Ready to create a digital product? Awesome. Got questions? Of course, you have! But be warned: at icapps, our experience tells us that certain beliefs are clear signs you don’t have a digital product strategy in place. In this series of blog articles, we explore these signs and explain how the right strategy can set you on the path to success.

In the last blogpost we talked about how automation can help your employees. Today we'll dive deeper into the evolving target audiences

4. You’re worried your target group will outgrow your product?

It's important to know your target group. It’s important to know their needs and desires. It’s also important to know how they relate to your digital product. And it’s important to understand that these needs and desires will change. It’s not a question of whether your target group will outgrow your product. It’s a question of how you make sure your product evolves to meet their changing needs and desires.

Why will their needs change? Because the world is changing. And in all kinds of ways. Think of the effect Brexit had on postage and shipping between the UK and the EU. And think of how this changed online shopping. Technology changes too. Remember when computers filled entire rooms? We rarely used digital products in those days. But now we use them all the time.

There was a time when people only used telephones for talking to each other. Now they’re the most common way to listen to music, they’re constantly used for shopping, have replaced maps, and allow you to keep up with Instagram posts from your favorite Kardashian. As these and other changes happen, the preferences, needs, and expectations of your target group will inevitably change too. Fail to keep up with them and your target group is certain to outgrow your product.

Be prepared

So how can you make certain your product will meet these future needs? Preparation. And this is where things get tricky because you won’t usually know in advance how things are going to change. It’s important to keep an eye on how things are evolving. Look at the direction they’re moving in. And respond to the best of your ability. A digital product strategy will help you do that.

Time for an example. Let’s make you the head of a company that creates software aimed at small businesses. Your digital product strategy tells you each of these small businesses will have a maximum of ten regular users. Would you prepare your software for just ten users? Or expand it to twenty? What if your digital strategy has indicated that these client businesses are growing at an incredible rate? It might encourage you to cater to fifty users from the moment it’s released.

Alternatively, in order to strike while the iron is hot, you may stick to twenty for the original release, but immediately begin making plans that will allow you to expand the software to meet the needs of a hundred users. Your digital strategy will include the results of discussions with your target group. And that will give you insight. Insight is different from certainty. You don’t need certainty to be prepared.

Of course, you might decide not to change.

We see plenty of businesses that take this approach. They have their products. They refuse to update them. And they still expect their clients to remain interested. In some cases, this might work. But for how long?

Let’s say you’re a bank. Your target group? Digital natives aged 15 to 25. Your product? Bank accounts are easily managed with a clever app on a smartphone. You’ve captured your target group by offering a digital product. But who will your target group be in fifteen years? 

The app that encouraged them to open their first account with you will no longer be all they’re interested in. Aged 30 to 40, they’re looking for mortgages. They’ll also be aware of what other banks are offering. How do you meet their new needs? What is the role of digital products? There’s a clear need for change.

Look to the future 

Changing and meeting the evolving needs of your clients has a different effect. Your client develops positive associations with your product, your business, and your brand. And this means they’ll be more open to believing you’ll meet their needs in the future. But if you refuse to evolve and change, your target group will outgrow your product. They’ll stop investing time or money in it. Inevitably, they’ll end up with a negative view of your business and your brand. Why? Because you don’t offer them what they need. When an alternative comes along that looks like it’s better suited to them, they’ll wave goodbye to you. And you’ll have to wave goodbye to them.

Your digital product strategy is not set in stone. It’s not a one-shot thing. It’s a continuous process that needs to evolve, as your client’s needs and expectations evolve. Be prepared to update, change and improve your digital product strategy and your digital product. Plan ahead. You’ll impress your target group today, and still be impressing them tomorrow.

Would you like to know more about digital product strategy? Or to gain insights into your target group? Wondering what tomorrow will bring for you? Get in touch with icapps. We don’t have a crystal ball to tell you what the future will bring. But we have top-notch coffee. More importantly, we have the experience and insight into digital product strategy that will make a world of difference to your business.