We spoke with Raluca Bujoreanu, product lead at Zalando, and instructor at Product School to discuss how the product needs change depending on the size and maturity of the company.
Raluca shared with us:
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Desi Velikova 00:00
Hi, everybody, and welcome to another episode of The Product Show. Today on the show, we have Raluca Bujoreanu, principal product manager at Zalando and instructor at Product School. She shared with us her favorite methods for evaluating if a feature is worth building, how to grow as a product manager alongside the product, and how the role of the product manager changes depending on the size and maturity of the company. We also discuss the differences between Product Management at startups and established companies, how to manage internal tensions and her favorite books that helped her grow in her career. Enjoy this episode, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channels wherever you’re watching.
Welcome to the product show insightful interviews with founders and tech leaders sharing how they hack product growth.
Desi Velikova 00:59
Hi, Raluca. Welcome to the product show.
Raluca Bujoreanu 01:03
Hi, Desi. And hello, everyone. Really happy to be here.
Desi Velikova 01:08
It’s a pleasure to have this conversation with you. And before we dive deeper into the questions, tell me a little bit more about yourself, your background, and what does your role as a principal product manager at Zalando entail?
Raluca Bujoreanu 01:22
So as you as you mentioned, I’m a principal product manager at Zalando. And for the ones that are not familiar with our Zalando, it’s one of the largest e commerce, fashion ecommerce company in Europe, and we’re present in around 16 countries. And I joined Zalando, almost six years ago, I started in a marketing role as an onsite manager for France. And soon after I actually took the decision, and also the opportunity to transition into into product management. And then over the years I grew into, into several roles. My background is in marketing. I have a master’s in marketing management. And prior to Zalando, I was having different roles in growth, marketing or strategic marketing, automation and personalization. But then when I when I joined Zalando, and after, after being the onsite manager for for France, I actually realized that what I wanted, or that my experience, and also my aspirations are more in the direction of product. And I liked very much the idea of having more ownership and impact on solving customer problems. And this is why I actually transitioned. And I’m very happy about about this decision. I know that many of the ones that are listening are also interested in transitioning or Yeah, moving into into product roles.
Desi Velikova 03:11
Right. So while we’re on this, what do you think is the perfect background for someone who wants to transition to product management? And is there actually a perfect set of skills to be a product manager?
Raluca Bujoreanu 03:25
Yeah, that’s that’s a that’s a great question. I think that there is no, let’s say perfect recipe to, to transition. But in general. And here, I would mostly talk about product managers that are generalists, because there are also like, for example, data product managers, or very technical product managers. But for the ones that are more generalists, let’s say that there are three, three, let’s say types of backgrounds that are that are very common. And also I would say that, after you transition, you would basically need to have a mixture of, of those colleges. So the three ones would be business and and marketing. Then it would be design. And then it would be engineering and tech. And I would say that most of of the product managers that I know are coming from for one of these three roles. And when I say that it’s it’s basically a mixture of knowledge, it doesn’t mean that you actually have to be an expert in business and marketing and design or engineering. But you need to have the right level of knowledge to first of all, ask the right questions and to collaborate with the experts for example in the engineers, the designers, the data analysts, in order to actually drive results for, for your product.
Desi Velikova 05:09
How much do you think does the domain expertise play a role here, for example, if I apply for a product manager role at a crypto startup, ideally, I should come from a FinTech or blockchain background, or if it’s a very technical product, experience with engineering, or data science would definitely help. So how to do thing, this is crucial, and how much of the skills could be learned on the goal for a product manager?
