For any business to thrive in the corporate arena, it must generate revenue through selling products or services. However, this isn’t like your childhood memories of setting up a lemonade stand and making a quick buck. With such high stakes and heavy-hitting competition, the law of the entrepreneurial jungle is always “survival of the fittest.” The goods you sell in the market doesn’t just have to be the best, but it must target the right customer base, be better than your competitor’s product by a few steps, and be profitable to manufacture. Therefore, if you want your marketing plan to succeed, utilize a product roadmap.
What Is a Product Roadmap?
If you’ve watched “Shark Tank” long enough, then you’ll know how it goes; aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business ideas and products while the sharks decide to either seal the deals or rip them apart—puns intended. However, some of the most successful product proposals found on the show were well-equipped to face the harsh reality of business and succeed. So, what was the deciding factor between the pitches that work and pitches that sunk? A practical product roadmap.
A product roadmap is a tactical marketing device used by multiple corporations and businesses to produce high-quality products and services that are competitively viable in the market’s status quo. In other words, it’s a hybridized amalgamation between a progress report, a Gantt chart, and a sales plan. This document allows you to observe the practicality of your goods and then organize a support system that synergizes with your product to further enhance your company’s probability of success. With that said, the level of detail that goes into your roadmap should be enough to set a direction, but flexible enough to make necessary future adjustments.
Aim High and Climb
Mountaineering and product pitching aren’t that far off from each other—both are abundant in dangers and hazards, both take experience and finesse to execute successfully, and both utilize roadmaps well. But why stop there with the comparison? If you look at this notion even more profoundly, you’ll discover that plenty of what a mountaineer can teach you are viable strategic plans that are applicable when climbing up the corporate ladder.
Here are a few things that climbers do and use that entrepreneurs can learn from: safety is the number one priority, so its best to assess the risks before proceeding with a project. It’s best to have a contingency plan should things go south. Set your goal high and have a plan of action to guide you, yet be willing to adjust should anything come up. Never take on the massive alps without the needed experience—it’s best to start small and then expand from there. Finally, when you reach your checkpoint, it’s best to take a step back, relax, and enjoy the view for a bit to prepare yourself for the next challenge.
6+ Product Roadmap Samples
The simple definition of a roadmap is that its a record of a product’s progress. Unfortunately, it isn’t that basic in actuality and is quite complicated to create. So, to help you out are these templates that you can use on any device you have for your convenience.
1. Product Strategy Roadmap Sample
2. Basic Product Roadmap Template
3. Standard Product Roadmap Sample
4. New Product Roadmap Template
5. Theme-Based Product Roadmap Template
6. Product Roadmap Sample Template in PDF
7. Global Product Roadmap Development and Management
How to Create a Product Roadmap
Product roadmaps are fantastic tools for effective sales and resource management. They give insight on what the product or service requires to fully function if there are plans to enhance quality further and if an even more successful launch is possible. However, you can only take advantage of these qualities if you have the determination to go through meticulous, yet necessary processes. If only you had a few helpful tips and tricks that you can use to gather your thoughts and supervise your draft, right?
1. Stick to Practical Ideas
How much of a good idea is it if you try to sell water-resistant shoes in a country that’s mostly a desert? Or set up a beef butcher shop in India? Multiple factors go into a product’s viability; it isn’t just about how unique it is. If you need a perspective check, put yourself in the shoes of your investors. Which product would they most likely splurge their money on? The one that’s easy to produce but is so uncommon that no one ever has heard of it? Or the one that solves a current problem many customers face?
2. Learn From Your Enemy
Contrary to popular belief, utilizing a competitor analysis isn’t “thieving” and “conniving.” This is a frequently-used method of progress by multiple corporations. If you have an idea of how your competition effectively pushes their products into the market, you can learn and incorporate their method. Experience is the best teacher, true, but it doesn’t always have to be your own—utilize data from your opponents to strengthen your product roadmap.
3. Set a Timeline of Activities
Whether you use a marketing calendar, a Gantt chart, or any other progress recorder, it’s best to establish a schedule. If done correctly, this allows you to utilize your hours efficiently, gives each phase of the roadmap ample time to come to fruition, and keeps you from overworking while trying to reach near-impossible deadlines. Furthermore, when your project roadmap has a set timeline, it allows for smoother transitions when it comes to upgrades and improves the quality of your goods.
4. Track and Record Information
When drafting your product roadmap, make sure to include some “cartilage” to your skeletal structure. What this means is that you can’t plan for every hurdle that comes your way, so plan around them. Whatever data you’ve gathered for and from your product roadmap, it’s best to document them all for future reference. You never know, the solution to your current problem might be found in your past transactions.
Successfully driving your goods and services into the current market requires a detailed product roadmap. One that sets your climbing direction provides you with an effective marketing strategy. It also gives you checkpoints to take a breath and gather your data before venturing off once again on your quest to prosperous entrepreneurship. Yet, as helpful as a product roadmap is, its triumph is dictated by one major factor: You.
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