One of the toughest parts of working on a product is to give everyone a good overview of what you want to build and why. Especially people who are not on the product team. Marketers and Social Media Managers who have to create a community around the company and the product need to get an overview of what they are selling and communicating about.
During years I worked in product, I learn that one of the skills underrated and also that is the toughest to master is communication. It is why I came up with product canvas a single piece of document that will give you a way to communicate the value of your product to all the teams and stakeholders.
We all work in Product
Whether we have the title or not, the responsibility or not, we all work in product, and we need to have a common understanding of its value.
The problem is that the word "product" is overused and everybody uses it for different reasons. By overusing a word, it lost its power. I define a product as a tool, a software, a piece of content, a material which brings value to someone and solves something which was missing in their life.
Three parts composed the product canvas:
- History and Problems
- Ideation and Solution
- Message and Success
History and Problems
When working on a product on a new idea, I remember first the events and stories. They come from the interviews I made or experienced I lived.
It will become the history of the product. The product worked on didn't appear from nothingness.
It is always the result of experiences, pains or problems. This history is the product roots, and from a marketing point of view, it will give a good starting point for the reflexion on how to communicate about it.
Another part is composing the Genesis which is the audience. It is the people that will use your product, and you are going to sell it to.
From a product point of view, it helps you shape the experience, the tone, the messaging and also the experience inside it. From a marketing and communication point of view, it helps form the message and build the community around a common interest.
The first two part is just the beginning. It becomes complete when you interview the audience, go through the market research and identify the problems and pains they got.
Before talking to your potential audience, everything is the only hypothesis, and you learn so much by interviewing them. You confirm your assumptions, and your idea starts to become real.
This four-part together represents the "Why' of the product.
Ideation and Solution
The ideation and the solution are coming after the first part. You connect all the dots that you draw by doing your research, and this is how from an idea, a dream, you find a solution that suits your audience.
This solution will also take shape by putting into it your experience, pitching it to friends and your network. By gathering your knowledge, blending it all, the product you are creating will make more sense.
Building a product for me is like a marathon, you discover and learn more about yourself and on the people around you.
There is a warning in that part which is to keep the scope real. The scope is mainly answering what you do and mostly what you are not going to cover. It is not something set in stone, and it can evolve.
This canvas is not blocked through time. It has to evolve through your discovery, and you can pivot any cell to make it fit with your research and your findings.
Message and Success
From a digital, social, community management and marketing, this part is one of the most important. It helps you shape the message based on what was worked until now.
Digital marketer, it is the part you shine. Once you understand the product and why it was built and for whom it was made. You can work your magic and make it successful.
Tell me what you think. Share it, like it, it will be awesome. Leave a comment below or tweet me @philnpa