Raluca Bujoreanu 05:40
Yeah, I think that you you definitely. So let’s say if you are a generalist, you let’s say you don’t need these, let’s say very deep expertise. But for sure, if if you are working in on a more in a more specialized way, I think that first Yes, you need to have this this background, or you need to get yourself up to speed to gain this, this knowledge and to to also have an expertise there. Because in the end, you will drive a product, so you will lead the experience in that direction. But then, second, I think, let’s say, to be a successful product manager, it’s a mix of, let’s say these, I would call them more technical skills. So, business design, engineering, then the specific area of knowledge for your product, or market knowledge, which is also very important. But at the same time, there are also a couple of maybe traits to be a good product manager. So I would say that a good product manager should have empathy. So empathy with your customers, to understand their problems, but also maybe empathy with, with your team, and with with the stakeholders to really understand, like the, the landscape of your organization, and different requests that different stakeholders might might have, and what are their problems or business problems? Then I would say, definitely, curiosity. So as a product manager, you also like, need to, yeah, improve all the time, not only like your, your level of, of knowledge and the skills, but also it’s a continuous improvement of the experience. And I would say effective communication is a key trait of a product manager, because you will, you will need to, to discuss with with many stakeholders, you would need to lead the team, and usually for product managers is, is leading by influence. So, this is why communication is, is very important. So, I would say that, yes, the technical skills and and the knowledge in the different domains is very important. But for for a product manager, it’s very important to have also a couple of other, let’s say soft skills to to be successful.
Desi Velikova 08:35
Yeah, absolutely. The people skills are so crucial, I guess, data think, and one of the first things you have to master as a product manager is prioritization. And how do we prioritize, like the abundance of product improvement opportunities you have in front of you. And I believe you would know better than anyone that very often you would get ideas from anybody at the company about features and solutions that you could potentially explore. And sometimes these solutions are not actually solution, they don’t solve a problem, there are nice to haves. So do you have any kind of specific approach? How do you handle this first, how do you prioritize productive improvement opportunities? But also how do you manage the people side of the process making sure that everyone is happy and people? Like they’re not hurt or they don’t get upset?
Raluca Bujoreanu 09:33
Yeah, yeah, this is this is, let’s say a very, very common aspect or let’s say challenge for for Product Management. Because you get like ideas from from literally everywhere. And right now, I would say that I’m I’m quite lucky. Last, and last, yeah. months or Year, and I’m more on the direction of creating the strategy. But still, there are many ideas coming up. And so first of all, as a product manager, I would say that it’s very important to acknowledge that this is very, very natural, and this is very normal. And it’s also from from the stakeholders or your team side is normal to think in, in ideas and solutions. So that is totally fine. But as a product manager, maybe before you to actually, you know, start prioritizing or, or start moving into execution, I think the important thing is to actually understand the intent behind the solution. So what is your stakeholder? Or your your team member trying to solve? Why do why did they come up with with the solution? And what are they hoping to achieve? And when you’re actually going to get those answers, it will actually help you as a product manager to frame the problem better. So maybe to be more specific. Let’s take an example, that one of one of the stakeholders is coming one day with an idea, hey, I would like to do our I think that it would be very beneficial for us to start doing more cross selling in the checkout. And, of course, he can say maybe we can think of some recommendation engine in the checkout, which of course, sounds sounds very good. Many companies are doing that. But let’s say before you actually look into how can I actually build this this engine, etc. You could ask okay, so what do you actually want to achieve? Or what? What is it happening? So maybe they would say, Well, I thought that I realized that we are not selling so from from certain categories so much. And this is why I think that this is this, this can be a good idea, or I don’t know, we’re not meeting our revenue. And and we need something in addition, and then most probably in that moment, and you can go go to let’s say, the problem or the customer side, and to understand why our customers not actually purchasing from a broad range of categories. And you might discover that maybe, for example, they don’t have easy access to those, those categories, they don’t find those, those products, or they’re actually looking at the the product pages, and maybe the images are not attractive, or the description is not clear enough. And once you start like digging deep into into what are the actual problems, you might realize that the right solution to solve the problem could be let’s take an example just to to improve the description of the of the product, right. So in that sense, the solution is very different from what the your stakeholder has asked. So I think that this is one major, major, major step that you have to do. And I think that is very important to because you mentioned the people side, it’s very important to have discussion with with the with the stakeholder to to let them know that you’re actually wanting to understand what is the problem? And you also have to ask, what are they actually what what is success looking like for them? So what’s the metrics that they are also hoping to, to improve? And afterwards, once you start working on the, on the solutions or on the ideas, I think it’s very important to, to keep them in the loop. And to Yeah, to keep them updated. Because in that moment and moments when, for example, you have delays or when you’re actually taking a different path, they will be more on on your side.
