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Product/Market Fit: The Marketing Lesson I will Never Forget

Product/Market Fit: The Marketing Lesson I will Never Forget
by Nick D'Alessandro, posted 10/21/2016

Like many of you, I was very excited when I launched my first product and business.

I created a solution to a problem that many entrepreneurs were experiencing, and I was very eager to help them.

In fact, I was so intent on continuing to strengthen my solution that, to a great extent, I overlooked how the solution was going to be perceived!

Then I learned something I would never forget.

There is a HUGE difference between developing a great solution and developing a product that people DESIRE!

Finding the Product/Market Fit

If you are a solopreneur or small business owner and want to successfully grow your sales, you first need to achieve “product/market fit”.

All of the marketing in the world might not be able to resuscitate your business if your target market doesn’t see your product as something they want or need.

You might be asking yourself, “Ok, but what exactly does ‘product/market fit’ mean?”

Though many experts have a slightly different version, I like the simplicity of entrepreneur and start-up advisor Sean Ellis’ definition:

Product/market fit is achieved when approximately 40% of your surveyed customers (or users) say they would be very disappointed if they no longer had access to your product or service.”

It’s logical to think that creating a great solution naturally creates a strong demand, but that isn’t always the case.

Don’t mistake the need for a solution as an endorsement for your particular product or service.

That doesn’t mean your product doesn’t have value. People just may not perceive it as the best choice of medicine for their pain.

What Can You Do??

  • Get the product out there, even if it’s a stripped down version, and start testing it with your target market.

If you rush a full scale version without properly testing it, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.  Take the time to assess your audience.

  • Ask questions and then listen.

Survey your users and customers about how you can create or modify your product or service so it’s something your target market wouldn’t want to live without! 

How do you accomplish this without getting slanted or biased results?

  • Survey users who are most likely to want or need a product like yours
  • Survey users who will give you honest feedback.

Go beyond just finding a solution. Find the solution that holds the most appeal for your target audience.

Testing your product with customers and getting their feedback will be far more effective than investing in the best marketing only to find out you’ve created something that not many people want!

Wishing you much success!


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About the Author

Nick D’Alessandro is a small business strategist and founder at He is excited to share his 30 years of business experience by helping small business owners grow their business and fulfill their career purpose.

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