PLG in Marketing Explained with Examples

Product-led growth (PLG) is a powerful strategy in marketing. It uses the product itself to attract, convert, and keep customers. This approach focuses on highlighting the product’s value and user experience, which can lead to major growth and lasting success.

This guide dives into PLG marketing. We’ll look at the benefits, tactics, and success stories. If you’re in a SaaS company or a marketer looking for new strategies, learning about PLG is key to staying competitive.

Key Takeaways:

  • PLG leverages the product itself to generate demand, improve conversion rates, and retain users.
  • Benefits of PLG include lower customer acquisition costs, faster sales cycles, higher user satisfaction, and increased retention rates.
  • Implementing a successful PLG strategy requires market analysis, alignment with PLG criteria, and product optimization.
  • Tracking key metrics such as product-qualified leads, time to value, activation rate, and retention rate is crucial for measuring PLG success.
  • Adhering to PLG marketing principles, staying up to date with trends and tools, and overcoming challenges are essential for success.

What is Product-Led Growth?

Product-led growth, also known as PLG, is a way to grow your business. It uses the product itself to get more customers, make sales, and keep users happy. Unlike old-school marketing, PLG makes the product do the heavy lifting. It needs teams from marketing, product development, and customer support to work closely together. They use data on how people use the product and tailor experiences to fit each user.

PLG marketing makes the product the star. It creates interactions and experiences that get customers involved and make them want to buy. By focusing on the product’s value and what it can do, companies can attract more customers. This method also makes current users happier and more likely to stay on.

PLG marketing is great because it lets users see the product’s value by themselves. With PLG, it’s not just about marketing and sales efforts. The product takes center stage, allowing people to explore and understand its benefits. This helps users make their own decisions and trust the product more. Plus, it gives businesses useful data to make the product even better for their customers.

Implementing PLG Marketing

To do PLG marketing right, companies need to focus on a few important steps:

  1. User onboarding: Make starting with the product easy and clear. This helps users see its value right away. A good first experience can keep them interested and lead to sales.
  2. Personalized user experiences: Use data to give each user a special experience that fits what they like. Understanding what users do and prefer helps companies improve their product and their messages.
  3. In-app messaging: Send messages inside the app to help users, show off features, and offer support. Good in-app messages can guide users through the app, showing how useful the product is.
  4. Product virality: Create features that make users want to tell their friends about the product. A product worth sharing can bring in more customers through word-of-mouth.

By following these strategies and making sure marketing, product, and customer support teams work together, companies can use PLG to get more customers, make more sales, and keep users happy.

Why Invest in PLG Marketing?

Businesses should think about PLG marketing for a few key reasons. It cuts down the cost of getting new customers, making it budget-friendly. PLG uses the product to draw in users, so there’s no need for pricey ads. This lets businesses use their money better and grow in other ways.

PLG also speeds up the process of making sales. It makes the customer journey quick and easy, leading from knowing about the product to buying it. This quicker sales cycle helps save time and can boost earnings too.

Next, PLG focuses on keeping users happy. It aims resources at new users, making their experience great. Happy users stay loyal and tell others about their experience, helping the business grow over time.

PLG businesses usually keep their customers longer. They keep improving their product and listen to user feedback. This focus on the user keeps them coming back, lowering the rate at which they leave. This ensures lasting customer ties.

Putting money into PLG marketing offers big benefits like lower costs to get customers, quicker sales, happier users, and keeping them around longer. By using the product itself to grow, businesses can see lasting success and stand out in the market.

What is a PLG Strategy? The 4 Main Criteria

An effective PLG strategy looks at four key areas: market, model, channel, and product. Success in product-led growth depends greatly on these factors.

1. Market

For a product-led strategy, understanding the market is critical. The market needs to be big enough to generate user interest and demand. It also involves knowing your audience and what they want, which is key for a PLG campaign.

2. Model

The business model should fit well with PLG methods. Using freemium products or free trials helps attract users by showing off the product’s value. This way, companies can turn users who try for free into paying customers.

3. Channel

Choosing the right channels is essential for PLG success. Companies should use cost-effective channels that encourage users to share and promote their product. Leveraging word-of-mouth, social media, and influencers can boost growth by reaching more users.

4. Product

The product is key to PLG strategy success. To grow through the product, it must offer great value and standout features. It should be easy to use, offer a personalized experience, and get users to value quickly. Focusing on user satisfaction, keeping customers, and growing is crucial.

By focusing on market, model, channel, and product, companies can develop a strong PLG strategy. Aligning these areas is important for getting new users, converting customers, and achieving long-term success.

