Understanding and Tracking Product Market Fit

March 27, 2024
minutes to read
Justin Bohlmann
Table of Contents

Building a lasting product is incredibly hard, and achieving success isn't merely about having a great idea; it's about finding the perfect alignment between your product and the market. This is where the concept of Product Market Fit (PMF) and tracking it can be groundbreaking for your business. In this blog, we delve into the benefits of tracking PMF, its origins, how to measure it, tools available for monitoring, and what constitutes a good PMF score.

What is Product Market Fit?

Product Market Fit, a term popularised by venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, refers to the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand. While Marc Andreessen popularised the term, Sean Ellis coined the term and developed the methodology to measure it effectively. Ellis introduced the concept while working with startups in the early 2000s, focusing on finding the right fit between a product and its target market. His approach emphasised early-stage validation and iterative improvement to achieve optimal product-market alignment. It signifies the point at which a product meets the market's needs, leading to widespread adoption and customer satisfaction. Achieving PMF is crucial for long-term success, as it validates the viability of your product in the marketplace.

Benefits of Tracking PMF

PMF is one of the best metrics for a business to monitor:

  • Validation of product concept: Tracking PMF allows you to validate whether your product solves a real problem for your target audience. It helps understand if there's a genuine demand for what you're offering.
  • Improved decision making: By continuously monitoring PMF, you can make informed decisions about product iterations, feature enhancements, and marketing strategies. This data-driven approach minimises guesswork and maximises the likelihood of success.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: A product that resonates with its market enjoys higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Tracking PMF enables you to identify areas for improvement, ensuring that your product consistently meets customer expectations.
  • Increased revenue: Products with strong PMF are more likely to experience rapid adoption and higher customer retention rates. This, in turn, leads to increased revenue and sustainable growth for your business.

How to Track PMF

To track PMF, there is a simple question you can ask your customers:

How disappointed would you be if you could no longer use <insert your product name>?

The three set responses to this question are:

  • Very disappointed
  • Somewhat disappointed
  • Not disappointed

To achieve a good PMF, a 40% or above score for respondents selecting the 'Very disappointed' option shows you have a popular product.

In addition, there are other ways to track your product market fit:

  1. Qualitative feedback: Engage with your customers through surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather qualitative feedback about their experience with your product. Pay attention to their pain points, suggestions, and overall satisfaction levels.
  2. Quantitative metrics: Utilise quantitative metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLV), retention rate, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the effectiveness of your product-market fit.
  3. Usage analytics: Leverage analytics tools to track user engagement, feature adoption, and churn rate. Analysing usage patterns provides valuable insights into how customers interact with your product.

You could collect this data through surveys, customer interviews, or even in-app prompts. The more ways you can collect the data, the more robust your responses are likely to be.

Tools to Track PMF

These are some tools that make it easy to collect this data:

  • Qualaroo: A platform for gathering qualitative insights through targeted surveys and feedback forms.
  • Hotjar: Enables heatmaps, session recordings, and feedback polls to understand user behaviour and sentiment.
  • Refiner: Allows you to create and distribute surveys to collect feedback from your target audience in-app.

What's Considered a Good PMF Score?

According to Ellis, a clear indicator of good PMF is when at least 40% of surveyed users say they would be "very disappointed" if the product no longer existed. This metric suggests a strong level of customer satisfaction and demonstrates that the product is meeting a significant need in the market. 

Achieving this level of user sentiment typically indicates a solid foundation for sustainable growth and success. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, a small business should look for a low churn rate, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and a strong PMF. A Net Promoter Score (NPS) above 50, healthy retention rates, and organic growth indicate a good PMF overall.

Key Takeaways

Tracking Product Market Fit is essential for startups and established businesses alike. By continuously assessing and optimising your product-market fit, you can ensure sustained growth, customer satisfaction, and long-term success in today's competitive landscape. Utilise the available tools and metrics to gauge your PMF effectively, and remember, achieving PMF isn't a one-time event—it's an ongoing journey of refinement and adaptation to evolving market dynamics.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

Why waste time on financial admin when Thriday can do it for you?

Already have an account? Login here
Thriday Debit Card


Live demo this Thursday at 12:30pm.