Three important aspects of a crisp value argumentation
We are living in the information age. We are constantly bombarded with impressions from all directions and all media. Research, and perhaps our everyday experiences, say that our attention span is getting shorter. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. It might mean we are getting better at switching our attention from one thing to another and as a result we scan information faster, without committing things to our memory. If we sort information faster that means we reject information faster.
So how do you, as a product manager, make sure your value message does not get rejected? You need to increase the quality of your value argumentation. Here are three statements which can help you achieve that:
- Value Driven Product Management is a (continuous) process
I see four distinct phases when working with value engineering. The phases are Discover, Design, Connect and Convey. The most important phases for you as a product manager is the first two. You need to discover the values in your product and define them. Continuously. Because the customer need can change and external factors may change the customer’s pains and gains. Compelling events can trigger latent pains or gains and change the customer’s prioritization. As the technology matures the customers buying behavior will also change. All these reasons show that the discovery and definition of values are not one time jobs. You need to update your values continuously.
You need a consistent value logic
In the information age you are reaching your customer through many channels. If the message is not clear over the different media people will not get your message. And the messages will not be clear if you do not have a sufficient value logic. Value logic means understanding how values on different levels are connected. How the monetary gains relate to your technical solutions.
- Value need to be expressed in monetary terms
Speaking of the monetary aspect and logic, you should always connect your values to money. At the end of the day customers want to know how your values will help them save or gain money. If you can, you will also make it a lot easier for sales to sell your product. Everybody claims things such as “My product will make you more efficient”. “My product will increase your revenue”. But how? If you do not express it in monetary terms, in relation to the next best alternative, the claims are just empty words.So, it sounds easy right? In my experience it's not. Working with values means stepping up at least one abstraction level. That is perhaps the most important reason to why you need to end up in something concrete. In the monetary value. But do not be alarmed. You are a product manager and there are a lot of models and tools to help you on the way.