Raluca Bujoreanu 14:30
And to go back to the prioritization part that you asked, I think that in general for for prioritizing solution ideas, there are many many frameworks out there. So if we were if we even like do a simple search on the internet, I think that there are around 10 That that I know like looking around the looking about the complexity of Looking at how much data do you actually have? So the simplest one is, of course, the impact effort. This is this is very, very simple. But I would say that I have two others that I really like. One is actually called the rice method. It’s, it comes as an abbreviation from rich reach. So how many customers will will see that particular problem? Or sorry, that particular solution? What impact do you expect to have? What confidence do you have? And what is the estimated effort? I think that this is ideal when you actually have the data or your when you’re working on an existing product. So in that sense, you have multiple dimensions that you can use to prioritize your your ideas. But another one, which I find very helpful, it’s called the, the Kano model. So that one is basically looking at so it’s classifying the ideas on whether it’s a basic aspects of expectation, from the customer perspective, whether it’s a good like a good feature or meets the problems in a good way. These are basically the features that will mostly drive performance, and we’ll help the business to be competitive. And the other like dimension would be the D lighters. So these are features that you know, or at least you hope, that will, will definitely delight the customer. So why am I mentioning that you, you this, this framework, you can either like have it in your head when you’re thinking about the different different solutions. And of course, like the basic ones, the basic ideas or solutions that you didn’t implement in your product, most probably they’re like a must have to do so you should do them as fast as possible. But then in, in regards to the the ones that are driving performance, or the lighters, one, I think it’s mostly up to you what type of, let’s say game you want to play, whether you want to go for these big bets, which might create a very strong connection or emotional connection for your customers with your product, or whether you want to go with with these ones, which are very good, which are like competitive features. And it’s more in the direction of your the metrics or the business that you want to drive. So let’s say that these are the ones that are I really, I really like. And I really recommend.
Desi Velikova 18:05
Excellent. I mean, there is no doubt that we always should base our decision on the insights we have from the customer. But very often, what the customer says they need, it’s very different from what they really need or from what the potential solution is. And then it gets even more complicated when we add the business needs to the mix. Okay, we can build that for you. But it is going to drive business growth, right. So do you have favorite metal sort of framework for continuously uncovering user problems before they become pressing issues for the product?
Raluca Bujoreanu 18:47
Yeah, yeah. So I do one thing that I would I want to I really liked from, from what you said, is that what customers actually need, and what they say they need is very different. And I think that as product managers, we have to be like very careful about about that. Because so first of all, we we should, whenever we’re doing like user research, we should phrase the questions in a way that we actually understand what problems are the customers wanting to solve? Because in general, if we ask them about what solution do they expect, they will mostly So customers are tend to, to mostly share solutions that they saw in other companies, or that they think might might work. And this doesn’t really drive innovation. And it might be just very limiting for for product managers. So very important is with with the question questions that you have in your user research is to go deep into what is the actual problem? What? What needs? Did they not need? And maybe how are they right now meeting those needs? If not by using your product? Or what? What other alternatives do they have? And regarding the the continuous discovery, I think it’s it’s what are you usually, what I usually do is to combine quantitative methods with qualitative methods, because the quantitative is showing you whether there is a gap, whether there’s, there’s a problem. So I usually start with, with looking at quantitative data. So that, for example, would be different, different dashboards or, or funnel, funnel analysis or product usage. Dashboards, NPs survey is also very, very important. And afterwards, like after you, you basically identify what could be those areas or where Yeah, customers really have common problems, then it’s very good to, to start looking into different qualitative methods. So for example, to, to run a user research, to better understand what are the customers problem? What are the customer problems? What are they actually trying to, to achieve? Also, I think is very important to regularly monitor user feedback. So for example, App App Store reviews, or customer care reports, or maybe product ratings, if you have this feature implemented. And also very important, is it for example, you are working in a b2b into into a in a b2b domain? It’s very important to talk very frequently to, to your, to your partners to your, to company customers, to actually, yeah, really understand what are their, their needs? So I think that these are the ones that I would start with. And then once I have to why, so why are these problems happening? Then I think it’s very important to, to start testing different ideas. And then to, to analyze, to, to measure so basically, to measure what you have, what you have implemented, and to basically incorporate these learnings in a continuous way. So it’s basically a process that is that is never ending, I would say,
Desi Velikova 23:13
yeah, if it’s ending, I guess the product is dying. So.
