14 Best Ways to Get Market Validation for Your New Product

Last updated on August 19th, 2022

By Lilit A. Drampian

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, more than 30,000 new products are introduced every year, 95% of which fail. 42% of startups fail because their product or service isn’t aligned with market needs. What’s more, nearly 75% of retail products and consumer packaged goods fail to earn even $7.5 million during their first year. 

These staggering statistics suggest that entrepreneurs often get so passionate about their ideas that they jump into creating products that are not demanded by consumers at all! And the life of a product for which there is no need is really short. And then there’s this sad truth that the resources and time dedicated to creating, launching, and marketing the product were simply useless. 

All this emphasizes the significance of the need for market validation for startups unless the latter wants to be part of the “failed” statistics. 

But what is market validation? Well, simply put, it’s the process of exploring whether your target market indeed needs your product. It’s the first step to reasonably predicting the sales of your product, its potential, and profitability. 

Another issue you may be wondering about is how you will execute your market acceptability validation without spending too many resources? In fact, market validation doesn’t have to be expensive. In this article, we’ll explore the steps to market validation, as well as provide relevant tools to conduct it without breaking the bank.

Initial Stages of Market Validation 

Market validation is a process that requires time and effort. Since you are going to understand the place of your product in the market, you’ll need to not only research the market for your product but also test it to understand whether it will be demanded or not. 

Thus, below we will present in detail how to conduct market validation by discussing the market validation stages including hypothesis development, market research, value proposition, and experimenting and revision.

Market Validation Initial Stages

Develop Your Hypothesis

Coming up with ideas is good. Coming up with bright ideas is even better. But in business, your bright idea is fake unless proven otherwise. 

As wonderful and promising as the idea might seem, you should approach it with great care during the initial stage. The reason? Your idea hasn’t yet passed through the filters of market validation. 

As the odds are against you at this stage, the best thing you can do is to formulate your new product concept as a hypothesis with central and secondary hypotheses, which need to be proved.   

For instance, if you want to create a fitness app for muscle strength, you might come up with the following central hypothesis: 

Will fitness lovers be interested in a fitness app that allows them to train remotely to develop muscles, measure their progress and get personalized diet tips?

Then you can come up with assumptions that you will need to test and prove. For this case, some of the assumptions might include: 

  • Some fitness lovers prefer to train and develop strength outside gyms. 
  • Working out remotely is as effective as working out at a gym. 
  • People who want to develop muscle strength are also interested in tracking their progress and personalized diet. 
  • Fitness lovers have enough disposable income to pay for the app, etc. 

With these hypotheses in mind, you should start your product validation process. In some cases, you might find out that your product will work well with some minor modifications. In other cases, you’ll need to significantly - if not totally - transform your concept to meet the market needs. The important thing is that you should allow the “market needs” to transform your concept, no matter how much in love you are with your initial idea. In other words, your product should be like the stone shaped by the river current of your market.

Now let’s see how to find those market needs to shape your product accordingly. 

Do Your Market Research 

The better you research your market before introducing your product, the higher your chances of success. 

To avoid failure, you should choose to move from market to product, rather than the other way round. Take a specific market you’re interested in and explore microniches in that very market. Once you start exploring the market segments, their size, growth, etc., you’ll see if there is a “blue ocean” for you. 

If you look back, you’ll see that all successful brands have actually done this! Take, for instance, Motorola.  Long ago the phone industry was composed of only fixed and cordless telephones for home use. Motorola revolutionized the industry by introducing mobiles - a totally new category in the telephone industry. Or take Netflix: it is the first movie streaming service that doesn’t use ads! All of these brands did their homework well and are now enjoying the results. 

Now let’s see in detail what you should include in your research. 

Identify Your Target Audience

Once you’ve found your microniche, the next step is to understand who your target audience is. Making a product for everybody is the same as making a product for nobody. It’s impossible and useless. 

Instead, ask yourself who your buyer persona is. Research to find out whether your customers are mainly male or female, or maybe both? Also, determine which age group they belong to: are they kids, young people, adults, or elderly people? 

