Developing Market-Leading Products – Strategies and Techniques for Growth Engineering

Speakers: Helena Tan (Fitbit)  Anna Majkowska (Pinterest) June Wang (Instagram) Karen Kim (Airbnb)

This session was anchored by June Wang from Instagram and was very Interactive. The four panelists  did a marvelous expose on developing market leading products and gave us insights based on data from the companies they work in.

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The discussion  was structured around the four stages of the growth cycle.

On User acquistion. One thing that worked well is SEO, according to Anna from Pinterest. Especially important while trying to grow internationally, where there is a lot less brand awareness,/ word of mouth. Pinterest is largely image based, she said and since it is pretty challenging for search engines to interpret images, their strategy was to make more content.

Also, they paid close attention to quality and filtered content so that less than quality didn’t get through. Another pretty good strategy employed was use of site maps. They also limited amount of content accessible by a user that was not signed up; and prompted them to sign up if they wanted to see more. They basically gave a sneak peek of value proposition.

I learned that about 70% of things you try  on growth will probably not work. You have to try a lot of things.And when you find that which worked, optimize and improve it.

June Wang talked about Making the sign up process seamless as a way to acquire users. She also pointed out some thing that were not so obvious that had to be done to secure users. One of which was reducing errors on sign up forms.(For example using double checks for passwords). The other was mitigating abandonment by adding a confirmation of sign out for users.

 Helena Tan talked on Personalized ads. She emphasized presenting relevant content to customers based on their behavior, information  of which is and should be tracked.

On User activation. Karen from airbnb mentioned that a challenge is scaling. At airbnb they try to minimize friction on web flow. They minimize difficulties in using the platform  so that they could win users’ trust. She also talked of payments. An important trend is mobile payments. They also had a lot of success with presenting users with methods of payment that was familiar to them.

On the third stage of growth which is User Retention. (Keeping the romance with users alive), Helena Tam advocated personalized retargeting ads as an effective technique  It is important for an advertiser to have full picture of a customer’s behavior across different devices. That of course means that this behavior has to be tracked.

There are some tricks to bringing back users who have stopped engaging.

Timing is really important. The sooner you can bring people back the better.According to June, Study has showed that bringing them back sooner was more effective.

The session ended with a Q & A section which was even more illuminating. I thoroughly enjoyed it and you can contact me for the notes if you want.

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