The Definition of Product Strategy

Let’s be real – it’s hard to produce consistent results without a clear product strategy. In my career, I’ve been fortunate to work at a number of companies who have demonstrated the power of working on product teams with clear strategies. That said, it can be difficult to articulate strategies or even know where to start. With this, I will take you through the essentials of what it takes to build a complete strategy to drive impactful results for your product team.

Before getting started, I would recommend checking out Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap. I will be referencing concepts covered in this book and it’s a fantastic resource to utilize on any product team. Specifically, the authors go into detail about what it takes to convert well-built strategies into even better execution. Too often, product teams will build strategies that fall apart during the execution phase. Conversely, I will take you through opportunities to buck this trend and develop a product strategy that drives results during execution.

First, I will provide a definition for product strategy.

At its core, your strategy should address the business that your team is going to pursue. In other words, think about your strategy as a combination of a vector and an endpoint. For example, your vector is the general direction that your product strategy will pursue in visualizing a new solution. On the other hand, your endpoint represents the final version of your product. Simply put, it’s where you’re aiming to get in the end.

Most importantly, your product strategy needs to be definitive. Said differently, you can’t try to pick five focal points – you have to pick one. Too often, companies try to bite off more than they can chew – and get overwhelmed with tasks. Instead, you need to zero in on one point of emphasis. In addition, your strategy needs to reach your entire organization cross-functionally to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Ultimately, your product strategy will lie somewhere in between your core mission and your product roadmap. Stay tuned for how you can set this strategy to satisfy immediate goals and lay the foundation for long-term success.

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About the speaker
Art Okamoto RetailMeNot, fmr. Product VP Member

Art Okamoto is the former Product VP at RetailMeNot, a leading savings destination connecting consumers with online and in-person retailers. Prior to joining RetailMeNot, Art worked at AliveCor, a company that is pioneering the creation of FDA-cleared machine learning techniques to enable proactive heart care. Art received in B.S. in Biochemistry from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of California Irvine. Art currently lives in Austin.