Companies that understand product-led growth (PLG) recognize that success comes from putting the user first. They develop a deep understanding of how people interact with and use the product. They tailor the product experience to seamlessly move the user from discovering the product, trying the product, experiencing value, buying the product and even sharing with others—ideally, this is done digitally, with no human intervention required.
When done well, the product can truly sell itself.
But therein lies the challenge: when it’s done well. PLG may sometimes be misperceived as easy. For example, some misguided individuals assume they are “product-led” if they simply add a free trial; there is a lot more that goes into it besides a free trial.
Building products that sell themselves is hard work.
What is product-led growth?
Product-led growth (PLG) is, at its core, a business methodology that relies on the product as the driver behind growth. It requires an organization to build the product in such a way that it drives customer acquisition, retention and expansion.
While leveraging free trials to let users experience the product before a purchase is a big part of the success of a PLG strategy, especially in our age of self-service, it is insufficient in itself.
To provide real value to the user, you must invest intentional time and research into understanding the user to ensure the product you’re offering actually addresses the challenges your customers are trying to solve.
Does PLG make sense in today's economy?
Today’s economic conditions are forcing organizations to revisit budgets and streamline their expansion tactics. During this time, some SaaS organizations are evaluating PLG as a leading method to effectively scale.
PLG is not a cost-cutting measure.
Some companies have embraced PLG as a means to reduce costs in marketing and sales. It is true that you build the sales process in such a way that you are less reliant on a salesperson, but you will need to invest in other ways.
PLG requires a different type of investment, like investing in programs such as customer research, user experience (UX) and product management.
PLG companies are more resilient.
Companies that embrace PLG invest greatly in understanding customer needs and solving them in real ways to create a better product. This translates to greater customer satisfaction and better customer retention.
Reap the benefits of a PLG strategy.
Building a PLG strategy is a commitment to building an engine.
PLG is an extremely effective strategy when companies take the time to really understand their customers. This requires an investment and intentional commitment to understand what challenges users are looking to solve, how people interact with their product and the value they expect from that interaction.
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