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Product Strategy

Gauging Product-Market Fit

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
June 12, 2023
Hand holding a puzzle piece

Product-market fit (PMF) is one of the most crucial elements for a startup’s success. It requires answering the question: “Does the market need my product?” Product-market fit is the ultimate indicator of a product’s success and can be measured through both qualitative and quantitative metrics.

Quantitative Metrics Indicating Product-Market Fit

When it comes to quantitative metrics that indicate product market fit, the two main metrics to watch out for are customer retention and revenue growth.

Customer retention is a measure of how likely users are to revisit your product or service. Look at the number of users who return to your product over different periods of time. If you see that the number of returning users is consistently increasing and the trend is upward, chances are you have product-market fit.

Revenue growth is also a good indicator of product-market fit and relates to your ability to monetize your product or services. According to Deloitte, digital offerings with high growth “have quick time-to-market, strong customer engagement, and international appeal”. All these factors contribute to your ability to effectively sell your product or service.

Qualitative Methods for Exploring Product-Market Fit

Qualitative methods for exploring product-market fit can be just as powerful as quantitative methods. For example, a great way to measure product-market fit is by asking customers to provide feedback on their experience.

By creating a survey and sending it to customers, you can collect insights on your product or service itself, the customer service experience, and customer evolution over time. Consider sending out the survey at different stages of the user journey, e.g. right after users register and right after they make a purchase. You can also use customer interviews and focus groups to dive deeper into customer feedback. These methods may require additional investment, but they can also provide higher quality insights.

Proactive Strategies for Gauging and Adjusting for Product-Market Fit

Once you have an understanding of your product-market fit, it’s time to devise a plan to adjust for it. Here are some proactive strategies you can use to strengthen your product-market fit:

  1. Find new users. Identify the types of users who are most likely to use your product, study their pain points, and develop targeted user acquisition campaigns
  2. Improve existing offerings. Analyze user feedback to identify areas for improvement and prioritize features accordingly
  3. Update existing marketing and advertising channels. Examine existing channels for effectiveness and don’t be afraid to try new ones

Tips for Determining Whether Starting Over is Necessary

Sometimes, a product or service may not have product-market fit, and it’s best to just start over. To determine whether starting over is necessary, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are your user acquisition efforts producing inconsistent results?
  2. Is customer engagement declining over time?
  3. Are you unable to monetize your product or services?
  4. Is your product continually being outperformed by competitors?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it may be the time to go back to the drawing board and try something new.


Finding product-market fit is key for any startup’s success. Whether you decide to reset and try something new or make adjustments to your existing offering, relying on both qualitative and quantitative metrics to assess your progress will be essential. By leveraging the resources and expertise of an experienced software development studio like OneSeven, you can reach your product-market fit goals in no time.

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