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Intro

What is Product Market Fit?
Why is it important?
How do I separate product and market?
The Product Market Fit Journey

1

Problem Insight

Customer research
Personas
Customer empathy map
Customer journey map

2

Value Proposition

What is Product Market Fit?
Why is it important?
How do I separate product and market?
The Product Market Fit Journey

3

Problem / Solution

What is Product Market Fit?
Why is it important?
How do I separate product and market?
The Product Market Fit Journey

4

Intro

Iterate, Pivot, Persevere
Why is it important?
How do I separate product and market?
The Product Market Fit Journey

5

Measuring P/M Fit

Customer research
Personas
Customer empathy map
Customer journey map

6

Common Challenges

What is Product Market Fit?
Why is it important?
How do I separate product and market?
The Product Market Fit Journey

7

Resources

What is Product Market Fit?
Why is it important?
How do I separate product and market?
The Product Market Fit Journey

 

Once we’ve defined the value proposition and identified the benefits we might address, we’ll now decide which ones to address with a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. This step in the journey is where we’re going to answer “If I provide you with this solution, does it solve the problem that I know you have?” for our target customers.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

An MVP is a tool designed to prove or disprove one’s assumptions about a problem. The point is to find out which of your assumptions are wrong by getting feedback on your product from real users as quickly as possible.

Minimum means building the MVP with the smallest amount of resources. At the same time, the MVP must be viable enough to accurately prove or disprove one’s assumptions. Your goal here is to validate or invalidate your hypotheses on problem-solution fit.

MVP can be thought of as a process: Identify your riskiest assumption (i.e. assume you know what users want, how the design should work, what marketing to use), find the smallest possible experiment to test that assumption, and use the results of the experiment to course correct.

 

Determine what you want to test 

At this point in your journey, should you test a product or a marketing concept?  

  • With a ‘marketing MVP’, you can describe the functionality of a potential future product to prospective customers to see how compelling they find your description. Common marketing MVPs include landing pages and marketing flyers.
  • A ‘product MVP’ gives you the ability to give prospects a sense of the actual functionality of your product. Common product MVPs would be low fidelity wireframes / prototypes

Now let’s decide if we should pursue qualitative or quantitative tests of the marketing or product MVP.

  • Qualitative testing typically involves talking with a small number of customers directly. Detailed information you learn from each individual test is important. We can identify patterns, but it’s not statistically significant.
  • Quantitative tests are run with a much larger group of customers. Here what we care about are the aggregate results, not individual responses. Good for learning “what’ and “how many”, but won’t tell you “why”

Marketing MVP Tests

Marketing MVPs help you ensure that your messaging is resonating with customers, and aid in quantifying the expected conversion. Below are a few examples of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to testing a marketing MVP.

Qualitative Marketing MVP tests

  • Showing customers your marketing materials for feedback -- flyers, landing page, video, ad, email, etc.
  • How compelling is the marketing material and why? What benefits resonate? (Could even show a competitor’s marketing materials).

Quantitative Marketing MVP tests

  • Landing page: describes the product, asks for some expression of interest - typically a “sign up” button.
  • Ad campaign: display ad campaigns to test messaging and images (google, facebook).
  • Marketing A/B Testing: test two alternative marketing material designs concurrently to see which converts better.
 

Product MVP Tests

Product MVP tests will help you make sure customers see value in the actual product. It’s useful to think about product MVP options based on “fidelity”, or how closely your MVP represents the real product, and “interactivity”, which measures how much the customer can interact with the MVP relative to a live product. A few Product MVP examples, in order from low to high fidelity, include the next.

 

Sketches




The lowest fidelity and lowest interactivity, but are extremely low cost and easy to rapidly iterate. Tools: whiteboard, pen and paper, sketching on a tablet or smartphone. A storyboard is an example of a quick and easy prototype where you draw all the components of your product or service in sequence of steps to visualize how it will work.

