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After building an MVP it is important to gather customer feedback and see whether you should have be building the MVP in the first place and if it´s solving a problem for customers or not. Most of the ideas people have can be realised from the technical point of view but the question is always if there is a demand on the market and this is sometimes difficult to find out. Depending on the product you are building you will need to find and try out different ways to test your MVP and we have looked at some major techniques which can be used to get data from possible future users.
Ride your MVP like a car on a bridge.
“Startup success can be engineered by following the process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.”- Eric Ries
The typical landing page is often used to run a variety of tests on your product such as different pricing and product models and to check and identify the customer´s behaviour on your website. The landing page will need the right amount of information with an effective value proposition and a strong call to action coupled with analytics tools to gather all the visitors analytics.
A/B tests are closely related to landing pages as it will allow you to test changes to your landing pages or your marketing approach. You could, for example, build 2 landing pages with the same information but different design to see which one performs best. This is an ongoing task as your normally take the one which performs better as the new standard and test from there again.
Customer surveys or interviews can be helpful to get first-hand information from users. There are plenty of tools on the internet you could make use of such as Surveymonkey or Qualaroo where you can either interview with a script and predefined questions and answer options or just get comments from your users.
This is one of the best ways to test your MVP, platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are essentially a collection of MVPs where the users badge and support the product if they think it is worth a further development. You can receive feedback and see which types of “support” customers chose to see in which area you should invest in. One of the most famous fundraising projects is Pebble which raised millions with their Kickstarter.
Ad campaigns with AdWords, Bing, Facebook or now even Instagram can be used to see which kind of customers you will have and if you product is appealing to certain demographics. It lets you track which ads are relevant to customers and drive traffic to your landing page for example. This could, therefore, be combined with landing pages and A/B tests but it might become quite expensive depending on the competition.
Videos or explainer videos of how the product works and will help customers and users are another important tools when creating an MVP and getting customer feedback If you have a good video which explains how your product can save time or make users life easier and explain why they should buy/use your product. These videos can also easily go viral and be shared by customers. Another bonus here is that we all know sometimes a picture/video tells more than 1000 words or even more. (This is true in some cases obviously sometimes it’s better to describe something with words.
Some products started using a blog and became a product later, therefore, you could say they started with an MVP and from there took it to a product. A blog is a good way to do this as you have the typical two-way communication which lets your customers, here readers, get in touch with you directly and discuss different topics.
A famous example here is Eric Ries book “The Lean Startup” started as a blog before it became a book.
A single feature MVP is a product with just one feature to start off with before spending more time on development to see whether the market accepts the product or not. This helps you to see if the initial users will use your product for your intended main purpose rather than having them getting confused by a complex structure and many features to begin with.
This one is related to point 4 in this list the fundraising projects, here you can create a shop or page where you let your users already pre-order the product you are working on. You can let customers pre-order your product from day 1 when you have an idea and see if there is enough demand on the market. This way you can also get money to make the development happen. The only downside of this way is that right now a lot of people are afraid of pre-ordering risky projects as many have already failed and customers have never seen the product at a later stage. It is important to be transparent and have the customers informed to stay trustworthy.
The 5 principles according Eric Ries
It is important to find the best suitable way to test your MVP depending on your kind of product, some ways make more sense some techniques maybe less. A good choice is also to use more than 1 technique and use a bit of a mix to get different users attracted and opinions.
Another important part to think about is what your desired result is and what kind of feedback you are looking for as you will need to make use of the feedback you receive otherwise it is useless.
And as mentioned in this article it is good to bring out your MVP with a little development work to have many iterations going over it and make sure only the necessary development work is done.