Key Product-Led Growth Metrics

Keeping an eye on key metrics is crucial for a successful product-led growth strategy. It helps businesses understand how their initiatives are doing. This way, they can tweak their methods for better results.

1. Product-Qualified Leads (PQLs)

Product-qualified leads (PQLs) are users who see the product’s value firsthand. They are likelier to become paying customers. These leads are deeply interested because they engage actively with the product. This hints at a strong chance for making more money. By tracking PQLs, you know how well your product draws in good leads. Then, you can work on turning them into loyal fans.

2. Time to Value

Time to value is about how fast users find the product beneficial. It shows if your onboarding is working and if users quickly benefit. A swift time to value means a good user experience and more happiness. Keeping an eye on this lets businesses find and fix any onboarding issues. So, users can quickly see why the product is great.

3. Activation Rate

The activation rate is the share of users reaching a key moment in the product. This moment could be doing a certain action or using an important feature. A better activation rate means users are really getting into the product. They’re likely to stick around longer. By improving this rate, companies can make the product more valuable and enjoyable for users.

4. Retention Rate

Retention rate looks at how well a business keeps customers over time. A high rate means happy, engaged customers, which lowers churn and boosts income. It shows how long customers stay and where to improve for better happiness and loyalty. By focusing on keeping customers, businesses build lasting relationships and get the most from each one.

Metric Description
Product-Qualified Leads (PQLs) Users who have experienced the value of the product
Time to Value Duration for users to derive meaningful value from the product
Activation Rate Percentage of users reaching a predefined activation point
Retention Rate Ability to retain customers over a specified period

By focusing on key product-led growth metrics, businesses learn a lot about their PLG success. They can make smart moves to get more users, improve how new users start, and keep customers happy. Continuous check-ins and tweaks based on these metrics are essential. They keep a business growing strong in today’s competitive market.

5 Principles to Succeed with PLG Marketing

For a winning product-led growth (PLG) marketing plan, companies should stick to five main rules. These include focusing on the onboarding experience, pinpointing what users aim to achieve, fine-tuning in-app messages, making the product worth talking about, and always trying new things and making improvements. Following these steps will help maximize their PLG strategy.

1. Prioritize the Onboarding Experience

The first experience with a product can make or break a customer’s view of it. Making the onboarding process smooth and easy helps keep customers happy and coming back. If users find immediate value in a product, they’re more likely to stick with it and use it often.

2. Understand Users’ Jobs-to-be-Done

Knowing what customers really need from your product is crucial. Spotting the challenges and aims users have allows companies to adjust their products to meet those exact needs. This focus on the customer boosts satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.

3. Optimize In-App Messaging

In-app messaging is key for guiding users and keeping them engaged. By sending messages that matter to users right when they need them, companies ensure users get the most out of the product. These targeted messages help users learn about and use more features, which makes them more likely to stay satisfied and keep using the app.

4. Build Product Virality

Having a product that people want to talk about is crucial for viral growth. When businesses create features that are both useful and share-worthy, they tap into organic growth. Whether it’s through referral programs or social sharing, encouraging word-of-mouth can greatly increase customers and awareness of the brand.

5. Continuously Experiment and Iterate

For a product strategy to thrive, constant experimentation and updating are key. Gathering data lets companies see what needs work, try out new ideas, and polish the product. Staying in tune with what users want helps drive innovation and keeps companies ahead in the market.

Principle Description
Prioritize the Onboarding Experience Create a positive first impression and increase customer satisfaction through a seamless onboarding process.
Understand Users’ Jobs-to-be-Done Tailor the product experience to users’ specific needs by understanding their problems and goals.
Optimize In-App Messaging Guide users and drive engagement through relevant and personalized in-app messages.
Build Product Virality Create a compelling product experience that encourages word-of-mouth marketing.
Continuously Experiment and Iterate Embrace a culture of experimentation and iteration to improve and grow the product-led strategy.

The Shift Towards Product-Led Growth

Changing consumer demands and market dynamics are driving the shift towards product-led growth. In the B2B software scene today, users expect top-notch experiences. This raises the standard for software companies and sparks more competition.

Also, software has become more accessible and affordable. This has increased the demand for free trials and freemium models. Users like to try products before buying, and companies are offering trials or limited access in response. This change makes companies rethink how they market themselves.

As old marketing ways get expensive and less effective, companies are seeking better methods. Product-led growth uses the product to attract, convert, and satisfy customers. It focuses on a great user experience and meeting consumer expectations. This way, companies can draw in and keep customers despite fierce competition.

The move towards product-led growth comes from wanting better user experiences. It also comes from more competition and the need for better customer strategies. It shows how companies are adapting to what consumers want and the market’s direction.

