May 7, 2019

Ask IH: how to market a single-serving tool?

I've created https://www.kanochart.com to help product people create Kano surveys and analyses to prioritize their product roadmaps with.

I've gotten in touch with several of its users to better understand their needs and the feedback I get is generally favourable (and enlightening :)).

Of course, not everyone does a Kano survey every day, so the tool really is something that people use only once so very often.

I really want to attract more users, because I really enjoy building and improving the tool knowing that it's helping people out there build better products. I've joined some communities to drop a link to the tool whenever it seems relevant, but that's quite an intensive way of marketing what is basically a side project.

So how would you market a tool like this, knowing that it's currently free (meaning I don't want to spend money on advertising)?

Thanks!

#ask-ih

  1. 2

    A couple of thoughts:

    • A tough question someone once asked me about a side-project: Is this really a product? Or is it just a feature? People generally don't buy features.

    • It looks like you're trying to do some content marketing with the blog, which is great if you've got little budget. Maybe consider cross-posting your stuff to somewhere like Medium / Hacker News? Also be sure not to bang on about Kano in every post, I guess.

    • You could also try to build a following in the target market on other platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, sharing relevant content, getting into relevant discussions, and sharing your content. That's not easy or quick, of course, but becoming a recognised voice on the topic will take time.

    • I've been reading about Product Management for a long time, and I don't ever recall coming across the Kano method before. That means to see the value in your tool, I need to go and learn about Kano first. Maybe you should re-word your UVP / nutshell messaging to be about Roadmap Prioritisation rather than about Kano?

    1. 3

      +1 on your point about not being familiar with Kano charts. I’ve been working as a PM for years now and haven’t come across anyone who employs this methodology. You might consider refining the value prop copy to clarify what’s unique about Kano. Nice landing page, though, overall.

      1. 1

        Thanks! I'm thinking about redesigning the home page to tell more about the surveys and the analyses and I'll keep in mind to better communicate the value of the method itself too.

    2. 2

      Thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated! I'll work on them.

      Just a little follow-up question on your first point: what do you exactly mean with "feature"? Do you mean that it could/should be a feature of a larger product?

      1. 2

        Yeah, I'm not necessarily saying that is the case , but I think you should think about whether that might be the case. Think about what's the problem you're trying to help people solve, and how much of that problem does your online Kano survey solve. If the ultimate goal is delivering valuable features, and a roadmap is one part of that, and a Kano survey is one part of that, you start to see that your tool, while useful, might be a very small part of achieving the end goal, which probably limits your opportunity to extract value from it. If you move up the chain and try to help with something bigger, e.g. producing roadmap, you have a more full-featured product which more people would think about shelling out for.

        Anyway, I think if you want to charge for it, and you already have traffic coming to it, your best bet is to start experimenting with ways to charge people and see what sticks.

  2. 2

    Start charging.

    I would say have an expensive tier, that way you can cold call/email customers.

    Get some case studies.

    Build it into a SaaS app that has an embedded modal into a website, survey 10% of the users every month. That way you have fresh data all the time, and makes it worth while for the PM to check.

    1. 1

      Thanks! I've been running a Kano survey on the website itself too, and white-labelling it and making it embeddable in websites is high on the priority list. I'll definitely keep your pricing comment in mind when thinking about pricing that feature :)