If you want your business to be successful, you need a product with sufficient market demand. Product market fit (PMF) gives you a way to calculate the relative demand for your product – and brainstorm new ways to improve it.
But what exactly is this metric and how can you best use it within your organization?
PMF: The Basics
is a description of whether a product within your business is a good “fit” for your target market. If a product is a good fit, your audience will want to buy it – meaning more sales and more consistent revenue for your brand. If it’s not a good brand, no amount of marketing and advertising is going to be able to close the gap.
PMF attempts to simplify the equation, consolidating multiple aspects of consumer interest in one.
- Desire. How much does a consumer want to buy your product? When they see an advertisement for your product for the first time, does it make them want to go to a store and purchase a copy of their own? If the consumer currently uses the product, how much do they want to continue using it?
- Understanding. Does this consumer understand what the product is and how it works? Do consumers feel confident in what they’re buying?
- Evangelism. To an extent, PMF can also include brand evangelism. In other words, how likely is it for a consumer to recommend this product to others? The more your customers like this product, the hotter the word of mouth is going to be.
If a consumer in your target demographic likes your product, wants to buy your product, and doesn’t like the idea of giving up your product, you’re in a good spot.
The Importance of PMF
Why is PMF an important variable for business owners to consider?
- Testing new products. First, PMF gives you an opportunity to conveniently test your new products. No matter where you are in the development process, you’ll have a chance to allow customers to read about the idea, test the product, and find out what they think about it. Because PMF is a consistently measurable metric, you can compare your products against each other – and determine whether they’re going to be profitable for your business.
- Understanding your audience. PMF is also a gateway to better understanding your audience. With the proper surveys, you can get a feel for how people think about your brand, how they like your products and what, specifically, would make them happier with your product.
- Avoiding lost time and money. In some ways, PMF measurement is a form of loss prevention. If you find out your product isn’t a good fit for the market, you can retool it before releasing it. That means you’ll be able to save both time and money that would otherwise be wasted.
- A faster feedback loop. Products typically go through cycles of development and multiple phases of growth. With PMF surveys and consistent measurement, you’ll have a faster feedback loop to fuel this cycle.
How to Measure PMF
So how exactly do you measure PMF?
There’s not a single, consolidated and universally agreed upon metric for PMF; it doesn’t function on a scale of 1 to 10, for example. Instead, you’ll need to evaluate PMF using a variety of different measurement methods and metrics.
- Initial sales. If you’ve already launched the product, you can measure PMF based on the number of sales you’ve been able to generate. In some ways, this is the most reliable metric; if people are buying your product, it means it’s a good fit for them. The downside is, of course, that your product will already be on the market.
- Customer retention. You can also measure PMF in terms of customer retention. This is especially valuable for ongoing services and subscription models. Once a person begins to subscribe to your service, how likely are they to continue subscribing indefinitely?
- Surveys. Possibly the best way to measure PMF is through surveys. Product market fit surveys allow you to tap into the mind of your target demographics, no matter what phase of research and development you’re in. You can find out how likely a person is to buy your product, what they think about your product, and more, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data to form your conclusions.
In the grand scheme of your business, PMF is just one metric. But it’s one of the most important metrics if you want to make sure your product is a good fit for your target audience. Whether you’re brainstorming a new product, troubleshooting a competitive problem, or just want to connect with your audience better, it’s in your best interest to start measuring it.
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