10 methods to test your MVP

10 methods to test your MVP

By creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), a business stands a great chance to test a particular product idea. In addition to that, MVP allows you and your team to have a realistic assessment of the validity of the business plan. The idea behind the concept of MVP is to design and create a beta version (a prototype) of the potential product and let prospective users experience it.

In fact, you don’t build an MVP to test the technical feasibility of creating it. Instead, its primary purpose is to see if the product is worth making in the first place. Also, it provides a sharp insight into the product’s capacity for solving a specific problem and let you know if users will be willing to pay for it.

Initial preparation

Before we learn the methods, let’s learn how to prepare to create an MVP:

1. Define the exact problem, your proposed solution and the target audience

Before everything else, you should figure out the core of the problem you are trying to address. It could be a problem your customer or employees raised or could be you browsing ideas to start a new venture. If you don’t have a specific idea yet, try to think of the issues you face in your everyday life. Think of a problem or two for which you still don’t have a satisfactory answer. For instance, if you are a business owner, you should be having plenty of issues (depending on the type of your business) that frustrates you every day. Pick one of those issues and try to figure out an answer to that. Then, imagine how it would work for others just like you.

2. Perform a market analysis

After figuring out a problem, solution and a market segment, you should do market research. At this phase, you will have to look at the potential competitor products, talk to potential customers and understand what the real market needs are. See what the competitors are doing at the moment and compare their approach with your planned solution. Then, you can plan out the improvements requires.

3. Always plan to market the simplest solution

Think of yourself. Do you prefer the most straightforward solution or a complex one? Just like you, anyone out there would prefer using the simplest possible solution to address an issue. It would be best if you considered this pretty seriously when designing an MVP. If you are trying to launch an app, be sure to develop it to have a simple, easy to use interface and design. It must be intuitive for any user. Remember, every smartphone user prefers simplicity even when solving the most complex problem. In simplest terms, the simpler the solution you provide, the more the customers will embrace it.

4. Identify the main features of the product

Be sure that you have a good understanding of the core feature of the solution you try to develop. If your product has several functions, identify the most critical features and plan to market the solution based on those features.

5. Build it and experience it

You need to play the role of a prospective customer/user at the last step of preparation. That means you should build the product and experience it yourself. You can then learn from the product you have developed. This stage is crucial when you need to respond to the customer feedback you will have.

Benefits associated with MVP

These are the main benefits you can experience through MVP:

  • It lets you test the product in real-world conditions, without wasting an excessive amount of resources it takes to develop a working product.
  • MVPs demand minimal time in terms of production and development. Some processes, such as Design Sprint, can take you from idea to prototyping and testing in 5 days and even less than that.
  • It lets you test your hypothesis and launch the product faster, based on what your customers need, much quicker.

The complexity of the MVP will depend on the product type you plan to build. After concluding the hypotheses, it is better if you can consider the below-mentioned testing techniques. Through these methods, you will be able to acquire reliable data from the real-life prospective users who would eventually use the original release later on.

MVP testing tools

These are some great tools to test your hypothesis:

1. Interview potential customers

With the assistance of a suitably arranged customer interview, you have a higher chance of emphasizing valuable and unique information about the product. It can be used to create an interest in the product while highlighting the problem it solves. It is always better to have these interviews without a sales pitch if you expect the best results out of it.

Be sure to prepare the questionnaire with the focus of emphasizing the problems the respective product intent to solve. Then, you can have a better understanding of your solution potential and how will prospective users respond to it. See some questions ideas users suggested.

If done correctly, an interview is an exceptionally ingenious, results-guaranteed way concerning mining information.

2. Convincing landing pages

A landing page is another powerful method to check how viable your product will be. The term “Landing Page” is used to describe the very first page the potential customers (interested visitors) see when they get directed to your product description webpage.A landing page is one of the most efficient ways to emphasize the features of your product. You can consider it a superb MVP that tests the product against the expectation of the real-world customers.However, the truth is that many of the landing pages I see today have become pages that forcefully capture the emails of a potential customer. Instead, if you use them correctly, you can expect them to test your product hypothesis.

3. A/B Testing

A/B tests are well-known for their effectiveness when you need to test the efficacy of a new idea or the changes applied to a particular marketing procedure. You can consider using plenty of analytic tools and experience how visitors may react to the potential changes you might have made. This method is a great way to stay away from risky guesswork and improve product functionality.A/B testing means creating two versions of the same web page or product prototype, with different approaches. Then, the interactions of the visitors on two versions will be observed to determine which version serves the purpose best. In this case, facts like bounce rate, usage, and conversion rate will be taken into account to determine the effectiveness.

4. Well-planned ad campaigns

Although ad campaigns are preliminarily used to increase the sales volume, they can also play a supportive role in market validation surveys. Ad campaigns that are carried out with the assistance of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other place, depending on your customers’ presence, can provide you a keen insight about the demographics of the target segment. It also lets you get an idea about the most valuable and useful elements of the product you are trying to sell.Statistics such as conversion rates and click-through-rates related to ad campaigns are critical when you need to determine the functionality of the product. You can combine this information with A/B tests and get a clear picture of the product’s viability.