Wireframes




A visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a product, typically a website or mobile app. Wireframes offer improved fidelity over sketches as you can give a sense of the product components and how they might be arranged. Not meant to be perfect visually, and usually have a lot of placeholders. Many wireframing tools now make it easy to create clickable wireframes to connect to different pages

Mockup




The next level up in fidelity, looks much more like the final product than a wireframe. Mockups often include visual design details, images, etc. to replace placeholders in the wireframe.

Interactive Prototypes


Not quite a fully functional product, but they provide a level of interaction beyond just a clickable mockup.

Concierge MVPs


They allow you to test your live product or service using manual workarounds, or hacks. The “concierge” MVP involves manually doing everything for early customers by hand, not tech, and work best for services that require a lot of interaction and input from customers.
A Wizard of Oz MVP is similar to the concierge MVP in that you’re doing everything manually, but you’re hiding the manual process from the customer, so thet they think it’s a real live product. E.g. you’re sending an SMS manually to individuals, crafting it to look like it’s a standard message coming from a server.

Live product


The highest fidelity possible, so you’re going to uncover feedback on things like how the product looks and behaves in different contexts that you wouldn’t get from lower fidelity options. Ideally you start with low fidelity MVPs, increasing fidelity over time, and graduate to a point where you think you can proceed with building a real MVP.

 

Now that I have a product MVP, how do I test it?

How many customers should I test with?

  • One customer at a time! Avoid group dynamics, makes people more comfortable to share their real thoughts. You can interview multiple customers at once if you need feedback quickly, but note the challenges.
  • Consider testing in waves of 5-8 customers, uncover issues, revise the MVP, then go back out again. Have one person taking notes, one doing the interview. The fewer the observers the better

Do I test In-person or remote?

In-person is preferable as you can make observations of their facial expressions, focus, reactions, etc. You can also build a relationship that could help make them feel more comfortable giving feedback.

How do I find customers?

  • Refer to the personas you created. Where do they live, do business, congregate?
  • Market / customer research companies are an option in some markets, and may allow you to hire enumerators.

Do I compensate people for testing my MVP?

This will depend on the company, market, and target user. Some companies will use mobile airtime as an incentive, some consider the use of an MVP as a benefit itself, you can also provide early admission to the full product for MVP testers.

Do I record the interaction?

It can sometimes be useful to record the audio or video of a test, but make sure you get consent. But note that a lot of people do not like being recorded.

How do I actually run a product MVP test? 

Develop a test script for the entire conversation, steps you want the user to take. Test it on your other team members first. Anticipate an MVP test taking 1-2 hours per person.

Spend a few minutes getting to know the person, setting expectations. Make sure they know you want them to give fully honest feedback, even if it’s negative Ask how they feel about what they’re using now, how it works, and their current frustrations.

Ask questions and observe, but don’t lead. If a customer does something curious, ask them why they took that action - “I see you did this, can you tell me why?”

Ask open questions, which begin with “why”, “how”, and “what”, rather than a question with yes/no responses. Write your questions in advance If they have challenges understanding or using the product, your job is to understand the issue - not to help them - to keep this as real as possible. You’re a fly on the wall! After the test wraps up, you can answer questions or respond to challenges they had.

Ask if they would be like to be notified when the product comes out.

 

MVP test tips

  • Prepare for logistical challenges. People can be hard to find, connectivity can be an issue, traffic causes delays, etc..
  • What people say they will do and what they actually do can be very different. Actual behavior is more important than opinions.
  • Even if your hypotheses are correct, your execution might fall short in terms of marketing or design.
  • Expect to track results manually. If you’re serving end-consumers, you may have a paper registration or application, or use a paper contract.
  • Connectivity may be an issue. Set up simple dashboards. Follow up with your channels regularly, by phone or whatsapp if needed Expect Time delays. You’re unlikely to see metrics change in real-time like a developed-world mobile app business
 

Next page: Problem Insight

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