Or are you not reporting things because they don't look good? And I think that's an interesting point. Are your team saying, what are the things that aren't going quite so well at the moment? And what can we do to shift and change that?
What's that telling us about what users do and don't want to see? So what can we actually start introducing and trying, to see how things things switch up, to see how our customers respond to that, and then taking action on it. I think it's a very active strategy. So it's not just a case of here, this is what we're doing, this is what, I the CPO say, is PLG. We're gonna do that great done.
It filters down to absolutely everything you've got to have a framework to attach it around. You've got to have measures that matter. And you've got to be actually pushing the right kind of adoption. So if people are buying your product more because you've got more sales pushing them, that means they're not discovering it themselves.
They're not able to talk about it. They're not sharing those things. In communities of people saying, love this thing and I wish we could do this with it. And then when that comes out, they're saying, brilliant. Here's how many people are now using this part of our product, or are they just kind of complaining because it's still not quite addressing their things.
I think you've really got to be on the ground listening to customers, getting a sense of how they're feeling and pulling that into your research, pulling that into your strategy and making sure that you're approaching it with them at the heart of what you're doing across all of your teams. I'm going to pause there because I'm taking up a lot of time, but I think there are a few things that you have to do more than just hiring a CPO, I think is my main answer there.
Sheryl: Yeah, absolutely. And we do know that everybody in product loves talking to customers and iterating on that product and that continuous iteration and getting that feedback. It's not a one and done approach when you come to a product led growth strategy. Thank you for that, Caz. So one last question for our panel before we move on to some of the questions coming in from our audience.
So for anybody that's listening to this, or listening back to the recording, and wants to start embedding a product led growth culture, what are some real simple ways that we can help them get started?
Georgia, let's come to you first.
Georgia: Yeah, I'll come from an angle of someone who's not leading product.
I would love to think what I do is more of a trusted advisor or helping or supporting or equipping the product team to make to make great decisions. Fingers crossed. I was thinking more of the actionable stuff. Like it can feel a bit daunting and especially if it's not something that's embedded in your culture, in your team culture, in your company's culture.
One thing I've noticed is that worked really well, and that's something that we're quite big on at Canva, is telling the story and making sure that everyone's on board on why this is actually going to help move the needle for the company. Help everyone understand how it's going to benefit their team. If you have a company that's traditionally marketing led or sales led, help them understand how this is going to 10x their efforts. Give them some tangible examples to bring them in the fold, because otherwise it'll just be like putting a plaster on.
It's not going to help unless everyone's rowing in the same direction. So selling the story, telling it and helping everyone connect to how this is going to make everyone's job a lot easier and a lot better. that's really helpful. And something like a lunch and learn can be very helpful to share some of these examples and for companies of a similar size or companies that they look up to, or they feel like they're really connected or industry specific. And then the other thing that comes to mind is really starting to listen to customers and auditing your product.
And ideally making everyone watch a few user testing sessions from beginning to end to understand what people are struggling with.
They tend to be very cringy. But once you're in there, the worst has happened. I've seen the pain points. Let's, let's have a look at how we can maybe facilitate some of this, or what could be something that's like a crawl-walk-run of this. How could we start to tackle some of these?
And then last but not least. Just starting to identify a few easy wins and experiments to run with. And we were mentioning earlier, Caz, around, testing out maybe a few templates to make available as a freemium or free tier, then maybe turning it into a plan, A/B testing some of these things, doing some onboarding experiments, to give yourself a bit of courage to say, this is doable, but not to make it seem like it's this huge bounce and that feels unsurmountable. Those would be three things that I guess from my perspective, I think would be super helpful, rallying everyone in the same direction. But yeah, curious to, to hear if anyone else has some, any insights on that or recommendations.
Zack: I was going to say, I think the same. I think it's all about bringing people on that journey with you, and in some older organisations that probably aren't leaning towards that mindset already, or aren't relying as much on the product teams. I think it's about talking the language that is already being spoken, because I don't think product led growth is necessarily something new.
It is a re manifestation of traditional marketing ideals of putting the customer first, delivering what the customer wants, giving them the best journey. So speaking in those ways to the people within the organisation to get them on board to get them on side and understanding what it is you're doing, and why you're doing it, that starts to ease that journey. And I think you'll find you have a lot more allies than you think you do initially. And people will start to grasp this. That that's absolutely what's working for us is is getting people onboard with that ideal, we don't even use the word product led growth internally because it does immediately conjure to a marketer the ideas of a product led build-it-and-they-will-come style of the 1980s. And so, making sure they know what it is and what you're doing at the fundamental level works wonders.
Sheryl: Brilliant, thanks. Anything additional you'd like to add to that, Caz?
Caz: I would say, I think that playing the long game is the biggest element of any kind of PLG approach. You can't just say, right, we'll add a trial and that's it. You have to think long term.
Some of it's about hearts and minds. You've got to use the right language to help get people bought into it. Also, it's not about you doing the hard sell for product led growth approaches. It's about proving the concept through tangible outcomes and making sure you're thinking outcome first.
