How to Use Your Product Roadmaps to Combat Market Saturation

Posted by Maziar Adl
Maziar Adl
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Illustration: focus one productCombatting market saturation requires strategic planning and innovation to differentiate your product and capture new market segments. Innovation helps keep your products relevant and competitive against other companies in your industry, while strategic planning and market research can open up new doors. These are just two strategies among many more that can help your company avoid market saturation before it has a major impact on your portfolio. 

Effectively utilizing product roadmaps can be helpful in this endeavor. Here are a few examples of how you can use your product roadmaps to spot the signs of market saturation early and avoid it:

  • Identify market trends
  • Focus on differentiation
  • Prioritize continuous improvement
  • Target niche markets
  • Diversify product offerings
  • Use the Agile approach
  • Invest in R&D
  • Monitor & Adapt


Why Does Market Saturation Happen?

Market saturation can happen to any product or service, and the reasons for it can vary. A particular market could experience an influx of competition, such as the current online streaming platform industry. A product might also reach its natural maximum number of customers, either on a micro level (the issue is with the product) or on a macro level (the issue is with the industry or market). 

Whatever the exact reason for the market saturation, your product managers can manage these challenges by being aware of their product portfolio performance and taking proactive action. 


Spot Early Signs of Saturation in Your Roadmap 

Illustration: customer reviews and feedbackWhen product managers monitor, analyze, and update product roadmaps on a regular basis, they’re more likely to catch the warning signs of market saturation early on. Declining product performance, customer feedback, and loss of market share can all be early signs that market saturation is on the horizon. 

As your product team monitors the performance of the product portfolio in the roadmaps, they’ll notice these warning signs early and take action toward solutions. The sooner product teams act, the more time they’ll have to course correct rather than being surprised when it’s too late. 


Why It’s Important to Review Roadmaps Regularly

To spot warning signs in the roadmap, your product management teams must use and review the product roadmaps regularly. The roadmap is a living, breathing document, not something set in stone. Your product teams cannot ignore the roadmaps until a problem arises or a new idea comes along. The roadmaps need continuous reviewing and updating. 

Thanks to the ever-increasing demand for cyber-physical products, product roadmaps have longer lifelines than ever before. Even after the physical product launches to the market, the software side must continue to develop. Through the software, companies can continuously deliver value to the customer and improve the user experience for the entire life cycle of that product. 

The roadmap is also the place to track key metrics for each product, such as market share, profitability, cost, customer satisfaction, retention, and whichever other measurable values are important to your company. Regularly checking in and reviewing the roadmap for warning signs is part of good product management. 


Regular Analysis Can Lead to Key Opportunities

You cannot track what you’re not measuring. Part of the product roadmap review is analyzing the key metrics. What is causing the numbers to increase, stagnate, or decrease? This often involves meeting with other departments to find the answers, such as customer success teams, marketing teams, distribution, or others. 

Analyzing the metrics can also help product managers spot gaps and opportunities in the market. With product improvements that address those opportunities, your company can avoid reaching market saturation in many cases. 


The Importance of Encouraging Innovation in Your Organization

Illustration: small steps to hit the target and meet product goalsTime and time again, companies that fail to prioritize innovation in their product strategy and find that their products fall behind the competition. They may start out with a leading product, but as they reach their maximum customer reach, they need to add new features to keep customers interested. As more competition enters the market, introducing new capabilities to consumers, the tougher the market share growth becomes. Any company that fails to perform ongoing competitive analysis in order to keep up with the competition can easily find its market share start to decline. 

There are many benefits in fostering a work culture that favors innovation beyond creating products that avoid market saturation. Your employees pursue product development because they are passionate about making great products. Encouraging their creativity and innovation will increase the rate of amazing ideas. And, when your teams feel their ideas are valued, they’ll be happier in their work. 


Using the Roadmap to Encourage Innovation

The right product roadmapping software can help organize and manage the creative ideas generated by your team. The ability to see an entire portfolio and then break down the information by product line, component, and individual product definition helps teams identify the current solutions and brainstorm better offers for the customer. 

We introduced our Capability Scoring feature to help product teams prioritize the voice of the customer while fostering innovation in the same central tool where they manage their roadmaps. When new ideas are easily adopted and implemented into the roadmap, product updates receive less resistance. 


Analyze Market Opportunities

An effective product roadmap can also support market analysis. As your team identifies emerging needs or gaps in the market, they can look over the product portfolio to see which roadmap might address those opportunities. If there is a gap in your product offerings and what the market needs, that information can be shared with product management. 

One solution to avoiding market saturation is to target niche markets. Looking over the product portfolio can reveal which product line would adapt best to a new market and address customer needs. From there, product teams can create a new segment for their product with a new product roadmap and marketing strategy to capture and communicate the unique value proposition of the proposed product.


Conduct Customer Feedback Strategies

Listening to the customer is always the best strategy especially when entering new markets,  to ensure your products continue to deliver value and answer their needs. It’s also an effective way to find new opportunities in the market. Your product teams can work closely with your customer success teams to gain valuable customer feedback about what is working with each product, what isn’t, and what other needs the customer has that might have been missed in the initial research. Companies that truly serve their customers well develop loyal customer bases and have long-term success, no matter what the competition is doing.


Equip Your Product Teams with the Right Product Roadmapping Tools to Avoid Market Saturation

When you’re ready to take a strategic approach to avoiding market saturation, ourGocious New Approach to Product Roadmapping eBook--600x314 product roadmap management software has the features and customizations your teams need. From high-level oversight of the portfolio to metric analysis of each product, product line, and component, Gocious software does it all. Schedule your free demo to learn more about how PRM software can support your product management teams. 

Topics: Product Roadmap

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