The critical role your customer plays in product development

The matrix covers market penetration, focusing on increasing sales of existing solutions to a defined market. It also covers product development or the introduction of new products to a limited market.
How Your Customer Plays a Critical Role in Your Product Development For far too long, online marketers, agencies, and other influencers have created collateral that they think will appeal to their target market. They may…

How Your Customer Plays a Critical Role in Your Product Development

For far too long, online marketers, agencies, and other influencers have created collateral that they think will appeal to their target market. They may have a good understanding of their prospect and have a perfectly viable product or service, but they don’t really know if it will sell. Certainly, they may take advantage of widely available research tools, but they may not have heard from the most critical person in the process – the customer. 

Why is this customer so important when it comes to initial product development, and how can you determine how they really feel so that you stand a much better chance of success?

Principles of a Product Development System

A product development strategy can be a lengthy process. Many organizations use what is known as the “Ansoff Matrix” to kick everything off. Sometimes referred to as the product/market expansion grid, it outlines four strategies that show an organization how to grow while analyzing the risk linked to each strategy.

The matrix covers market penetration, focusing on increasing sales of existing solutions to a defined market. It also covers product development or the introduction of new products to a limited market. Market development focuses on the plan to enter a new market with existing solutions, while diversification is the riskiest strategy and focuses on entering a new market with a brand-new product.

Getting into the Head of Your Prospect

When attempting to sell a new product or service online to a new customer base, it is critical to understand the potential client. You need to know how they think or act, what their pain points are, and how they are likely to respond when presented with various solutions. This may involve content testing, message testing, user interaction, and other forms of analysis.

Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

You’ll want to analyze your solution from both a quantitative and qualitative point of view. You’ll want to make sure that you can elicit the type of response you require so the concept is successful. You must also ensure that people take the right type of action from a procedural point of view, so the layout of your website makes as much sense as possible.

Product Development Stages – Time for Testing

To gather as much information as you’ll need, you must conduct a significant amount of testing, and there are many different tools available in the marketplace to help.

A/B Testing

A/B testing, sometimes known as split-run testing, is an approach in which two or more variants of the item (product, service, web page, etc.) are shown to users at random. A response is elicited, and statistical analysis is performed to determine which one fared the best. In the case of a web page, where a user is asked to act by clicking on a button or entering some data into a field, the page’s overall design may impact their response. Page “A” will be considered the control, and others (from “B” onward) will be considered the variants for side-by-side analysis.

This approach can be productive, but it relies on your interpretation of the outcome. You will be able to see how the respondents reacted but will not know why they did so. Even so, this form of user testing can become very complex, and it may be necessary to present many different variations against the control and still not be entirely sure of the “why.”

Testing in a Lab Setting

One of the problems with a formal, independent review is that such a test takes place in a contrived environment. Certainly, the testers may use their experience and knowledge to come to a conclusion, but they may not represent the end-user in a natural setting. Where possible, it is best to reach potential users in their natural habitat where they are more likely to be relaxed and emotionally open to the possibility. The way they interact with your product is likely to be far closer to the real-world experience than it would be in a test lab.

Google Analytics and Other Analytics Tools

There is no doubt that Google’s analytic tool is very well designed and can deliver a wealth of information. It can help to show where your visitors originate, what times of day they visit your site, and, crucially, how they behave when they are there. You will be able to see if they simply exited your site without diving deeper (aka the bounce rate) and what pages on your site proved to be the most popular.

Yet again, you have a lot of detailed information, but you still don’t know why these people took those actions. You need to experiment by changing certain site elements and gathering more information from this tool to determine the outcome. You can certainly study the behavior flow but will nevertheless need to come to your own conclusions.

While there are other analytics tools available,  the principle remains the same.

The Better Approach – With EasyUserTest

What if you could set up a research study in only minutes and get results in less than 48 hours? Even better, if you were in a rush, you could get some actionable results in as little as 12 hours. In this case, it may be time to stop stumbling around in the dark and make sure that you hit the mark instead.

Rather than spending a lot of time on A/B testing or poring over your Google Analytics results, get feedback directly from your prospects. Ask them what they think about your website or parts of a single page so you can make changes, if necessary, based on how you know your visitors will react.

How It Works

With EasyUserTest, you can get a result in three easy steps by simply uploading a URL or screenshot to your dashboard. The team will then share everything with a carefully chosen focus panel and gather, analyze, and forward their comments. These independent testers will be able to answer any research question you pose based on your screenshot or URL. This will help you perfect your design, so it meets user expectations and, crucially, gets you the results you want.

Giving It a Go

You can create a free account to start the ball rolling, so visit EasyUserTest now, and begin to eliminate your guesswork.

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