Product-Market Fit Surveys - how to conduct one from scratch

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    Home / Product / Product-Market Fit Surveys - how to conduct one from scratch

    Sometimes, putting yourself in your customers' shoes and thinking from their perspective is difficult.

    In these times, you should opt to learn from them.

    Wanna know the best means to do that?


    This article will dive into a specific type of survey: product-market fit surveys.


    • Product-market fit surveys collect data to determine how well a product meets the needs of a specific market segment.
    • It includes such questions to gather valuable insight into customer satisfaction and loyalty.
    • Some of these questions include, "Did you recommend this product to your friends or colleagues?" and "How often do you use this product?".
    • You need to surpass the magic number of 40% in order to achieve product-market fit.
    • You can create your own product-market fit survey from scratch using tools like Google Forms and UserGuiding (meet you at the end of the article 👋).

    Let's start with what PMF surveys are about ⬇️

    What Is a PMF Survey?

    To understand product-market fit surveys, you should first know how to define product-market fit, which is having a product or service that meets the expectations of your target audience.

    This concept is crucial if you're planning to launch a new product for your target market. It enables you to understand whether your product will

    • meet the market’s needs and
    • obtain sufficient market demand.

    That's exactly where product-market fit surveys come into play; they are the means by which you gather information regarding both your market and customers.

    Along with valuable feedback, you'll also be able to assess if your product has a high potential for long-term success.

    Keep in mind: Get crucial insights through PMF surveys and look for areas for improvement based on the data at hand. This will help your product achieve long-term product-market fit.

    The Term "Product-Market Fit": Who? When? Why?

    Let me quickly tell you about the story behind the term product-market fit.

    Don Valentine, an American venture capitalist, initiated the thinking part to define a product or service that meets the target market's customer needs.

    However, it was Marc Lowell Andreessen, an American businessman, who coined the term during the mid-2000s. In his paper, he explains the term as:

    Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.

    Checklist for preparing a survey template:

    Before moving on to the questions to ask, let me provide you with what touching upon product-market fit survey questions would help you:

    • identify users and segment them based on demographics, behaviors, and usage patterns,
    • pinpoint customer needs and pain points through the right questions,
    • measure customer satisfaction,
    • evaluate the overall user engagement level,
    • and check how willing your customers are to recommend your product to others.

    What Questions Should a Product-Market Fit Survey Have?

    To get one step closer to conducting the survey, we'll dig deeper into the product-market fit survey questions that you can ask your respondents to gain valuable insight:

    🟡 How did you come across our product?

    🟡 How often do you use our product?

    🟡 How would you feel if you could no longer use our product?

    🟡 Have you ever recommended us to friends or family?

    🟡 What do you think sets us apart from our competitors?

    🟡 What could we improve on?

    🟡 Could you tell us a bit about yourself? What's your employment status?

    🟡 What challenge brought you to try out our product?

    🟡 Could you tell us about the last time you experienced that challenge?

    🟡 What solutions have you previously tried?

    🟡 What would you likely use as an alternative if our product were no longer available?

    🟡 What type of person do you think would benefit the most from our product?

    🟡 Would it be okay if we followed up by email to request clarification on one or more of your responses?

    ❗How many of these questions you'll ask depends on the length you want your survey to be—it doesn't have to include all the questions here as long as it captures the main elements.

    PMF Survey Example - let's build one

    It's time 🎉

    To assess your product-market fit score, let's build a PMF survey from scratch.

    We'll create our first survey with Google Forms and then move on to UserGuiding.

    1. Google Forms

    Here, the first step is all about customization.

    Let's start designing the page in accordance with the brand and the product by changing the general theme ⬇️

    Upon clicking on the Customize Theme option, you'll see a few sections that you can play with to make the product resonate and increase brand awareness.

    I decided to proceed with the default text style, but I added an image as the header and made sure to match the section and background color.

    Then, I filled the description box by stating the initial idea and ‎goal of this survey in simple language; here, you might also offer incentives to attract more responses from your target customer personas.