Desi Velikova 23:20
But that’s that’s true. Right? How do you make sure that the projects you work on are aligned with the with the wider business objectives? And I believe this is a challenge for large organizations like Zalando. Maybe one of the advantages a small startup would have is like, you’re very clear, what is your Northstar metric, or there are a couple three, maybe growth metrics that the whole team is working towards. But in a large organization, I guess the valuable work could get a little bit worse, in different sorts of projects. So how do you make sure that the projects you’re working on are aligned with the wider business objectives?
Raluca Bujoreanu 24:08
Yeah, so I, I would say that also in, in large organizations, it said Zalando, we also follow the same path. So ideally, what you can start with, with what is the business? What is the vision? So first of all, what is the vision? What’s the purpose of the company? What’s the what’s the experience that they’re looking for? Maybe in around five years? For startups, of course, it’s a bit more complicated for five years in general, right, what was their vision was their mission. And then what is what is the strategic intent? And usually in larger organizations, you have maybe some direction for the following year or for the following? I don’t know, 123 years, let’s say. So for example, I’m just going to give you some as an example. So we want to expand into a new market, or we want to double the revenue for individual users, we want to attract more partners. So once you know, what are the business, the business goals, I think that this is when product is coming into place. And ideally, you can also create a strategy a product strategy for let’s say, maybe the next year, if this may end, for example, in startups is a bit more complicated to think so. So long term, but at least I think that you should have maybe like a vision for okay, what are the biggest areas that I would like to look into, in the next years in and then some companies use, for example OKRs, or they set up some, some goals, this is also this is also important, because then when you know, what is actually your, your goal, as a product manager, you can, you can start, like digging into Okay, so what are the actual customer problems that I have? And that area? Or let’s say, like, why is this metric? lower than expected? Or how can we actually get to meet that goal? And then you start talking to customers and understanding the problems and then coming up with with different solutions? That would actually, or you hope that would, would meet the goal? So I would, I would say that, first you have to, like, look into what is the business? What was the business strategy and the vision? And then coming to, to the product to the product strategy? And then looking into, okay, what are the goals and objectives? And what are the different product features that you can that you can work on? This would be, let’s say, a framework that, that I would apply.
Desi Velikova 27:37
Excellent. From my experience, working with early stage companies, or stage startups with founders and product teams, it’s interesting that they’re usually very passionate about the product, and they want to deliver on the features they want to build. But very often, they don’t know the customer or target customer well enough. I mean, they might have some data, they might have a set of assumptions, but they don’t have enough actionable insights. So what is the first thing you would do to understand the customer better, and the opportunities on the market? If you are joining youngsters startup now?
