Category Archives: Strategy

Minimum Viral Product

A new approach to the “Minimum Viable Product” methodology.

If we consider crafting a product and start asking people what to do first, the chances are high that we’ll hear the magical sentence “minimum viable product”, which basically means “a product that has a set of properties which will permit only deployment and nothing more”. Thus, companies test the market and the consumers before they release a polished / perfectly designed product.

Of course, a strategy like this minimizes costs, resources and saves time spent on creating a product that has the risk of not being accepted by consumers. Seeing what the market’s response is to your solution and iterating while getting tons of feedback is like using a laser pointer to focus on your target audience. You can call it going Agile, Scrum or Lean but the main idea is that the development team will gather the entire information needed in order to iterate and improve the product. You’ll find yourself trying to control the evolution of an ever-changing environment.

You could say, “So, I already know what you’re talking about and don’t tell me ‘minimum viable product’ is very important.” No, that’s not the point, just catch up and read on…

If we take a closer look at how the world keeps spinning these days, we will see that it is orbiting around social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) and instant messaging apps. This knowledge leads us to the “world of Word-of-Mouth Marketing”. Under these circumstances, focusing only on a viable product is like sending a robot to the Mars but not thinking about the atmospheric conditions.

“Focusing only on a viable product is like sending a robot to the Mars but not thinking about the atmospheric conditions”.

It is easy to say that the minimum viable products are prone to failure in many cases. For a product to be successful and for a company to have the buzz it needs, the product has to be viral. While constant iteration and execution processes continue, and we develop something better each time, we should consider the virality effect of the product. While taking virality factor into account, some marketers measure it with the K-factor, others use marketing analytics to calculate the effects of viral acquisitions,

Definition

A minimum viral product means that the minimum viable product enhanced by the viral effects, and it should be designed to reach the level where it received a high degree of acceptance from users. At this point, keeping and increasing the momentum of the buzz is a proven way to become an option against the others. Check out some growth charts below, you’ll notice that the newer the product, the growth angle is becoming closer to vertical. As a result, the virality is becoming more and more important every day.

Airbnb Listings Growth

WhatsApp GrowthSnapchat Growth

 

 

 

 

Agreed? Here is how to start:

Many discussions and much analysis have shown that the minimum viable product theory may fail and there are known causes, such as “false value proposition” and “not identifying early adopters”. [4] [5]

To make your steps more secure and stay away from these problems, focusing on the minimum viral product can be your guide to a sustainable company. Because while you’re thinking about a minimum viral product, you should always consider:

  1. A story your users can share and tell others that your “proposed value” is better than the others’
  2. Researching and taking close attention on the target audience and early adopters who can be your evangelists
  3. Get to know your niche and current players in that area
  4. Communication channels to say “Hi” to your new comers

Nevertheless, there is a need for some entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to know how to nurse and grow a process like this.

The fact is that a minimum viable product is not enough if you wish to get through with your business in today’s world. You need to make deeper and better analysis of the situation in the area of the enterprise. To produce a minimum viral product, you will need to capture the attention of consumers and give your company a boost it needs. Once you’ve started, always be careful about how things evolve and how your product, regardless of its nature, is received by potential customers. Without a constant improvement, your product will not reach the high growth levels you wish for. Wisdom is also requested, because when getting started, you need to know how to juggle around with minimum resources and still come up with a product worthy enough of everybody’s attention.

Your turn…

What do you think about the minimum viral product approach? Do you have any suggestions for the entrepreneurs who are developing new products? You’re more than welcome to share them below.

References:

1- http://venturebeat.com/2014/06/19/uber-and-airbnbs-incredible-growth-in-4-charts/

2- http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2014/02/19/in-one-chart-heres-why-facebook-is-blowing-19-billion-on-whatsapp/

3- http://www.businessinsider.com/a-primer-on-snapchat-and-its-demographics-2014-6

4- http://femgineer.com/2012/10/2-reasons-mvps-fail/

5- http://tech.co/minimum-viable-product-minimum-sustainable-company-2013-02

Which Marketing Strategy: Predictive or Behavioral Targeting

Following Internet users in order to find out their preferences is not something new. Maybe they did not wore fancy names like predictive or behavioral targeting, but this phenomenon exists even since the appearance of Netscape in 1995. Behavioral targeting gathers data from the internet user to search for information that can create a pattern of the things he likes. In the other hand, predictive targeting is designed especially for the ones that cannot be traced due to the fact that they visited your website or tried to search down your most important keywords. Even if those people did not proceed so, that does not matter because they can be the ideal customer type you are looking for.

marketing-strategies-for-startup-businesses

Differences regarding contextual marketing

Some may say that both of these techniques resemble contextual marketing, but it is not quite so. Contextual marketing is using only the recent activity of a user within a web-browser, but one person can search for quite an amount of things in the internet, so these results may not always be the best. . But this way of gathering information is rather general, so we all have the need of procedures that are more performant and more effective when it is about finding new customers for our business. To see what the matter is about check the two points below:

  • Behavioral targeting instead use the well-known “cookies”, which are small data packages that stick to a consumer hard drive. These cookies are present there all time and gather all the information needed about the preferences of the customer, like his favorite webpages, the content of an online shopping cart and other data, like the geographical location of the consumer. All these primary data is used to create a customer profile and online companies can find the niche of customers they are looking for.
  • As for predictive targeting, it is using programmatic platforms that have within profiles of a huge number of users. Following a certain pattern these platform can identify the attributes that are most relevant in one’s profile, to decide if the person is prone to reacting to your products or advertising.

