Gone are the times when business owners launch products without proper market research – no prior testing with the target market or customers. Product testing is now being incorporated in the planning process of product development, not only for the time and money it saves, but for the invaluable insights to be gained from it. This in turn has drastically reduced the rate of failed businesses or startups.
What is Product Testing?
This is a planning phase that precedes the final launch of a product, or the possibility of launch. It is a market research tool or a marketing run, depending on how you see it. It involves taking a product or group of products to the target market, and assessing how it resonates with the target audience. Summarily, it is a targeted advertisement to a particular market or group, either physically, online or on social media platforms.
What is a Winning Product?
The aim of the product(s) testing is either finding a winner among a list of tested products or seeing the viability of a single, tested product. The winning product is the jackpot, the leading product, the one mostly moved by the target audience, with the potential of an even larger sale.
Benefits of Product Testing
The importance of product testing cannot be overemphasized, which is why some of its importance would be identified:
– It gives you a sneak peep into the future: It gives business owners knowledge or insight they otherwise wouldn’t have had until the launch of a product. It provides answers to questions like: is the product over-valued and should the prices be reduced, or is the target market being met?
– Important feedback that can be added to the product before its launch
– To see if the product is actually answering a need or solving a problem
– It saves time and effort.
Research to be carried out before the Testing stage
A successful product test that will yield a winner is impossible without proper market research. It is imperative that products to be tested are meeting a market gap, and not wasting time testing them. Some of the preceding market research to be conducted include:
– Assessing the competition: Business owners or prospective owners should have knowledge of the market they are breaking into, including direct and indirect players. Thriving or breaking into an already saturated market is difficult for new products, which is why a working strategy is required. The insight from this can be used to fill gaps the competitors aren’t meeting.
– Defining the target market or audience and how to properly reach them
– The usability of the product
– How to meet or create demand.
Ways to Quickly Test Products
The purpose of testing a product or a group of products is to determine if it will be a winning product or to find a winner among the list of tested ones. The feedback gained from the test helps business owners determine if the final launch of the project should proceed, or if the advertisement or marketing of the project should be in full swing. Product testing gets easier with social media platforms. One of the approaches is using the more popular social media platforms and leveraging on their wide reach:
I remember signing up for my first Facebook account in 2010, twelve years ago, and with the exponential growth the platform has had over the years, its mind blowing. While there might be newly emerging social platforms, Facebook remains undisputed when it comes to reaching a large audience, with billions of daily users. Through Facebook, business owners can reach their target audience based on demographics, location, age, gender or what they like on Facebook. There are different campaign advertisements on Facebook, and it is important to choose the right one that properly fits the business brand and product. They are in three broad categories:
– Awareness ads: This is the first impression made by the business of their product(s)
– Consideration ads: The purpose of this ad is to generate clicks, engagements, traffics and lead generation
– Conversion ads: This ad is measured by how many sales or people visited the e-store.
While mentioning these, it is important to identify some types of Facebook campaign ads:
– Engagement or Page Post Engagement Ads: It is identified as the simplest Facebook ad yet. The process involved requires setting up a post on the business page which then gets exposed to your targeted audience. This could be in the form of text, video or image.
– Event Response Campaign advertisement: This involves the creation of an event that is then targeted to the preferred audience.
– Lead Generation Campaign ads
– Page-Like ads: This is measured by the number of profiles that like your Facebook, business profile
– Carousel ads: This is a story-telling campaign ad, where business owners can give a story about their product, which increases engagement.
– Slideshow ads.
This is another social media platform under the same corporation as Facebook – Meta. Instagram can also provide business owners with a quick option to test their products. Besides promoting your business page or product by yourself, there are two different ways products can be tested, and they include:
– Sponsored ads: This involves running target ads about the product
– Influencer Marketing: This marketing approach requires reaching out to a popular figure on Instagram that could easily reach your target audience by posting about your product or brand.
Image retrieved from Digital Leadership Institute, December 2017. http://digitalleadershipinstitute.in/instagram-5-things-know-get-started/.
In addition to the aforementioned medium, more economical product testing can be carried out by hearing feedback from:
– Friends and family
– A random sampling of online friends.
How to Know if Product Testing should continue?
The success of a test is basically measured when:
– There are positive comments on the post
– Traffic and type of activity on the business page
During the course of this article, we have been able to cover what product testing and winning products mean, and the benefits of product testing. In addition, ways to test products have also been identified. However, it is worth noting that product testing doesn’t necessarily equate to increase sales, as it isn’t a marketing tool, but a market research tool. Hence, the aim shouldn’t be profit optimizing, but how feedback and insights can be gathered for the final launch of the product. This approach will increase the chance of the product succeeding or rather cutting losses for a product with little chance of succeeding. This is why this article will be helpful in providing you with the information needed for the success of your product or business.