Raluca Bujoreanu 28:22
Yeah, I think, as you said, it’s a it’s very, very common, but it’s also very natural, because when you are in an early stage, you’re actually looking to find the product market fit. So you kind of have to, like really, I think that there are two things that you need to to aim for at the very beginning. So one is to clearly define who is your customer? Because you cannot, you cannot serve everybody. So you need to identify who who are the customer groups that you are looking at? And then really understand neck, for example, what are their demographics? What’s what’s their background? What do they like? What are their pains? What are they trying to achieve? Usually, let’s say it’s a common common tool to build your user persona. This actually helps. So within the user persona, you’re basically also giving a name to that target customer, you’re giving the face. So as a team, it’s much easier to empathize with your customers. But I think that the the most important thing that you need to do in an early stage is to actually talk to as many of these potential customers as you can, and to So on one hand, I think that having purchased customer interviews to, to understand what are their problems? What services do they use or products they use in order to, to solve their problems, maybe what are their what are their expectations. So that would be one. But then on the other hand, you also need, at least at the very beginning, because you said, you don’t have so much, I think that you need to aim to have as much data as possible. So you need to find some ways to actually either send surveys, or just talk to as many customers as possible in order to get those insights. And once once you actually understand or have, let’s say, have a good, or at least a decent understanding of the customer problems, I think is very important to to start your prototype. And as fast as possible, and to get feedback on your prototype, or on your ideas as fast as possible. And usually, even before moving into implementation. So right now, there are so many tools to actually create a very, very simple prototype that you can show to your customers and understand what do they think about your ideas. So I think that this is, this is a very good way to, to go about it. And then of course, like taking the customer insights, refining your prototype, or if you if you see good feedback, then of course, to actually build the solution. And then to continuously keep talking to to customers, because it’s only in that way that you can actually get to, to product market fit.
Desi Velikova 32:07
I think what happens with many early stage startups, is that they’re scared to niche down from the beginning, because they don’t want to miss business, they want to discover their product market fit. But there’s also the other risk, if you’re serving everyone, you’re serving no one. So there is definitely a benefit of specializing early on. And I guess this goes back to the point if you have the right people around you to support you, during this very stressful period. Do you think that there is a sort of perfect profile of a head of product for an early stage startup? And also how does the role of the product manager changes depending on the size and maturity of the company?
Raluca Bujoreanu 32:55
Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s right. And I would say that the the goals and the responsibilities of a product manager and startup or an early stage organization differs so much from from a mature organization. And also you basically need as you say, different different profiles or the if, for example, a product manager is successful in one of those types of companies. And many, many times it doesn’t mean that he or she will be successful in and another type of of company. So, for let’s say for for startups or for for early stage companies, I would say that, let’s say your or your objective is to get to product market fit, and what you need to do is to rapidly adapt by using insights from customers and from the market wide and to also define the product value proposition and I think that the most important part is to validate the product desirability and also to the viability whether your ideas are actually going to to generate revenue and be sustainable and to basically generate traction. So in this type of in this type of environment, I think that you you basically need a person that is enforceable. Very that is at the same time, visionary and strategic. But that always like goes between you know this airplane view to a microscope view so from from visual To, to detail and most probably in a startup, you might need to do, let’s say this several times a day. So from, from the big picture to, to the small, to the small details. And also in a startup, you need to be comfortable wearing lots of hats, right? So you need to look at the where the customer hats, the business hats, designer hats, sometimes even engineering hat. And you need to, to be able to, to deal with ambiguity. Because like every day might might bring new insights you might need to, to rapidly adapt, and to find different ways to work to solve the problem. And I think that is very important to, to know, or to, to be able to, to, to de risk, the different ideas, because as at the very beginning, we have so many, and you don’t really know what what are the successful ones. So, of course, usually you cannot implement everything, but you can or you should be able to, to easily juggle different experimentation aways understanding of the customer. And basically, yeah, just de risking of the hypothesis. And I think that from, from, from a soft skills perspective is very important to be a good communicator, I think that in, in startups or in early stage companies, it’s very interesting that usually the there was a first first product person, or if there still is, and usually that one is also the founder. So usually, the founders, let’s say, are the first, let’s say, product managers. So when, when they actually decide to hire also another, another product manager, it’s very important to, for this new person to stay very closely with them, to basically understand their vision, and to just bounce ideas. And also to gain trust, to be able to gain trust of the founders, also maybe have different investors, but also to be able to,
Raluca Bujoreanu 37:45
to build the team and to talk to the different roles that are in the in the startup. So the engineers, if there are designers, and it’s very important to to be able to collaborate very closely. And then further on, let’s say assuming that the startup is successful, to to be able to grow the team of product managers, and to have this ability to, to develop the talent and sometimes to delegate different tasks. It’s also sometimes a bit challenging, especially in the startup. So, which
Desi Velikova 38:30
one do you think is the right environment for a product manager to start learning? It does sound like it would be very stressful at the startup is it the larger organization the better option?
