4 May 2022

4 ‘Passion Projects’ Worth Watching for CPOs & CTOs

Our Tech Council meetings gather CPOs and CTOs from the Permira portfolio for frank discussion, problem-solving and networking – and our most recent event was no exception. Guest host Sara Rossio shared insights from her role as Chief Product Officer at G2, the largest and most trusted software marketplace for businesses, based on authentic peer reviews.

Sara shared four “passion projects” – areas where she sees product evolving in 2022. These offer excellent food for thought for future-minded CPOs or CTOs, particularly those in enterprise software or operating on a marketplace model.

1. Trust is key - and it’s always evolving.

Privacy and regulatory rules for customer reviews are changing fast in B2C – and those changes will flow downstream to B2B. How can one convince B2B companies to prepare?

Enterprise partnerships can help educate the B2B segment on upcoming B2C rules and how they’ll need to adapt. Keeping data anonymized also streamlines this transition.

Trust is foundational for marketplaces. G2 has always been buyer-first, but increasingly they derive substantial revenue from sellers by integrating product content and sharing buyer intent information. Trust entails making sure both sides of a marketplace remain highly satisfied.

Finally, trust extends into areas like security breaches. Anonymized information-sharing about breaches to improve collective safety isn’t always popular with the affected parties. However, it fosters greater all-around trust that benefits everyone involved.

2. Radical data transparency might seem counterproductive - but it can also be really smart.

G2 chose to share data with what might seem like competitors , believing that G2 represents the bottom of the sales funnel while these competitors reflect higher-funnel stages. They believe there’s room for everybody to provide value – and sharing data more transparently can prove out that hunch.

G2 is also making their methodology and grid reports more transparent so sellers can pinpoint which factors contribute to their ranking. This move towards greater transparency advances G2’s goal to increase customer engagement.

What are the benefits of greater transparency in product? In G2’s score-report example among others, transparency can boost credibility and facilitate collaborative buying where multiple stakeholders might rank factors differently.

3. Unlocking additional data can unlock opportunities.

Currently most of G2-exposed data focuses on buyer intent, but they also gather data on actual usage, annual contract pricing, sentiment – it is all actionable info software buyers would love to get. G2 will work towards exposing more data as well as building in more product content that amplifies consumer sentiment from reviews. That way, buyers can see shifting trends over time and re-evaluate purchases accordingly.

Think about your unused feedback and data as a potential gold mine: a resource that might generate additional revenue, greater product stickiness or more frequent customer engagement.

4. A widescale integration policy has upsides and downsides. How can you share data as a two-way street?

G2 has opted to integrate widely to maximize distribution scale and go everywhere buyers are present But widescale integration means a lot of one-way data relationships. How do you incentivize partners to share data as a two-way street? A “give some to get” policy can work according to Tech Council participants – but the data giveback has to be valuable or it won’t fly. Trading a pricing discount for data can work, helping you build a feedback loop for product improvement.

Product always moves fast –that’s exactly why CPOs and CTOs love what they do. Prioritizing trust is paramount but tricky to pull off as products evolve, regulations change and marketplaces shift. Enhanced data transparency can become a selling point – even a competitive moat – if CPOs do so thoughtfully and prepare to engage with active users’ questions. Unlocking additional data can translate into additional revenue, engagement and more. Approaching data-sharing from a mutually beneficial lens can create value across an entire ecosystem. These four passion projects open up a lot of runway for product in 2022 and beyond.

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