When the client asks “What’s Next?”

Recently Elevator Up was asked to present some next steps at our client’s semi-annual Sales Conference. We were just a few months out from having launched their new e-commerce store and everyone felt like a majority of the bugs had been ironed out.

“What’s next?” — asked our client.

That question hardly ever gets asked by our clients, because they already know what’s next. It’s a constant conversation throughout any project. Although we see the project finish line and will cross it triumphantly, the web is never static and you can’t have a “set-it-and-forget-it” mindset. Therefore, “what’s next” is already known to the client, and when we hear that question, we feel excited that they’re thinking forward like we are (or have trained them to be) — take your pick. 😉

So, with our new ecom platform out there, “what’s next” was to start marketing. I’ll admit, I am not a marketing expert — far from it. I’ve been exposed to enough marketing to know what makes sense and could figure out something, but we decided that bringing in a marketing partner would be a good idea.

This is when we reached out to our good friend Tim Haines at Symposia Labs. Tim has been a Factory member for eons and Aaron and Tim go way back. So we brought Tim up to speed on the project and what we felt would be next steps. Tim helped us refine that vision and guided us with what tactics would work best for our client’s audience.

I think it’s important to note that we are comfortable in saying that we are not (nor trying to be) online marketing experts. A lot of companies will try to be the “1 Stop Shop” and shield (or shroud) their client from their experience with a particular discipline.

EU still likes to play that “Quarterback” (or “First Five” in rugby terms) role for our clients. We’ll define the project with the client, set the goals, develop a plan and then bring in external vendors whenever required. And this was one of those times.

Tim and I put together a presentation that walked through what we felt were the top four next steps for their store.

And I’ll deep dive into those in another post.

Wrapping this post up, I think it’s important that your client has a “what’s next?” attitude and should also already know what’s next. It’s on me (as a Product Manager) to always know the answer to that question and be ready to talk about future phases of the product’s lifecycle. Nothing is in concrete though. Everything is dynamic and adjustable. An unknown opportunity may slap us in the face next week, and we’ll be willing to assess it and work it into the pipeline if it makes sense.

Let me know your thoughts. Or not. I’m easy either way. 😉

Joel, Product Manager


How do you respond when asked “What’s next?” We’d love to hear more in the comments or on Twitter. This post originally appeared on the Elevator Up Blog.