Raluca Bujoreanu 38:43
Um, I think exactly there is there is no there is no right or, or wrong answer. I think that in a in an emerging organization or in an enterprise, the processes are better defined. And, as I said, there, so for for the emerging organization, your your goal as a product manager would be to, to basically, I don’t know continuously tasked to continuously come up with with ideas to to grow and scale. And then for the enterprise, I think it’s it’s a bit different. You sometimes you have to look at how can you drive innovation? How can you maintain your focus? How can you just keep your customer centric mindset? I think, on one hand, it’s also depending on the on the personality of the individual. So definitely, in an in a larger organization, the processes are better in place. You will also have Multiple Product Manager colleagues, most probably there’s also a clear error he, you will be able to, to learn from, from your colleagues from, from other people other mistake people’s mistakes, this is also very important. But also from from their successes, you might be able to, to, let’s say, have a bit more time to, you know, understand the methods to to apply them, take it, let’s say on on your own, you know, pace, while in a startup organization, everything is changing rapidly. And you actually need to, to wear different hats, maybe sometime you will, you might feel that you’re not really doing product management work, but you’re maybe doing something else. And this way, is a great way to just to gain a lot of knowledge fast. But I would say by learning from your own mistakes, because it’s it’s rarely that the startup has many, many product, product managers. And as well, I think that it’s very important. So in order to succeed, it’s very important in a startup to have very good communication skills. Because if you were, if your attorney joining, and there are not many or no other product manager in the organization, you might also have the role of actually defining what is the role of product management and that organization looking like. And it might be that, if you’re at the very, very beginning of your career, this can be can be overwhelming, but it’s also a huge opportunity of learning. So if you will succeed in doing that, and also in finding product market fit, then it’s definitely, let’s say a faster, a faster way of, of learning of growing. But it’s it brings a bit more risk. So it’s also what type of person are you? And how much risk do you want to take. So it’s
Desi Velikova 42:35
not so much about the size of the company, but more about if it’s the right environment, to let your experiment breakings and learn on the way from other interviews that I’ve watched the view I know you’re a huge fan of all sorts of different product management books. So give us your favorite titles.
Raluca Bujoreanu 42:56
Yeah, so indeed, I love I love reading books. I would say one that I think it’s super important for for product managers is it’s called Build Better Products. by Laura Klein, I think that each product manager should should read that one. It literally explains so well, every step of the product development process, and it’s very practical. And it literally shows how you should approach and what questions you should ask and how to collaborate with with the team. What insights do you need from your customers? I really love that book. Another one is the Escaping the Build Trap by by Melissa Perry. This one actually shows or gives an overview on how to create an efficient product organization might teach you how to talk to stakeholders, how can you approach your vision your roadmap, which are very important for a product manager? For I would say for the ones that are in, in and startups I would really recommend the Testing Business Ideas from Strategize er it will definitely teach you how to how to write good hypotheses and what what methods can you use to actually test fast and build your prototype fast and gain learnings. And another one that that I like and I recommend is this is This Is Service Design Doing this is mostly on on design methodologies and innovation But as I said before, it’s very important for the product manager to, to actually have skills and design or at least knowledge of different frameworks or methodologies. And this one will, will definitely teach you different ways to, to run user interviews, to build, to build your persona, to build your prototype, to run maybe design sprints, or different workshops on how to actually come up with with solutions. I really like that one. It’s also very practical. And maybe another one and last one. And yeah, it’s called Product Leadership, it’s written by Richard Banfield, Martin Erickson and Nate, think it’s called Walking, walking show, I hope I’m not mistaking the name. It gives a very, very good perspective of the role of a PM, how did it evolve? And how what’s what’s the role of a product leader? Exactly in different organizations? So in a startup in an, in an emerging organization in a mature organization, what should you do to be successful? I think it’s, it’s a, it’s a really, really valuable book, to actually navigate your way, no matter the type of company you’re in.
