Product validation usually poses an enormous challenge for entrepreneurs, especially for digital services. The process can involve many complex steps that can cost you a lot of money. To do it effectively, you need to know the right questions to ask and what to do with your collected data.
To help you in this effort, you can use this as a guide and learn five practical ways to validate your digital product ideas. Although the tips below can also apply to traditional offerings, they can be most effective for validating digital services.
1. Create a Prototype
Generally, a prototype is a raw version of your digital product that demonstrates the basic solution you want to offer and nothing else. Sometimes, it can also showcase other additional features. But, in its simplest form, a prototype is designed to highlight the unique solution you are trying to introduce in the market.
Modern entrepreneurs consider the creation of a prototype as one of the easiest and most effective ways to know if your product meets your customers’ needs.
A prototype can take minimal effort to build because it does not have any additional features. The final format could range from a simple sketch of a journey map to a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a functional and usable early version of your product.
For instance, if you are thinking of offering an online course, an MVP could be a short video tutorial or even a blog post. Although both examples do not offer the full features of your course, they can serve the same purpose: teach.
Several software services online can help you build fast and realistic prototypes at an affordable price.
Because you are not expected to spend a lot of time creating the prototype of your product, make sure that the final output features the basic function of your idea. Consequently, you should not spend too much time trying to develop the “perfect” one.
With a prototype, you can breeze through several validation process stages, including pitching to investors and researching data from your target market.
2. Offer Freebies
If you have already designed a new product and want to get feedback from many of your loyal customers, you can offer a free trial. You can give it on its own or add them to your buyer’s purchases.
After the trial is done, check if people are signing up for it or downloading the paid version. This allows you to determine the interest level for the new solution you created.
3. Survey Your Target Customers
One simple way to validate your product idea is to survey your customers. Where you conduct your survey depends on where your audience is. If they are active on Instagram, you can use Instagram stories and poll them about your idea.
If you know the users who are highly engaged with your content, reach out to them and ask if you could ask a few market research questions.
A survey or an interview can be great opportunities to determine what to include in your new service. Ask them what features would be most beneficial for them. This step removes the guesswork when you are developing your final product.
If your community is active on another platform like TikTok or LinkedIn, you can use those platforms to reach out to more people.
4. Study Your Competition
One quick way to validate your product and understand your potential market is through competitor research. Depending on the intensity and methodology of your research, this process can also be cost-effective.
Today, several tools can help you save money while providing excellent competitor data. For example, you can use Google Keyword Planner to gauge the online presence of your rivals. You can also use the tools to determine what words consumers use when looking for the type of product or services you offer.
Knowing the most popular keywords can help you choose your product name or your website’s domain name. It is recommended to choose a popular keyword as a name so consumers can find you faster through search engines.
5. Do an Experiment
An experiment can be a quick and effective validation process for your product idea. It may be more expensive than other approaches, but it is still an affordable option.
This process involves conducting a marketing experiment by running an introductory advertising campaign and creating a quick landing page.
The concept is to sell an idea of the product to your target consumers. You must develop a high-quality and compelling marketing campaign and create ads to direct consumers to your landing page. This is where interested customers will make decisive clicks and submit their relevant data.
By measuring click-throughs, bounce rates, signup rates, and how long they spent on the site, you can gauge the level of potential demand available for the product you want to create.
These are five practical ways to validate your digital products. With these strategies, coming up with a unique offering to address your customers’ needs can be easier.