Getting internal buy-in as a PM, the importance of thinking big, and recruiting participants for user research
Product Pill #3
Hope the Sydneysiders are keeping dry in this atrocious weather 🌧
This is the third edition of Product Pill 💊 . If you haven’t yet read the previous two editions, give them a peak!
In this weeks edition of Product Pill, I discuss:
How to get internal buy-in as a PM
The importance of thinking big and making big bets
How to go about recruiting participants for user interviews
Getting internal buy-in as a PM 👩💼
As a PM you need to be good at building a case and convincing people why you know something about the user that they don't. Know I understand why PMs liken their role to that of founders. Your job is to convince people that the problem you have identified is worth solving now, similar to how a founder needs to convince a VC to invest in their idea in order to make it a reality.
Getting internal buy-in is something that you don't realise the importance of until you understand how many initiatives a company wants to execute at any given point in time.
I've definitely found it challenging getting buy-in as a new PM. From my observations, I think it ultimately comes down conviction. You have to realise that nobody knows anything about your user with 100% certainty. Every decision that a PM makes is an educated guess (hypothesis) at best.
However, with solid research to back your guess you can be more confident that you're making the right bet. If you're not thorough enough in your research your guess will be just as good as anyone else's, so there’s no reason for people to trust and support your idea.
When you are gathering evidence to build a case, it helps to pull from a variety of sources, such as past studies, product reviews, user surveys, user interviews, session recordings, heatmaps and product metrics. You have to continue asking questions when you think you know the answer and digging deeper.
The importance of thinking big and making bigger bets 💰
One key lesson I have learnt is the importance of thinking big and being able to make bigger bets. It helps to always ask yourself "how many users/customers does this problem/solution impact?" before deciding whether to devote resources to explore it in further detail.
This is where data is powerful. Always seek to quantify every step of the problem. For example, if you’re deciding if it’s worth redesigning a specific interaction, consider: how many people see the interaction (traffic), how many people engage with the interaction (click-through rate / engagement), how many people successfully complete the task (conversion) etc.
Having the right product analytics tools in place to track key events in the funnel and user journey will allow you to isolate the biggest pain points and opportunities for innovation.
Recruiting participants for user research interviews 🙋🏽♂️
I'm a firm believer that PMs should be involved in user research as often as possible. They are ultimately the voice of the user/customer, so they need to understand how the user/customer thinks and behaves to build the best experience possible. The responsibility of user research shouldn't solely fall on the shoulder of the Designer/UX Researcher.
When it comes to user research, as a PM you need to understand how to find and reach the right users and how to convince them to participate in a research session. There are many methods to reach the desired user who you want to interview. You should treat user interview recruitment just like you would any other funnel. Two factors you should consider are volume and conversion.
If you're trying to interview new users who have little to no exposure with your product, you will need to go to them. These users will be harder to engage, so a high volume, low conversion method of outreach such as a mass email campaign may be the most effective method of reaching these users. I recently had to recruit newly registered users who did not activate, and I found it was mostly a volume game. When you're dealing with high volume, it becomes especially important to run variant tests on variables such as the subject line of the email and call to action button.
Mentioning what’s in it for the user in the subject line is important to get them to open the email. The incentive needs to be clear even before they have opened the email. Through several variant tests run in Braze, I found that a subject line such as "You're Invited | Paid User Research Session" tended to perform the best. This subject line works well because 'You're Invited' makes the user feel important (who doesn't like being invited to things!) and 'Paid' grabs their attention without giving away too much. There's still an element of curiosity because you're not revealing what the reward is yet, however, you're making it clear there is a reward.
When trying to recruit users who have had more exposure with your product, you can let them come to you, hence, recruitment methods associated with a lower volume and higher conversion rate may be more suitable. One example could be creating a popup banner on your website which leads to a survey that allows you to filter for the right users.