A minimum viable product (MVP) is not the final version of the product that you’ll launch to the public. But there is tremendous value in taking some time to market it. Marketing of your MVP will give you a prediction of your future sales; it will also give you specific aspects to work on for the final product. And the more opinions that you receive regarding your MVP, the better it is for your business.
As defined by Eric Ries, your minimum viable product is the basic version of the product that you eventually want to take to market. It gives you the chance to gain validation and learn about your target market. This fact is worth taking into account because it directly impacts your marketing strategies for your MVP.
It’s important to take a step back and understand that you should adjust your marketing approach for your MVP; consider the small changes or alterations that you should be making. Your MVP should be constantly changing and developing, so your marketing journey should reflect this. The process isn’t always easy, but it is possible.
So, what are the best steps to market your MVP?
Use a Targeted Communication Strategy
Think of your minimum viable product as an essay. Before you hand in your essay, you create various drafts and edit until you have reached the optimum level possible. Marketing an MVP doesn’t mean handing in a perfect essay straightaway and expecting top marks. Marketing your minimum viable product requires reaching out to a certain audience – a pilot audience – that will guide and assist you in the evolution of your product. It means that when you are communicating with your pilot audience, you need to adopt the appropriate language, the right mediums, and the right approach.
This is what is meant by a targeted communication strategy; an effective one will enable you gain the right audience and feedback for the successful development of your product. It means acknowledging and researching your target audience, their characteristics, and their preferred means of communication, which will ease the process of marketing your MVP in the long run.
Determine the Right Amount of Detail to Give Your Pilot Audience
When explaining your minimum viable product to your pilot audience, clarity is important; but so is holding back on certain information. It’s easy to get so caught up in the process of developing the product that its purpose is crystal clear to you. But is it clear to your target market? Can you explain the product in simple, effective terms (without boring your audience) how/why the product was developed? Or how it trumps your competitors?
Using logical facts to describe your product is fundamental; you should be as open and as transparent as possible when explaining what your MVP does and how it solves a problem. But it’s important to resist the temptation to bombard your audience with facts that are not particularly relevant to them. Whatever might be unclear to your pilot audience at this stage should be acknowledged and any feedback should be taken on board so that you can use it for the development of your MVP.
Understand the Advantages of Digital Marketing for Your MVP
One of the big advantages of digital marketing is that it gives you the chance to connect with individuals who like to trial new products. This is one of the reasons why digital channels should be used; startups like yours, really value the feedback of early adopters. There are various digital marketing channels that should be used when marketing your minimum viable product. From email marketing and content marketing to social media and search engine optimization, you can take your pick of the useful channels that can help with the marketing process.
If you’re choosing to market your MVP using a blog or a via online content, SEO optimization is a fundamental step. It will increase your traffic and help to attract more individuals to become part of your pilot audience. It’s also a cost-effective approach to spread the word and generate interest. Using strategies such as creating or developing your website is also useful, as is including facts about your brand. And by sharing your website’s content via social media networks, you can begin to draw attention to your MVP and make the marketing process simpler.
Take Steps to Ensure Your Pilot Is Successful
There are a few approaches that can help make your MVP’s pilot a success. From making sure that your pilot size is sufficient, to having your consumers pay a small amount, you’ll find that taking certain steps can make your pilot worthwhile and valuable.
Try to have approximately 15 consumers in the pilot. This will give you a range of opinions and feedback and make the development of the MVP easier. And by having your consumers contribute in terms of a nominal price, you are more likely to receive good quality assessments and observations.
Marketing a minimum viable product in a pilot program can present many factors that need to be considered beforehand. It’s important to remember that as your MVP changes, so should your marketing strategy. To facilitate the MVP marketing process, research your target market, use digital marketing and take feedback to improve your product.