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As we continue our poll series to understand the priorities and challenges that product executives face (and yes, I am still obsessed with polling data as we draw closer to election season), I wanted to share the results from the second poll – like the first poll there were over 200 responses and represented a pretty solid cross-section of product management, marketing and development roles across all types of industries and geographies.
Here are the results: About 41 percent of total respondents, and 45 percent of large organizations, said less than 50 percent of product ideas come from customers, partners and suppliers.
My take: This suggests that companies are still struggling when it comes to ensuring that their products and features are firmly based on the voice of the customer. Like I mentioned in my previous post, are we seeing a theme here? Are most product decisions today made based on someone’s favorite features, political arm-wrestling, or HIPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)?
What do you think? Is this the right mix between internal vs. external product ideas -- or have we just become used to developing products and features sitting in our cubicles, not really caring about what customers really want? Or maybe we just don’t have the time to meet with our customers, partners and suppliers to generate new innovative ideas.
While we can interpret the results and speculate based on all of the above, one thing I believe is certain- it is imperative that we include the Voice of the Customer throughout the innovation lifecycle today, collaborating at each step to not only drive new levels of customer intimacy but also develop the right products that will accelerate profitability and growth in this new ‘innovation’ economy
As always, I welcome your comments, thoughts on this poll.