Whether it’s a product from an established company or an innovative solution from a brand-new company, the introduction of new products is always exciting, but what happens before this product can be released?
Why is Market Testing Important?
In order to ensure a successful launch, it’s imperative to test its market value. For small businesses, in particular, this presents a balancing act between quality testing and the cost of that testing.
Here are 4 ways to test affordably without sacrificing quality.
1. Market Research Mobile Apps
Apps have become a part of our daily lives. They help us track our finances, encourage exercise, keep us connected, and even entertain us. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that apps for market research exist. Apps like Mobile Market Research and Field Agent help gather data that can be used by companies of all sizes. This information is helpful in determining your ideal demographic and can be applied to the data you’ve already gathered on the market for your new product.
2. Count Clicks
Using digital data to gain feedback on a new product is a valuable way to quantitatively measure interest in your product. One way to do this is to set up a web page devoted to the new product that is outside your regular site, and then share the link on your company’s social media pages. You are able to count the clicks the link generates using services like Google Analytics. Not only will you measure the response to your new product, but you will also get some insight into your social media presence.
You can take this process further by running social media campaigns and Google ads that direct potential customers to your website, which may help to generate new customers for your existing products. It is important to consider the cost of these campaigns, but if you do it right, it may turn into a highly profitable and valuable endeavor.
3. Talk to Customers
One of the best ways to market test your new products is to leverage your existing customer base. Not only are these companies and/or individuals who already know your company and your products, but they represent a true sampling of your target market. Furthermore, you are able to take real feedback from current users and apply that to your product and marketing strategies. There’s an even bigger advantage of cluing your customers in on the fact that there’s something big and new in the pipeline.
4. Offer a Sample
Much in the same vein as talking to existing customers, when you provide free samples or trials, you are able to get real time feedback and suggestions from actual potential customers. Regardless of how much research, thought, and detail you put into your product, there is almost always something that can be tweaked or revamped to make it even better. And when you can find these things out before they’re released into the ethos, you save yourself a lot of trouble down the line and will garner positive attention for manufacturing top-quality products and services.
Furthermore, you can make a small batch and send them out. When customers have your product in their hands and can test it in their actual environments, they are able to provide better and more complete feedback. As a company, you can take their comments and compare them with others’ experiences to better tailor your product for actual use.
No matter how great your new product is, it is incredibly important to not skip the step of market testing. When you apply creative and inexpensive means of testing and measuring interest in your new product, you are able to capture invaluable feedback that will help you to improve your product and possibly even generate interest in your company outside of the new release.
A final thought. It can be disheartening to learn that your new product has direct competition during your testing phase. In truth, you likely already learned about these competitors long ago, but if not (or if a new product comes onto the market before yours), know that this a good thing. You can gain knowledge from this other product and make yours better. It also tells you there is a real desire for that type of product with customers ready to purchase, which means money for you and your company.