How We Define ‘Product’ at Perk Canada

Product 101

Product, as a discipline, is traditionally defined as “the intersection between business, technology and user experience” and at Perk Canada we apply this definition every day.

In a nutshell, our team’s goal is to ensure we build meaningful, expert-powered digital media publications that meet our UX and financial goals. We define “meaningful” as properties that someone, somewhere, cares about visiting and engaging with, and “expert-powered” as providing content from contributors who truly understand the subject matter.

Music to Our Ears

When I think of my team’s role, I think of a conductor at a symphony—a coffee-fueled, analytics crunching, roadmap plotting, sprint prioritizing conductor. We work closely with other internal teams. Product works with design and development to build, content to inspire and digital marketing to amplify. In order to do our jobs effectively, we need to “hear” every one of Perk Canada’s instrument families while ensuring a balance between them; and we hope to have some sweet, sweet harmony at the end.

(At this point, I hope you’re catching on that I love a good metaphor.)

We take our communities’ feedback seriously when determining our next batch of product features or improvements. If we choose to ignore our communities, not only do we potentially lose user retention and reduce lifetime value, but we’re also not remaining true to our discipline’s goal of being “meaningful.”

Perk Canada's Product Place

Our “Product Place” street sign proudly on display!

In contrast, one of the toughest aspects of the job is learning when to say, “no” to specific requests. This applies to both external and internal stakeholders. It’s a delicate dance between following your product’s predetermined, strategized roadmap and accounting for short term speed bumps along the way. Much easier said than done.

Rally the Troops

Once we determine what projects have been greenlit for that sprint, they’re taken to our design team to mock up for design flats. Our designers blend purpose-driven design principles and their own creative inspirations to ensure we’re always on brand.

We work with front and back-end developers to flesh out and build those requested features or refresh existing ones. These requests can range from split-testing landing experiences to developing a more robust algorithm that recommends content based on specific tagging criteria and related weighted values—phew, that was a mouthful. We also dabble in alternative forms of media distribution like browser extensions and Facebook Messenger bots. Oh, and we’re totally pro-Agile!

We collaborate with our content team, too. We provide them with actionable insights that help shape each brand’s content and SEO strategies for that upcoming month and even quarter. Because we create multiple forms of media: written, image, and video, we have multiple KPIs to review when determining what successes we want to replicate and build on next. We’ll also provide support on technical SEO so our content can be further optimized for page performance and search discoverability.

Finally, we support our digital marketing team to drive content distribution and engagement across our owned and social channels. We help ensure our promotional campaigns utilize the best creative possible and that each unique piece of content reaches the most appropriate audience. This is obviously critical in order to find relevant members to join our brands’ bustling communities. After a specific campaign ends, we’ll debrief and deconstruct the feedback given to better hone our content offerings or product experiences for the next deployment cycle.

While a single blog post can’t possibly cover every aspect or responsibility of our product team, this certainly gives you a great starting point.

Interested in learning more about product at Perk Canada? Or even better, interested in joining our tight-knit, ever-awesome team? E-mail us or check out our open positions.

About The Author

Patrick Valoppi
Patrick Valoppi

Patrick is a Group Manager proudly leading a product team that builds seamless web and mobile experiences for our digital media company. Previously, he co-founded a food tech startup in Canada's Technology Triangle and worked at Microsoft Canada. He loves long walks on the beach, cappuccinos, hip hop, and buying too many books that he eventually plans on reading.