So even if it's just making sure your OKRs, or whatever goals and measures that you set up, are appropriate for a PLG strategy. Making sure it balances the needs of your company, of your market. Accepting that sometimes a hybrid strategy is okay, and there is nothing wrong with that. But starting with measuring and your vision is probably the most important thing you can do.
Sheryl: Thank you so much for your responses and your insights so far. Let's jump across to see some of the questions that have come in from our audience this morning. So, we have a question that's come in. All of the examples we are talking about having good product led growth are predominantly digital first.
Are there any examples that we can think of in non digital industries? How do you think they have found success?
Anyone that would like to pick that one up?Maybe for those that we haven't got any examples for, do we think it's all the things that we've just spoke about that they could get started?
Zack: I think it is. I think it's focusing on experience on all of those touch points. How do you improve the overall product?
I come from a hospitality background, working in hotels, and the one thing that comes up in the hospitality background is loyalty programmes. Loyalty programmes are effectively points programmes, and they don't really garner loyalty. What garners loyalty is being really good at what you do, and delivering an experience that is over and above what the customer expects.
And that is effectively what we're talking about here. It's about how do you exceed expectations? How do you deliver something that just makes the customer stop for a second and say, wow. That doesn't need to be a massive, huge experience that is perfect. It can be little moments that you're known for that exceed what everyone else is doing and just give you that little lift.
And, that's enough. Yeah, I think that's the best way to go about it in the non digital world is looking at how you can surprise your customers.
Sheryl: Thank you. Thanks, Zack. Another question. What is the biggest challenge to successfully running product led growth in large organisations? How do you balance the philosophy with stakeholders who aren't brought in and are just looking at key business metrics?
Zack: So I can jump in again real quick as well, because we are a large organisation and we're split in different teams all across the world, all delivering different parts of the experience. And the absolute hardest part is getting people aligned on that singular vision. We have been through periods of decentralisation and recentralisation, and so there are still autonomous units around the globe who are making decisions and changing products without knowledge of a centralised team.
So we don't really have that overarching view of what the customer is getting at each point of the journey. So building out that longer product experience, is so much more difficult. So that for us is part of the long game. It's how do we bring these disparate people into this understanding and this vision?
It's a hard journey and it takes a lot of education and a lot of work, but you can you can do it eventually, and we start to see gains, incremental gains, as we do that.
Caz: I'd like to add something to that as well, to the element of working and operating within a big company, which again, might be a little controversial.
Sometimes you have to look at the span of control that you have, and how much impact you can make. Sometimes you are not going to change the hearts and minds of everyone in your company. If it's big enough, you can create your own area and you can start having control over your part of the product.
So actually I did this a lot at the BBC. So the BBC as a whole is a huge organisation. Lots of different kinds of products, and there's no real possible way to have complete alignment when your organisation is so big. But you can take your small span of control and decide how you want to build that. So that comes down to how you set your team up the kind of measures that you set and the goals that you set and how you can put users heart what you're doing within your specific area.
So maybe you won't be able to offer trials into things, but that's not all PLG. So there are elements of how much you can do within your area, you don't have to do the big sell outwards, so long as you just start small and scope out from there.
It's a long game as well. The more success people see here, the more they'll want to do what you're doing. And the more that you think of it as, you're kind of doing that same product led growth, but from a team element. You're you're showing what success looks like and what it can be like.
Sheryl: Absolutely we've got time for one more question what metrics should you measure and track to determine if a product led growth approach is working?
Georgia: Quite a few. Where do we begin? So from everything from customer lifetime value, your acquisition cost, which is the famous ratios of customer lifetime value and acquisition cost. There's so many theories there of what that ratio would be like, but clearly those are things that you should, you should have a look at.
Time to value is one of my favourite ones, obviously from a product marketing perspective. How long does it take for people to see, I know I spoke a lot about value, but generally that's a magnet for people. How long does it take for someone to get to that aha moment in that product, and if not then can they survive on the aha moment of someone else until they get to theirs?
Or are there any reinforcements you can have along the way or micro interactions that you can add along the way to give them a bit of that encouragement those would definitely be top of mind. For me.
Zack: Yeah, I throw in some customer sentiment metrics as well. So NPS, within our theme parks, we have rides per guest as a metric so we understand how much value people feel they've gotten from their day, things like that. So that you know that what you are doing in the product leads to that, that customer benefit.
Sheryl: Brilliant. Thank you. Well, unfortunately, that does bring us to the end of our panel today. All that's left to say is a huge thank you to Georgia, Zack, and Caz for taking time out of your day to chat with me this morning, and to our audience for joining us and submitting all of your questions.
We hope you've enjoyed this session as much as we've enjoyed taking part. Look out for the replay, which will pop into your inbox later today. Our next Byte event will be coming up in the new year. So make sure to follow 383project and Canvas on LinkedIn to hear more about that and secure your spot.
Finally, you can catch up on any past Byte event and read lots more about digital product thinking on the 383 blogs at 383project.Com. Thank you very much, everybody. Enjoy the rest of your day, and we'll see you all at the next Byte.
Zack: Thank you all.
Georgia: Thank you.
Caz: Thank you.