**product-led growth**| **consumer demand** | **market supply** | **UX expectations** | **competition** | **software budgets**

PLG Success Stories

Many companies have seen great success with product-led growth. Let’s look at some standout cases:


The Zoom platform changed video conferencing. It started with offering free access and easy to use features. This strategy led to more customers, happiness, and increased earnings.


Airtable used product-led growth to upgrade their project tools and team collaboration. Focusing on what users need and easy-to-use features made Airtable more popular and grew its user base.


Slack changed how teams communicate with its approach. Its easy and collaborative tool made it the top pick for smooth communication at work.


Figma embraced product-led growth to change design collaboration. With its online design tool and real-time teamwork features, Figma quickly stood out and led in design.


Pinterest used product-led growth to build a visual discovery site. Its user-friendly design and tailored content brought in many users. This made Pinterest a go-to for ideas and inspiration.


Typeform chose product-led growth to change how we make online forms and gather data. Its easy and interactive way to create forms made Typeform popular for surveys and quizzes.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker shook up the eyewear market with their approach. Offering online shopping that’s easy and a try-at-home option attracted many customers. This changed how we buy glasses.

Company Industry Product-Led Growth Approach
Zoom Video Conferencing Free entry point, seamless user experience
Airtable Project Management User-centric design, intuitive features
Slack Team Communication User-friendly, collaborative platform
Figma Design Collaboration Real-time collaboration, cloud-based design tool
Pinterest Visual Discovery User-friendly interface, personalized content
Typeform Data Collection Interactive form-building experience
Warby Parker Eyewear Seamless online shopping, try-at-home program

Product-Led Growth Best Practices

Using product-led growth (PLG) best practices is key for your marketing success. It starts with good user onboarding, knowing what customers need, and using data for a personal touch. Also, effective in-app messages, teaching users the value of your product, and encouraging them to spread the word are vital for growth.

1. Prioritize User Onboarding

Start with making onboarding seamless. Show users the key features and benefits. Teach them to get value from day one. This keeps users happy and sticks around longer.

2. Understand Customer Needs

Spend time figuring out what your customers struggle with and aim for. By knowing their needs, you can make your product work just right for them. Happy users stay and tell others about your product.

3. Personalize the User Experience

Use data to tailor the user experience and send the right messages to different users. Understanding user behavior lets you offer what they really need. This makes users feel connected to your product.

4. Create Effective In-App Messaging

In-app messages catch users while they’re engaged, making them more likely to pay attention and act. The key is messages that are clear, timely, and relevant. This boosts the impact of your messages.

5. Educate Customers on Product Value

Keep teaching your customers about your product’s value. Use tutorials, guides, and webinars to help them make the most of it. Investing in customer education increases satisfaction and loyalty.

6. Build Product Virality

Turn your users into advocates. Encourage them to share their great experiences through social media or referrals. A product worth talking about grows its user base all on its own.

Benefit Description
User Onboarding Improves user satisfaction, reduces churn, and increases user engagement.
Understanding Customer Needs Enhances product-market fit, drives personalized user experiences, and fosters long-term customer relationships.
Personalized User Experience Increases user retention, improves user satisfaction, and drives repeated product usage.
In-App Messaging Guides users, promotes feature adoption, and encourages desired user actions.
Customer Education Enables users to fully utilize and appreciate your product’s value, leading to increased customer loyalty.
Product Virality Generates organic growth, expands your user base, and drives referral-driven customer acquisition.

Trends and Tools in PLG Marketing

Product-led growth (PLG) is reshaping marketing today. Staying up-to-date with trends and using the right tools are key. Understanding PLG trends and using powerful tools help businesses grow sustainably.

Current Trends in PLG

  • Personalized onboarding experiences: Tailoring the onboarding process to individual users’ needs and preferences enhances user satisfaction and increases adoption rates.
  • Predictive analytics: Leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their PLG strategies for better outcomes.
  • Interactive product tours: Engaging users through interactive, step-by-step product tours helps them grasp the product’s value and encourages deeper engagement.
  • Data-driven decision-making: Utilizing comprehensive data insights allows businesses to make informed decisions, identify patterns, and uncover growth opportunities.

Marketers must embrace these trends to lead in the PLG field. Adding them to your strategy is essential.

PLG Tools for Success

Choosing the right tools can boost your PLG efforts. Here are key PLG tools:

User Onboarding Platforms In-App Messaging Tools Customer Analytics Software
Optimize the onboarding experience and drive higher user adoption rates. Engage users within the product, provide guidance, and encourage ongoing usage. Gain valuable insights into user behavior, measure product success metrics, and identify areas for improvement.

