All related (11)
Virgilia Kaur Pruthi (she/her)
Principal PM Manager / Product Leader, Microsoft | Formerly AmazonFebruary 1

Such a great question! When you first set a KPI especially if you are in a new market and/or in a new product/customer space, it can feel uneasy. The best way I have learned is by setting something and tracking it over time, seeing if there is any measurable change. If not start by marking out the customer's journey (no matter who they are) and see if you can collect data on their interactions along the way. This may reveal some hidden trends you weren't yet measuring.

Jacqueline Porter
Director, Product, GitLabJuly 12

This is a great question. I am a fan of actually being ambitious and setting unrealistic targets or stretch goals and seeing where we end up in the first couple of reporting periods. To get a dose of realism, you can always reference analyst reports and right-size your total available market vs. serviceable market and current penetration into the new market. I don't advise setting realistic targets when entering new markets because that can lead to complacency instead of innovation. You can also leverage a range, and use a moderate case and best case target achievement. For example, if you are offering an existing product with 1M marketing analyst users to a new persona like project managers, you would want to evaluate what is the total presence of project managers in your customer base or industry. If you see that you only have 2K project managers in the current user base, but there are over 3M project managers in the industries you are serving, you can set an incremental goal somewhere between 2K and 3M, but you wouldn't want to set a 3M project manager user target right out of the gate since you have no idea how many of those users are actually servicable. 

Nico Rattazzi
VP of Product, ZumperFebruary 21

I would start by understanding what is the company being graded on by its investors and how is this new product going to deliver/contribute to that KPI. Let's say your investors are keen on seeing revenue growth this year. You can begin by benchmarking the lifetime revenue growth of the various product offerings of your company and then estimate (based on your user research/data) what will be the adoption rate for this new product area/market. You can then begin to model out some first year numbers. Of course, this will seem super arbitrary but truth be told once you launch, your predictions for subsequent quarters/years will only improve and that's when it's critical that the KPIs are accurate. Focus on product market fit for your launch and then focus on modeling according to comperative product growth.

Farheen Noorie
Director of Product Management, Growth and Monetization, ZendeskApril 19

+1 to arbitrary! I think setting goals for both new and existing markets may feel like excel magic, some numbers that are based on mainly assumptions and the product manager's gut. Its uncomfortable and may feel unscientific but I think all forward planning is like that. 

I would address some uncertainity in the following way

  1. Make sure I am tracking the right metrics, New markets could mean new metrics, the business is starting from scratch and may be different from the metrics that a mature market may have. Example in a mature market I would focus on expansions vs in a new market I'd focus on acquisition
  2. Small experiments to inform goals. I cant stress this enough and often see product managers trying to solve for too much at once. Its important to setup small experiements, learn from them, adjust goals and then rinse and repeat

Its not possible to remove uncertainity completely but its definitely possible to reduce it and get better at making assumptions.