However, identifying the demographic isn’t enough. You should also deeply understand their pain points, habits, likes, and dislikes. What problem do they have and what solutions are they looking for? To which extent will your product solve their problem and satisfy their needs? What will keep them back from using your product? What do they like? What do they dislike? What hobbies do they have?  These are some questions that will guide you through the process of finding out and narrowing down your target audience. 

At this stage, you can use both secondary and primary data to discover your audience. 

With all this data at hand, you can accordingly design your product and its value proposition. This way you will adequately address the needs of your target audience and offer them what they are looking for. 

Assess Your Market Size and Share

Once you have determined your target market, the next step is to assess its size and share. This will help you estimate your product’s potential and justify its launch.

To do this assessment, you should first of all look into available secondary data like industry reports, statistics, etc. regarding your market. Based on the available market information, you can choose one out of the two basic methodologies for market size determination: top-down and bottom-up. 

The top-down approach starts with a macro view of the current market, the potential customers, and revenue, and then narrows this down to your target segment. For this methodology, you will need to know the broad market size figure in dollars and the percentage of the target share relevant to your product. 

TOP-DOWN Methodology Formula

$ Market size = $ Broad-industry market size x % Target share of that market 

If you’re looking for validation or a quick assessment of your market size, this approach will definitely work for you as it’s generally quicker and much more time-efficient. The shortcoming of this methodology is that it’s not very detailed and will thus not provide you with a true opportunity analysis. Besides, because this approach is mainly built on secondary research, it will work best for established markets with plenty of available data.  

Unlike the top-down methodology, the bottom-up methodology starts with your own product: you first calculate the basic units of your business and then build up the results to understand how to scale them. This is a more accurate approach but it also takes more time to calculate. Here’s its main formula: 

BOTTOM-UP Methodology Formula

$ Market size = # of Customers x $ Avg Revenue per Customer per Year

$ Avg Revenue per Customer per Year = # Transaction Volume x $ Pricing 

As you can see, this methodology includes all the key variables of the target market and is, therefore, more likely to contribute to better forecasting and more accurate data. However, unlike the top-down approach, it mainly relies on primary research, since you need to double-check data on your particular market for greater accuracy. In fact, this approach works best if you’re entering a new market and expect to make a disruptive effect there since it’s tailored to your situation and uses your own data. 

Ultimately, if you’re striving for higher confidence and accuracy, it is recommended to use both approaches to market sizing. When choosing the methodology, you should also consider the type of your business and the product you’re offering. 

Do a Competitor Analysis 

The key to any product’s success is that it should solve an existing problem in a new or easier way. This means your product should differ from other products on the market that solve the same problem. For this, you should first identify the competitors in your market and understand how they solve an existing problem.

In this respect, you should explore two categories of your competitors: 

  • Direct competitors: these are businesses that offer a product or service that is the same or similar to yours to fulfill your customers’ needs. Examples may include Mcdonald's versus Burger King, Apple’s iPhone versus Samsung’s Galaxy, etc. 
  • Indirect competitors: these are businesses that offer products or services significantly different from yours but aimed at fulfilling the same customer need. Examples can include Pizza Hut vs Burger King, coffee vs tea, ice cream versus cheesecake, etc. 

By analyzing your competitors, you can not only identify their products but also explore their sales techniques and marketing strategies. This will allow you to assess your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and build a product better than theirs. 

With the digital tools available now, you can identify and analyze your competitors pretty fast and in a structured way. Here are some tools that will definitely come in handy: 

Google: This is the basic, most convenient, and top-of-mind tool that you might think of when doing your search. Simply type the name of the product or service of interest to you and analyze each of the competitors listed. 

Crunchbase: This is a great place to find out any data on any type of company globally. Here you can learn anything from the key details about the company to its financials, investments, staff, technology, and much more.

LinkedIn: This is another platform where you can get information about your competitor companies, explore their posts, etc. 

SimilarWeb/Semrush: Great place to get insights on the monthly visits and the traffic generated by certain keywords. Explore keywords on your competitors’ products and analyze the information. 

Buzzsumo: Here you can enter a keyword or domain, and instantly see your competitors’ content with relevant statistics.  

Mailcharts: If you’re wondering what e-mail marketing strategies your competitors use, you should definitely use this tool. 

