“How do we help women be more successful when it comes to money?”
That was the question that Ellevest CPO Alexandria Stried set out to answer when she joined a founding team determined to “get more money in the hands of women.” This week on Product Talk our host, Transfix Product Marketing Lead Patrick Blute, sits down with a product leader with a proven track record in products geared toward long-term partnerships, now driving the conversation around women’s financial health.
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On assessing opportunities
Covid definitely changed the game for so many aspects of product management, but user research still stays as important as ever. Whether it’s in-person or via video hangouts, a product leader must constantly be listening to and learning from their user. Alexandra shares her thoughts on user research and why opportunity assessment remains at the core of product strategy
“We are really big on user research. There’s not a month that goes by that we don’t have some sort of input in person. In this case, it’s through Google Hangouts now that we’re all at home for COVID. But it’s research where we talk to folks about what they’re doing and and what their needs are.”
“Assessing an opportunity is one of the greatest tools any product manager or product leader can do. It’s easy to chase the shiny next thing, but you really need to sit down and do the research to understand where it makes sense to go next.”
“We also look at what’s happening in the marketplace, not just in other FinTech spaces, but also in like other lifestyle brands. So much of what I do here at Ellevest, I’m bringing learnings from my old job at Weight Watchers.”
On small steps for long-term partnerships
As host Patrick Blute states, “when designing a product for long-term partnerships, there’s going to be a long journey to finding where the success points lie.” Be it in weight loss or in financial health, nothing happens overnight. Knowing that the Ellevest is built with long-term partnerships in mind, Alexandria shares the core philosophy that enables stickiness for the user.
“Investing for a future home is hard work, and there’s really no easy way to get there. What we have found works are small steps, so much of our Ellevest experience is built around that.”
“We work so closely with our Chief Investment Officer to come up with recommendations and portfolios, our investment strategy. If you can get the organization around it and have them be thinking about ways to get people started and activated in a small way – that really is the goal.”
“When you start investing with us, we take you through what we call our Getting Started flow, which really lays out the fundamentals and investing. We show you three small numbers, you can get started with $5, with $20, with $50, but it’s small steps. Then once you get going and you make it a routine, you’re more likely to stick with it.”
On community and product prioritization
Community is a huge driver for generating product awareness and with social products carrying such massive appeal to consumers, it can be tempting for product leaders to try to replicate certain features into their own products. Alexandria shares insights on product prioritization and the alternatives to building a feature internally.
“Resources are so scarce. Whether you’re at a startup or a big company there are always priorities. You’d rather be spending your time building out things that nobody else has, and then pulling things that others have that you can use on other platforms to be helpful in that space.”
“As a founder, you don’t necessarily have to build all of this within your app. We don’t necessarily need to build a message board within our Ellevest app, because there are other platforms that are doing message boards better.”
About the host
I am the Product Marketing Lead for Transfix, a leading transportation solutions provider, combining tech and a best-in-class carrier network to reshape the future of freight. I am also a host for Product Talk helping bring product leaders together to answer the question: "What makes a great product?"