5. Crowdfunding programs

You can consider using a crowdfunding platform and make the best use of it to run the MVP tests as well. Popular crowdfunding platforms are an excellent way of showcasing and promoting your MVPs. The response the particular products get through these campaigns can be used to judge the interest of the people about that product. The logic is simple – if the respective product raises more funds from a large number of contributors, you can judge the demand for such a product. These contributors are a representation of the potential market segment for the product you try to promote. However, the most important thing to notice here is the ‘number’ of contributors over the amount collected.

Because of that very reason, a fundraising campaign delivers you dual benefits. That means it raises funds for the product you intend to offer while providing a clear insight into the value of the answer your product gives to the particular problem. Also, such a program creates solid word-of-mouth within the potential market segment even before the launching of the product. Crowdfunding is an exceptionally beneficial approach in the context of marketing.

However, the efficiency of the fundraising program depends on the elements of it. Aspects like explainer videos, demos, incentives, and narratives can be incredibly handy in increasing the effectiveness of the campaign.

6. Explainer videos

You already know how effective pictures can be when it comes to marketing. Photos show a great deal of efficiency when explaining something. Naturally, videos show much higher efficiency when explaining a product or anything else. Modern-Day individuals hardly prefer reading lengthy product descriptions mainly because they don’t have enough time to do so. Therefore, prospective consumers are particularly attracted to videos that explain products and other stuff in interesting and exciting ways. You must make sure, however, that the videos are not so lengthy. Just like the lengthy paragraphs, people hardly prefer watching videos that are lengthy. They quickly get bored even with the videos if they are too long and complicated. So, make sure that you make those videos concise and exciting. Many pieces of research show that the length of the video should be no more than 3 minutes. The attention you drag towards the product using this explainer video would be exceptionally effective. It also can create a strong first impression on the product.

A good explainer video would be convenient when you have to emphasize the fact that you have an answer to a problem which is not even recognized by the users. After the demonstration of the product information and how useful it is to potential customers, it is easier for you to convince them that it is worth paying for your offered solution. Also, getting the feedback after showing the demonstration.

7. Creating Blogs

Creating a blog is another impressive way to establish a strong impression of your product among the potential customers. You can use a blog to explain the product, answer the possible questions and empower the product with valuable input from supporters and followers of the product. Also, such a blog can play a vital role in making the product a ‘norm’ in the industry. Thanks to the two-way interactive communication process that can be carried out through the blogs, gathering the feedback of the customers is a ‘walk in the park’ for you. Through these feedbacks, you will be able to get a very bright picture of your minimum viable product. Even the prospective customers will prefer to engage in interactive communication rather than in conventional methods. The customers will feel as if they are a part of your product.

8. Creation of digital prototypes

In most of the cases, you can consider creating digital mockups of your product to give a clear idea about the functionality of the product. By mimicking the actual functionality of the product through a digital prototype, you can let more individuals access your prototype and experience it. You can either have those MVP prototypes as sketches or even as beta applications to provide a user experience. Users across the globe that fall into your market segment can use this digital product can flesh your idea with their valuable feedbacks. There are plenty of tools you can use to create digital prototypes. Moreover, such an approach is highly cost-effective. As a startup, in particular, such a cost-effective approach will be convenient for you.

9. Creating single-feature MVPs

By building a single feature MVPs, you can save a considerable amount of your development time. Also, such an approach is going to be very handy to keep the perspective focused on the primary functionality of the product. That means, single-feature MVPs don’t usually distract the users from its main feature.

As a result of such an approach, you will be able to get a clear picture of what users think about the primary feature of the product. Also, users will love the concept of simplicity of the single-feature MVP. So, it would be best if you decided which feature of your product should be emphasized before launching the MVP. Then, put that feature into practice and let the users check how essential it is in solving the relevant product they have.

10. Building Pre-order pages

Pre-order MVP pages allow you to test the product with prospective customers and let them contribute to the product even before the actual launch of the product. This process is pretty much similar to the process of fundraising/crowdfunding. Well-known brands have started by creating such pre-order page and exceeded their expectations. These pre-order pages can be promoted with the assistance of social media and achieve immense success. As of today, social media has become a powerful sales tool that can support pre-order pages related to MVPs. Through the demand you get on the initial pre-order page, you can decide whether to continue with the project or scrap it. Pre-order is a convenient way to save your money and time.However, due to specific incidents, modern-day consumers have mixed feelings about the products promoted through pre-order pages. Many of the prospective consumers believe that the manufacturer will not deliver the product as promised. Make sure you can follow what you promise.
Due to some reasons, creating an MVP may put additional weight on the manufacturer’s shoulders. As a manufacturer, you will have to spend much time and effort in learning and product iteration. However, if you create the potential MVP with a clear vision omitting the unnecessary processes and identifying the essential aspects, it can be a fruitful approach for you. In addition to that, you should know that it is very convenient to use multiple techniques when testing your MVP. Instead of linting yourself to a single MVP testing method, trying various testing techniques can bring better results. Depending on the type of the product you intend to market, the efficiency of different testing methods can vary. So, to find out the best method that works for you, trying different approaches is the most convenient way.

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