Come Up With a Value Proposition

Only after having all the data regarding your market and audience, you can come up with features that suit your audience’s needs.  

With all that research-backed data at hand, you will be able to find the value proposition that best suits your audience’s needs and “clicks” with them.  

But what is the value proposition in marketing?

A product value proposition statement is a summary of the key benefits the customer will receive when using your product. Each of the points in your value proposition should address a customer’s challenge and show you as a problem-solver. 

To give you a deeper idea of the nuts and bolts of a strong value proposition statement, let’s look at the classic value proposition canvas.

Value Proposition and CUstomer Profile Model

Source: Mentor Day 

As you can see the canvas is composed of two parts - the value proposition and the customer profile. This simple model helps you understand your customers’ problems and create products that solve them.

You can start by filling out the customer profile sections, which include the customer jobs, pains, and gains. Jobs are the social, emotional, or functional tasks that the customer can fulfill using your product. Pains are basically the problems the customers eliminate when using our product. This may also include fears that customers associate with when using our product. And, finally, gains are the benefits and the positive experiences the customer gets from using our product. 

Once you have filled in the customer profile, you can now start looking at the value proposition map. Here you can see three sections: products and services, pain relievers, and gain creators. In the products and services section, you can mention the key product or service you provide. Under pain relievers, you should point out the elements of your product that remove the pains of your customers mentioned in the customer profile. Gain creators include the product’s added value to your customer, i.e. all the elements that improve your customers’ experience. 

And here’s an example of a value proposition canvas for Tesla. 

Value Proposition for Tesla

Source: Design a Better Business

This kind of comprehensive and simplified visual mapping helps you do focused planning, identifies the elements for your further marketing outreach, and ensures high customer involvement.

Useful Tools for the Research Stage

Here I have compiled a few useful tools to help you validate your idea during the research stage. Let’s go. 

Use Google Trends 

Google Trends can be a great tool when it comes to researching and validating your business idea. Based on Google Search, it allows you to see the trends of searches for certain keywords. It actually shows how often real people searched for the given term on Google across different regions and in various languages.  

For instance, if we want to launch a business related to gazpacho - a type of cold Spanish soup made of raw, blended vegetables I’ll type the term in the search box and get the following result:

Google Trends for Market Validation

As you can see, the trend strongly speaks for the seasonality of the product, its highest demand being in summer.

Now if we compare it with horchata - a plant-based beverage also used in Spain - we can see the following: 

Market Validation With Google Trends

The demand for horchata also rises somewhat in summer, but still, it doesn’t reach the level of gazpacho. 

Note that when comparing the two terms I specified the region as Spain.:

Market Validation By Countries

Thus, from these results, we can conclude that there is a market for both products, but the demand for gazpacho is higher than that for horchata.

Use Google Keyword Planner 

Besides Google Trends, you can also use the Google Keyword Planner tool to further validate your idea. 

For instance, we can compare the terms Chia seed oil and Chia seed powder. To do this, go to Google Keyword Planner and click on ‘Discover new keywords.”

Keyword Planner for Market Validation

Next, insert your keywords in the box and click “Get Results.”

Keyword Research for Market Validation

Ta-daaam! Here are your results:

Keyword Research

As shown by the data, the search for Chia seed oil exceeds that for chia seed powder and the competition for both keywords is high, which indicates that there is a market for both products. As to the suggested bid, we see that it’s higher for Chia seed oil than the Chia seed powder, which means that more investment is made in Chia seed oil than powder advertising. 

To go even further, you can check out similar suggestions to validate your idea.

Keyword Ideas for Market Validation

Among the suggestions you can see the phrase "chia oil." Thus, if you’re going to produce chia oil from chia seeds, you’re on the right track. 

Use Amazon 

Currently, Amazon has turned into some sort of a search engine, where people search for almost anything. This makes it another great tool for market validation. 

For instance, if you want to make products made from shea butter, as a first step you should go and type “shea butter” in the search bar.

Here are some of the results:

Amazon Research for Validation

As you can see, the market for shea butter products is pretty big including everything from raw shea butter, lotion, oil to body butter, and everything in between. 