Desi Velikova 46:37
Excellent. Great. Thanks so much. Um, you know, we are a design studio, so we’re kind of always looking for the UX tweaks and the product improvements that had massive impact. Yeah, can you share from your experience? Have you ever done a small UX tweak or a product improvement that had a disproportionately high impact on the product, considering the effort it required small tweak that turned into a big win?
Raluca Bujoreanu 47:06
I think that there were there were many. And this actually shows how important UX is. And just to make the the product or the experience, very easy to use, and also not not make or not let customers think too much of the actions that they do. I have like different different examples. And they vary actually from I remember that a couple of years ago, we did a test like the the basic test of a button color. I think that this is the basic one that usually is mentioned. But why why I want to say it is that it made such a big difference. I remember it was from exactly so the color of the button. It really so in terms of conversion rate, and financials, it really produce a huge, a huge and unexpected impact. And I think that another example,
Desi Velikova 48:19
what were the colors, what color did you change? From what to what?
Raluca Bujoreanu 48:24
Yeah, so I think, if I remember correctly, they were like the that specific, that specific banner was for four different sales campaigns. Right. So we we tested colors, like orange, green, and red. And, and the think that, like fan, the red and just like putting more and more showing discounts in red, like really made an unexpected difference. It was like, Wow, it’s really, it was really interesting. But of course, like, you can usually see these big differences and small UX tweaks, especially when you have high traffic. So if you if you if you really have like millions of customers, it might be that every small tweak that you do actually makes a huge difference. Where if you are if we’re if you’re in an a startup, and you’re, as I said, just trying to find product market fit and you do these small changes. It might be that they don’t literally they don’t move the needle as you expect and you need them to do like to go and try really big, big changes. Yeah, and fire. Going back to the examples I remember. For example, he’ll hear in, in Germany, if, if a company needs to send emails, or wants to send emails, like commercial ones, the customers need to, to give their consent. But also in, in, in the email, so they need to give, let’s say, subscribe to the newsletter concerned, but also to confirm their email. Otherwise, in countries like like Germany, you literally cannot send that email. And I remember that we, we wanted to, to let customers know that we sent them this confirmation email in a way that doesn’t interrupt their their journey and is very smooth. And what we actually realized is that people literally like, ignored it. So then the business metrics went down. So then we just made the, the banner a bit bigger. And people didn’t skip it any longer. It was and and literally, the the numbers went up with with a massive increase. So it was just a matter of making the banner a bit bigger.
Desi Velikova 51:20
Right? Oh, whoa, okay. Going back to the basic, but as you say, exactly, proves that the difference, the differences between smaller and larger organizations. Because if you’re a small startup, I mean, these changes, probably not gonna make a huge impact, you have to be thinking about the bigger picture, I remember the craziness with the GDPR, where we’re introducing required a lot of companies, frankly, the other way around. So you should click here, if you don’t want to receive the emails. Instead of receiving, you know, we remember the double consent. It was. I mean, there are quite a lot of innovative. Yeah, yeah. So back then for people, you know, trying to get this consent. But yeah, so And before I let you go, Rocha, thank you very much for your time, that was super interesting. For me, I’m sure it’s gonna be very interesting for our listeners and viewers. Tell me the one product metric you’re really obsessed with at the moment what you start your day with.
Raluca Bujoreanu 52:24
I would say that the the metric that I really look at right now is CLV. Its customer lifetime value. And it’s very important because the product features that I’m looking at, I would really want them to drive long term engagement and loyal customers. So I’m, let’s say that this metric is showing you less the impact that you have on the long term. But whether you you’re actually yeah, bringing more more sustainable customers and you’re generating more sustainable business. So that would be one that I’m looking at right now. Maybe for if I would be in a in a startup. I would be less concerned about this.
Desi Velikova 53:21
1am I going to do this in one year. Right?
Raluca Bujoreanu 53:25