    ‎The next step is to add our first question by clicking on the "Add question" button and selecting an answer type from the survey response options.

    Google Forms has 11 response options, including:

    • Short answer,
    • paragraph,
    • multiple-choice,
    • checkboxes,
    • dropdown,
    • file upload,
    • linear scale,
    • multiple choice grid,
    • checkbox grid,
    • date,
    • and time.
    How did you discover our product?

    Here, I began the survey with a question that can help you discover how your ideal customers found out about your product.

    As the channels are limited (and there is an "Other" option that lets them elaborate), I went ahead with a multiple choice.

    This question can be quite helpful for your market research since it enables you to narrow the market channels and focus on the customer acquisition sources that already work well or improve the ones that are doing badly.

    How would you feel if you could no longer use our product?

    The next question allows you to understand if your product aligns with the customers' needs as it displays whether your product has what it takes to solve the potential problem.

    According to Sean Ellis, who benchmarked about 100 startups, to achieve product-market fit, you should reach at least 40%. He also stresses that companies with less than 40% of users responding with "Very disappointed" need to concentrate on growth, while the companies that exceed this threshold are rewarded with sustainable growth.

    To create this question, I added another question to the sequence and pressed the "Add image" button for each answer right after selecting the answer type.

    Have you ever recommended us to friends or family?

    Moving on, I added another question with multiple choices since answers to this question help you segment your target customers into categories, such as Promoters and Passives.

    Promoters symbolize the customers who responded with a "yes" (whom you can also ask for testimonials and reviews later on), while Passives include the customers who responded with a "no," allowing you to form a feedback loop to reveal the reason behind their negative answer.

    What do you think sets us apart from our competitors?

    Here comes question number 4, which enables you to learn more about your product's main benefit to customers.

    For this question, I chose the paragraph option for this open-ended question so that survey respondents can elaborate on what features they benefit most, which also passes as product feedback.

    What type of person do you think would benefit most from our product?

    ‎The last question of this survey is here to help you find out your relevant buyer persona.

    This question allows you to explore what type of companies would be interested in your product and discuss a proper go-to-market strategy and campaign.

    ❗After the PMF survey sequence, make sure to follow up with your interested customers at the right time.

    One of the common mistakes that businesses make is not asking simple questions regarding customer expectations and the most important thing, what your product should improve.

    Let's see how easy it is to recreate this survey via UserGuiding! ⬇️

    2. UserGuiding

    Our first step is logging into your UserGuiding account; then, follow these steps:

    • Navigate to the Panel section,
    • Scroll down to the Surveys tab under Content,
    • Click on the Create a Survey button.

    This will open up a page where you can pick survey templates or create one from scratch.

    UserGuiding Surveys

    Choosing "Create From Scratch," I select the type of question under the Add a Question tab.

    Since the first question was multiple-choice, I proceeded with it, added the question and answer options, and matched the box's color to the one I used on the Google Forms version on the Customize tab under Color & Typography.

    I also don't forget to tick the Thank You Message box in the same settings section for respondents to see right after completing the survey.

    This is how the first question looks on Acme Corporation's website:

    The second step requires me to add another question, but this time, I chose the "Emoji Rating" option.

    I create the third question by choosing the "Thumbs Up/Down" question type and add the same question I used in the Google Forms survey.

    For the fourth question, I move on with the "Written Feedback" option; here's how it looks live:

    I repeat the same process for the last question:

    Thanks to the "Thank You Box" option I chose in the survey settings, this is the box that respondents see at the end of the survey:

    ‎You can see how easy it is to create a survey from scratch using UserGuiding when compared to free yet time-consuming tools like Google Forms.

    Plus, tools like UserGuiding support PMF surveys in-product when users actually use your product, which is a big bonus for engagement.

    You can try UserGuiding for free to see the survey feature in action.

    To Sum Up...

    Conducting product-market fit surveys is a good practice that enables you to collect feedback on your product and see how much of a problem-solution fit your product is.

    That's one reason I believe you should send the survey to your target audience once you've learned how to prepare it.

    and... you must've already mastered it if you just finished reading this article!

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