If we narrow down the search to shea butter for hair, we’ll get an additional list of products of different types designed for different purposes. 

Market Validation Amazon Research

These products on the list can serve as an inspiration for your business if your idea gets validated. For this purpose, you can search for exactly shea butter products for hair by putting this keyword in quotation marks and sorting by average customer review. 

Amazon Product Research for Market Validation

Now that we have all the products sorted from the best to worst according to customer reviews, it’s time to do some research. 

For each of the products on the list, explore in detail the following sections: 

  • “about the product,”
  • “product description,” 
  • “frequently bought together,” 
  • “products related to this item,” 
  • “Customer Questions & Answers” 
  • “Customer Reviews.”

Take out all the information from the “about the product” section and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet. It can serve you for two purposes: first of all, you can understand the features and benefits of your competitor's product and design something unique, and second, you can use a similar copy later for your product. 

Item Description for Market Validation

You can also analyze the product package from the images section.

Product's Detailed View for Validation

Next, look at the product description to see the key benefits of the product. Add this information to your spreadsheet too to consider later when designing your offer. 

Product Description

As for the “frequently bought together” and “products related to this item” sections, those can give you an idea of substitutes your customers may opt for, as well as inspire you to come up with useful packages for your customers in the future. 

Bought Together Research for Market Validation

Similar Products Research for Market Validation

The next important section is the “Customer questions & answers”, where you can read many questions and answers regarding the use of the product, its packaging, composition, etc. This section is a goldmine for exploring your customer’s problems, needs, and challenges. So it would be logical to keep this information too and consider it during your market validation process, as well as when developing your product later. 

Customer Feedback Research for Market Validation

Another huge goldmine is the “Customer Reviews'' section where you can find your customers’ likes, dislikes, complaints, praises, etc. This section not only gives you valuable insights into your customers’ needs but also challenges you to offer a product devoid of the problems existing in your competitor's product. 

Customer Feedback Research for Validation

In the future, you can also use this user-generated content in your copies to talk about your product in the words of the customers. 

Thus, Amazon is a great place to explore the market and competitors, get inspiration and ideas, as well as validate your product. 

Conduct Customer Validation Interviews/Surveys

One of the best ways to learn about your target audience’s preferences and your product’s potential is to conduct customer validation interviews. You can do this by using market research tools or hiring a market company that will come up with a focus group, or you can simply make an online survey including marketing validation questions and send it to your identified target audience. Alternatively, you can interview members of your focus group. 

Here are some of the customer validation interview questions you can ask: 

  1. How did you learn about our product? 
  2. When was the first time you thought about buying it?
  3. What was the problem you were trying to solve by buying the product?
  4. What other alternatives did you consider when making your decision?
  5. Why did you choose exactly this product out of all the alternatives?
  6. What product were you using before? Why did you decide to switch?
  7. What would you change in this product to make it suit your needs better?

As you can see, most of these customer validation questions are aimed at understanding the motivation behind the purchase, the preferences of the customers, and their needs.  Based on the validation interview questions and answers, you’ll not only be able to understand how likely your product is to be a success with your audience, but also improve it accordingly. 

Do Some Scraping

During the research stage of your market validation process, any source where users hold an opinion on a product like yours can be super valuable. Among such sources are social media, forums like Reddit or Quora, the press, product reviews, etc. The bad news is that the amount of this information can be huge. But the good news is that you can web scrape and access it easily without wasting too much time! With this data, you can have valuable “guidelines” for validating your ideas and making your investor presentations more persuasive. 

Create a Blog

Writing blogs can be pretty time-consuming. But when it comes to validating new hypotheses, blogs can be useful too since they allow for two-way communication. This method can be reliable, although not a fast one for market validation. You can start with testing your hypotheses on some platforms like Medium or Blogger.

Experiment and Revise

The next step after you have completed your research and come up with your value proposition is experimenting and revising your product. This is a crucial step as during the process you’re going to see how reliable your research was, what worked well and what didn’t, and, most importantly, how you can change your product to make it highly demanded in the market. 

Below we have gathered some handy methods and tools to help you validate your product through testing. 

Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The term "Minimum viable product" was first coined by Frank Robinson, co-founder, and president of California-based SyncDev management-consulting firm. It was later popularized by Eric Ries, founder of the Lean Startup methodology. 

But what is a minimum viable product? An MVP is the version of a new product with enough features to attract early adopters. Made with the least amount of effort, it significantly differs from a technology prototype and is mainly used on a landing page with a “Buy” button. 

But what is the goal of a minimum viable product? The answer is simple - it’s used to validate the product idea and its sales early in the product development cycle. 

Now you may be wondering how to build a minimum viable product. It’s actually easy peasy. 

So let’s go through our 6-step minimum viable product checklist and see what you need. 

Step 1 & 2. Do Market Research and Think of Added Value 

Surprise! If you did your research, which culminated with your value proposition, as discussed above, then you’re done with steps 1 and 2!

Step 3: Map Out User Flow

This step has to do with the design process. If you’re building a product, you should do your best to make it convenient for users. This is especially important in view of the fact that in case the user is buying a competitor product, you should ensure there is no barrier to switching to your product. 

In the case of developing an app, the process is a bit more complicated, since you have to consider everything from opening the app to the final step which might be buying, sending, delivering, etc. 

The main idea of this step is to design the product with your customer in mind. 

Step 4: Prioritize your Product’s Features

In your value proposition, you have already come up with the features of your product that will respond to your customers’ needs, pains, and wants. Now it’s time to set the priorities. 

Try to classify all your MVP features into 3 categories: high priority, medium priority, and low priority. 

This will also help you to position your product and understand which feature you are going to use for attracting your customers. 

Step 5: Launch your MVP

If you have followed all the aforementioned steps, at this point you’re ready to create and launch your MVP. One thing to remember here is that although the minimum viable product prototype is not yet the final product, it should still address customers’ needs and be easy to use. 

Step 6: Analyze the Feedback

The post-launch period is the most crucial one since you get feedback on your product. Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s important for the further development or modification of your product features. In this stage, people who give you feedback will serve as both idea creators and MVP testers. 

MVP Examples

Building a minimum viable product is, in fact, one of the most popular methods to test a business model. Let’s see how some of the world-famous brands started with a modest MVP before going global. 

Dropbox

One of the well-known MVP examples is Dropbox. Before launching the product, the company’s co-founder and CEO Drew Houston knew very well about the existence of tons of other cloud-storage solutions. Considering this, he came up with a video-based MVP, which explains how to use the app. The video turned out to be super successful as it reached the right audience and received lots of views and comments.  What’s more, some potential users sent almost 70k email addresses to Dropbox in one day, which confirmed their interest and gave the company a green light for launching their product. 

Amazon

The original version of Amazon is another great minimum viable product example. They started by selling books online at a low price by challenging the then “bricks and mortar” Barnes and Nobles. Their simple website served as a minimum viable product and was good enough to establish themselves in the retail market.

Amazon MVP

Facebook

Still another minimum viable product example is Facebook. It was originally launched to connect school and college students via messaging to organize gatherings. In those days it functioned via a basic model of MVP, which contained the minimum functionality required. After receiving lots of feedback and engagement, the app started gaining popularity and now has almost 3 billion active users.

Facebook MVP

All these examples can give you an idea of how to make a minimum viable product and turn it into a business in the future if it gets validated. 

Create a Landing Page

Another effective way to conduct market validation is to present your minimum viable product on a landing page.

This approach is very effective since you can use Google Analytics or any analytics tool built into your landing page builder to monitor the activity on the page and make data-driven decisions.

To be able to test your product’s validity, we recommend that your landing page actually consists of the following three parts: 

  • Features/benefits of the product, how it works, etc. 

Below you can see three of Buffer’s benefits in bullet points. Right after reading them, the user might be interested in prices and plans. Hence the placement of the Plans and Pricing button, is very intuitive and logical. 

Product Benefits for Market Validation

  • Options of the product (different types, sizes, colors, sizes, types, packages, etc)+CTA

On the second page, you can provide more information on the product so the users know what they are paying for. In the case of Buffer, as we saw, the second page covered everything about its packages and pricing. 

roduct Options for Market Validation

If you have a physical item, your page might look like this: 

Physical Product Options for Market Validation

  • Subscription form

The third page is one of the most important ones. It opens up when the user clicks on the CTA button and notifies them that the product is not quite ready yet. At the same time, it offers a subscription box to notify the user when the product launches.  

