Did you build a product?
Were you able to get business through referrals, friends and relatives?
Do you have a Product Market Fit?Is this the correct way of figuring it out?
I have seen products with the similar illusion of having built a minimum viable product, but not being able to compete in the market.
Why did that happen? Did I say illusion?
The company started to focus on growth, while their product was still not viable. It wasn't actually solving the problem for which the market would pay or spend money on.
Let's first take a look at what product market fit is. What is Product Market Fit?
Product market fit means you are offering a product which satisfies the needs of a good market. The market or a group of people should be willing to pay for those needs.
A “good market” is one that’s either large enough or has enough demand to be profitable. A small market can be profitable if there’s a high demand for what you offer and a massive market might completely ignore your brand if your offer doesn’t spark interest.
Product Market Fit with Inbound Marketing
There are a lot of other ways for figuring out the viability of your product.
Let's take a look at how Inbound Marketing can contribute.
Is your target market looking up Google for answers?
Do a quick keyword research around your market and see if the search volume is significant. If the volume is good enough (100,000+ Monthly Searches), check for trends.
Are the keywords trending up? Has the search volume increased over the years or is it going down. Take a look at what we did for Inbound Marketing.
Keyword research gives you a quick picture if your audience is online or not.
But, is this enough? No.
Validation through Campaigns
After you are done with keyword research, it is difficult to rank immediately for top keywords. Adwords can help you validate the traffic and leads. Run an Adwords campaign to track the quality of leads coming in from search.
Social media is also an important factor for calculating the potential of a market. Is your audience on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Are they talking about their problems in social media?
Try a few paid campaigns on Social Media, check if the audience is resonating with the offered product. Are people signing up for FREE Trial and Demo? See how we take an elimination approach to inbound marketing for saas.
Once you have a few customers on trial, monitor if your features are actually being utilized. Is there something which needs to be changed? Any upgrades for the next update.
Take regular feedback from your initial customers to build a customer-centric product which will appeal even more to the target market.
I am sure, the above three points will help you get a fair evaluation of your product and if you have built a minimum viable product. But, it is also very important to talk to people in real life.
Do some interviews, ask a few questions. Are you solving a problem which needed attention? Do they want to pay for it? Is the product in a nice to have category? Learn more about building buyer personas here.
All these questions need genuine honest answers, most people hesitate and may give you a wrong impression.
Did I miss something?
Let me know through comments.