Using user onboarding platforms, in-app messaging tools, and customer analytics helps streamline PLG. They deliver great user experiences and drive growth.

Challenges and Considerations in Implementing PLG Marketing

PLG marketing brings benefits and challenges. Businesses need to work closely among marketing, product, and customer success teams. This teamwork drives customer acquisition, conversion, and retention.

For success, effective communication and working together are key. This ensures a great user experience and boosts PLG marketing’s success. Teams should find opportunities, solve issues, and improve PLG efforts continuously.

Also, businesses must focus on creating valuable products for users. A good PLG strategy needs products that are easy to use, feature-rich, and solve users’ problems. Without this, PLG marketing may not draw in or keep customers effectively.

Moreover, PLG marketing needs constant testing and learning. Businesses should use data, feedback, and user actions to better their PLG strategy. Trying new things can make the user experience better and lead to success.

Importantly, it’s critical to balance automation with personal help in PLG marketing. While PLG lets users explore products on their own, some might still need help. Offering support through chatbots, help centers, or direct outreach can fill this need.

Challenges and Considerations in Implementing PLG Marketing:

  • Close collaboration between marketing, product, and customer success teams
  • Development of a product that delivers meaningful value
  • Continuous experimentation and iteration
  • Striking a balance between self-serve and personalized support

Overcoming these challenges can make your PLG marketing strategy more powerful. It leads to more customers, conversions, and loyalty over time.

Challenges Considerations
Close collaboration between marketing, product, and customer success teams Regular communication and alignment among teams
Development of a product that delivers meaningful value Understanding user pain points and solving specific problems
Continuous experimentation and iteration Analyzing data, customer feedback, and user behavior
Striking a balance between self-serve and personalized support Providing customer support and assistance when needed

For a PLG marketing strategy to work well, these challenges must be considered. This approach brings out the best in products and leads to long-term wins.


Product-led growth (PLG) is a strong marketing strategy that uses the power of the product to attract and keep customers. It focuses on making the onboarding process better, meeting user needs, and enhancing in-app communication. This approach helps businesses grow quickly and cuts down the cost of getting new customers.

With PLG, companies can make their users happier by providing a tailored and easy-to-use product experience. To succeed, it’s important for businesses to keep up with new trends and tools. They also need to tackle any challenges that come their way.

Overall, PLG gives businesses a powerful way to use their products to their full potential. By paying attention to what their users want and how they interact with the product, companies can grow steadily. This leads to stronger brand loyalty and a competitive edge.


What is product-led growth (PLG) in marketing?

Product-led growth (PLG) is a go-to-market strategy. It uses the product to generate demand and convert sales. It also helps in keeping users for the long term.

How does PLG marketing work?

PLG marketing focuses on the product for customer acquisition and sales. The product generates demand and keeps customers happy.

Why should businesses invest in PLG marketing?

PLG marketing reduces customer acquisition costs and speeds up sales cycles. It also increases user satisfaction and retention rates.

What are the main criteria for a PLG strategy?

A PLG strategy requires a large market and alignment with the business model. It also needs low-cost channels. Plus, a product that offers great value and features.It should also provide a quick time-to-value, personalized experience, and easy design.

What are the key metrics to track in PLG marketing?

The key metrics in PLG marketing include product-qualified leads and time to value. Also, the activation rate and retention rate are important.

What are the principles to succeed with PLG marketing?

To succeed with PLG marketing, focus on the onboarding experience and understand user needs. Optimizing in-app messaging, building product virality, and experimenting are also key.

What is driving the shift towards product-led growth?

The shift to product-led growth is due to changing consumer demands and a need for better user experiences. There’s also more competition and higher marketing costs.

What are some examples of companies that have succeeded with PLG?

Companies like Zoom, Airtable, Slack, Figma, Pinterest, Typeform, and Warby Parker have succeeded with PLG.

What are the best practices for implementing PLG marketing?

Best practices for PLG include focusing on user onboarding and understanding customer needs. Using data for personalization and creating effective messaging are also important.Additionally, educating customers about the product value and building virality are key.

What are the current trends and tools in PLG marketing?

Trends in PLG marketing involve personalized onboarding and predictive analytics. Interactive tours and data-driven decisions are also current trends. Tools include onboarding platforms, messaging tools, and analytics software.

What are the challenges and considerations in implementing PLG marketing?

Implementing PLG marketing requires team collaboration and delivering meaningful product value. It also requires balancing self-serve and personalized support. Plus, continuous experimenting and iterating is essential.

What is the importance of PLG in marketing?

PLG in marketing uses the product to drive acquisition, conversion, and retention. It leads to accelerated growth, lower costs, and higher user satisfaction.
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