Subscription Form Building for Validation

Also, don’t forget about the Thank You page following the subscription. 

Thank You Page Building for Validation

This kind of landing page is a great way to conduct your product’s market validation and test your entire sales funnel without even really building your final product. It helps you to get insights into your users’ interest in your product and consider their feedback before making serious investments.  

As to building such landing pages, you can use any landing page builder like Landingi, Readymag, 10Web, etc, which can provide you with the A/B testing features, analytics, and working forms. Alternatively, you can also code it up using HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. Or you can opt for Prelaunch.com —an all-in-one platform that provides you a landing page builder, data insights for your product’s market validation, as well as opportunities for A/B testing.

Build a Physical Prototype

Physical prototypes are tangible forms of your validated ideas that can now be tested. Prototypes should be fully functional and be aligned with the features you included in your value proposition. Depending on the stage of your product development and specific needs, you can use different fidelity levels for your prototype - from a simple sketch on a piece of paper to a highly functional prototype. The whole idea is to give your users an opportunity to test it and get their initial feedback to build the right product. At this stage, it’s important to fail quickly to succeed fast, since identifying problems at an early stage will help you make relevant changes before you introduce an imperfectly built final product to the market. 

Read more on prototype testing and its methods:

Prototype Testing: Refine your Ideas, Launch Confidently

Fake It ‘Til You Make It or Wizard of Oz

Fake it ‘til you make it or the Wizard of Oz is a market validation method, which is used to provide a supposedly automated service to the user manually, without them knowing about that. The purpose is to establish if users will indeed be interested to pay for such a service. 

So why use this method? First of all, it’s a great opportunity to control the process yourself and check the hypothesis of the demand of your service without spending a cent on developing a system to make it really automated. And second, by hand-holding the process yourself, you’ll get insights into all the details of delivering customer value to your users. 

This method was successfully applied by Nick Swinmurn, founder of Zappos, an American online shoe and clothing retailer. Nick’s idea was to test whether people would like to buy shoes online without trying them on in advance. To run the test, he didn’t immediately run to collect stock. Instead, he went to local stores, took photos of shoes he wanted to offer, and advertised them online. Once customers bought them, he would go back to the store, buy the pair and deliver it to them. At that stage, customers could never guess all the process behind the service was done manually, while Nick was getting very valuable insights on the product-market fit. Having enough data at hand to validate his idea, he later invested in expensive inventory and started handling the business. 

Run a Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding can be another way to conduct market validation. The idea is simple: you put your idea turned into a product online and interested people support it by backing it financially. On platforms like Kickstarter, crowdfunding is usually reward-based, meaning that backers get a unique opportunity to receive the product at a lower than retail price once it gets funded. 

The fact of getting funded shows whether your idea is validated or not. What’s more, during the campaign, you get a chance to listen to your backers, make changes to your product and align it with your customers’ needs. 

This kind of reward-based crowdfunding mainly works for B2C rather than B2B products. For instance, on Kickstarter, you can find lots of projects on games, technology, art, entertainment, etc. Although crowdfunding doesn’t allow you to test your product’s functioning, it allows you to spread the word about your product and get a strong following with few resources.

Here are a few more reasons why crowdfunding is a great market validation tool:

  • Affordable 
  • Allows to get loyal customers base
  • Helps you get funded for kickstarting your product production
  • Brings publicity for the product you’re testing
  • Makes it possible to find investors, partners, retailers, etc. 
  • Gets you coverage on media and creates a buzz for your product 
  • Gives you valuable insights into your product through qualitative and quantitative data, etc.  

Start an Ad Campaign

Another approach to market validation is, of course, through Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Both can help you not only arrive at the right audience but also validate your design, messaging, etc. For this, you can customize demographic and location, as well as split campaigns down to single features to find out what exactly “clicks” with your customers.

