Believe it or not, “pre” and “post” product-market fit are two different worlds that require different approaches, different mindsets, different budgets, and, of course, different resources in your team. While no one can argue with regards to the awesomeness of finding product-market fit, executing a confirmed plan can be tricky since we all know “the devil is in the details”.
Successful product managers systemize their customer interviews based on product-market fit:
“Pre” product-market fit interviews require more effort to identify potential customers. It is way harder to find candidates that match your target group and convince them to spend time talking about your product idea. Product managers find their candidates (external interviewees) on LinkedIn (applying search criteria such as location, job title or industry), online forums and communities (Reddit, Quora, Twitter), competitors’ social media pages. Product managers focus on exploring pain points and validation interviews at this stage.
“Post” product-market fit interviews leverage the user base the company developed around the product (internal interviewees). Product managers are in a better position to use multiple active and passive approaches to learn more about how the product is perceived by their customers. Some of the most used techniques include the usage of live chat, talking with people that comment on the company’s blog posts, talking with power users (people that are more informed about the product and use it), talking with people that are engaging with your company’s social media networks posts.