Do A/B Testing 

We all know that guessing is not something marketers should do when running a campaign. That's why smart ones A/B test their ideas at every opportunity because it gives them the best chance of success and discovery. Testing allows us to know what will work beforehand rather than just throwing anything against an audience to see if they'll stick.

It's a numbers game. In an age where internet traffic is king, A/B testing puts you in control of your business outcomes: it gives you the edge over competitors who for the most part have been waiting on mother luck to do its job well enough so they can compete successfully with other companies' offerings

Here are a few more benefits of using A/B testing: 

  • Crazy growth hacking! The power of A/B testing can be harnessed to improve your conversion rate remarkably.
  • Once you increase your conversion rate, you can also boost your sales
  • Can help you stay away from fatal marketing mistakes that can threaten your business

One of the famous examples of A/B testing relates to Electronic Arts (EA)’s A/B testing strategy with regard to one of its most popular video games SimCity 5. It sold 1.1 million copies in the first two weeks after launch. But how did they do this?

Initially, the company faced the challenge of promoting the game, since they didn’t have the forecasted increase in pre-orders. To find a quick solution to the problem, they decided to test out the design and layout features of their landing page and see which version would drive more sales. 

On their page, they had a pre-order button with a 20% discount offer. So, initially, they tested the pre-order landing page against other variations that displayed the promotional offer in different places on the page, in different colors, etc. At the same time, they prepared another variation that didn’t include any promotional offer whatsoever. 

And here’s where the most interesting story begins!

The digital marketing team discovered shocking results: The variation with no promotional offer messaging turned out to drive 43.4% more purchases.

A/B testing for Market Validation

This would suggest that customers were much less interested in extra incentives when they bought the game: they just wanted to buy it without any other strings attached! This might be one of those cases when customers believe that if a brand new product comes bearing gifts, then there is something wrong with it.

The same A/B testing can also be used in advertising to test the copy/messaging, design/visuals, offers/promotions, etc. 

Validate Through Email Marketing

Sending out cold emails and asking relevant people’s opinions about your product is another way of customer and market validation. 

For this, you should, first of all, do some research on the people you are going to reach out to. Are they relevant to your industry? Would they be interested in your product? Does your product offer some value to them?

Once you’re done with your research and have the list of your audience, start crafting your email. The most important thing here is personalization. If you write exactly the same generic email to everyone, your chances of getting any response are pretty much close to 0.

Here’s an example of what a right cold email would look like: 

“Hey {Name},

Just came across {Company} and love the content you create for startups. The case study on {X} was really impressive!

We just created an AI tool that facilitates content and copy creation by adjusting them to your context. You can select from 1000+ product and topic categories or add your own category, choose any tone of voice, and, more importantly, test some parts of your copy/content with the community for strength and effectiveness. With this kind of tool, you can help your content and copywriters significantly boost their effectiveness.  

Does that sound like something you’ll be interested in? If so, I’d be happy to hop on a video call with you or you can just book a time on my calendar {link}🙂

Would love to hear your thoughts. 

Thanks. 

P.S. Fellow copywriter here!”

Note how the email starts with a personalized paragraph to relate to the recipient. The second paragraph is all about pitching your product and showing how it could be valuable to the recipient. You could also use bullet points to list the benefits of your products and then A/B test to see which version of the email works better. The third paragraph is the actual CTA: our goal is to see if the recipient is interested in our product and if it’s worth building so we ask them about their interest and request them to connect. The last paragraph is also a personalization showing that you have something in common. 

Once you have the answers, collect them on an Excel spreadsheet and try to figure out how you could improve your product to turn it into the next hit in your industry. 

Final Thoughts

Market validation of business ideas is an important step in the process of developing a new product or service. It helps you find out if people are interested in your product or service, what they're willing to pay for it, and how much time/money will need to be allocated towards development before moving into production mode. 

Thus the purpose behind market validation is to minimize the risk of failure and maximize the possibility of your success. 

We hope that with all the tools the market validation examples we discussed in this article, now you know how to make your market validation plan. We also hope that with all this knowledge you will be able to validate your business idea and build a product that will become the next Amazon, Apple, or Tesla!

Related Articles:

Product-Market Fit: Measure Your Idea’s Success

How to Determine Market Demand for a Product

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