Which one is the best for e-commerce business?

Behavioral targeting can help you set a profile of customer that can be more opened to the type of products you are selling and predictive targeting can help you reach the customers that are usually outside your area of reach. Since it is much easier to track the clients that already visited your website, it may prove to be more difficult to find the ones that do not even know you exist. So maybe predictive targeting is the one that should catch your attention if you own an e-commerce business. And why so? Because it can reveal to you that number of customers that are not in your reach. This is the secret of constantly increasing your customer numbers and the way to perpetuate your business. For sure this is a technique that will be very much research in the future, to increase its performances.

The tools that can help your business

As a technique, behavioral targeting has its specific tools that were specially developed to make everyone’s activity easier. Just check them in the points below.

This is a software that you can find for free. It has a great use because it creates user profiles in real time, meaning that it gathers info in the exact time when the visitor is on your website in order to create customized offers. It works with the help of the “cookies”, that were mentioned before.

This specific software will create the profile of a user by the way he moves on the website. This means this tool will record data like used keywords or items that were clicked on to find out preferences. This gathered info will then help in creating personalized banner and offers related to the choices that user has made previously.

This one is a company that has its activity in the area of understanding the intentions of a potential buyer, in the way that if one spends a bit more time checking a certain item, then they are prone to receive an immediate discount for that certain products, based on the fact of an increased interest of the visitor for that item.

Targeting strategies and mobile apps

Although behavioral and predictive strategies are domains with a large potential and that will still be developed in the years to come, they can already be seen and are used in the mobile app marketing. These techniques are used to promote new released apps, with the help of email installed on a customer smartphone or tablet. If you want to release a new app for example, you can use behavioral targeting to understand the profile of your consumers, thus you will be able to develop an app that is more engaging for them and you will also find a way to make them complete a full registration on your website. You have to be aware that these techniques, no matter if you have a business on a website or you want to get launched in mobile app business, these techniques will help you keep track of you potential customers and, most of all, to understand their preferences, thus you are able to tailor products and service according to these preferences, managing to create a solid customer portfolio.

Do you have any tools and recommendations? Please feel free to share as a comment.

Making The Right Choice For Your Business: Website or App?

Taking your business to another level can mean a successful expansion and more profit for you. Since the web is such a drain less resource pool you must definitely take the best out of it. And since the market is flooded with portable mobile devices, and here we are not taking into consideration laptops but smartphones and tablets, the question is whether to go for a website or a mobile application? Having the possibility to choose is always great and shows how powerful the market is. But there is always the dilemma whether your choice will be the right one and if it will launch your business to new high peaks.

The budget is the most important aspect when anyone takes into consideration making a new investment. A website may be more traditional but it will save you some money, since an app will cost more, even if this choice sounds neat. A website can be accessed from any device that can get an internet connection, so it can be reachable even from smartphones or tablets. It may not be as interactive as a mobile app can be, but as long as you can get a decent web connection anyone will be able to find you in no time. The only thing that can limit a website is the lack of internet connection, everything else is non sense. Do not think about this website as the end of your road. If you are more concerned about your financial status and do not want to start throwing away your money, then start with a website and if everything goes according to plan and you start winning some terrain, then you should definitely start thinking about an app too.

Apps can be more fun and are more modern, since everyone has a smartphone or a tablet and looks for apps they could enjoy on their devices. Although an app does not require constant connection to an internet source, it has to be installed on the device to make it fully functional. Besides that, a mobile app is more expensive and it may require a lot of approvals to get it up and running. Yes, it works faster than a website and every smartphone or tablet user may want it, but you will need your budget to be prepared to bear it. Besides, getting all those approvals can mean a long process that needs quite some patience too.

Thus, going on the traditional path of a website can still be the best choice for a smart money spending. Or at least for now. Maybe in the near future, mobile apps will be more accessible to business developers and it will be at easy as it is now to build a website.

Are you sure about the “What?”, before moving on to “Why?”

why

We are living in the age of “Why”. We always talk about the “Why approach”, start the meetings with: “First, we should focus on the why”, or prompt a colleague: “We should ask why”. I completely agree that we should always ask “why” and we need to see through the window of “Why” to reach our goals. But I need to mention a point that I frequently observe in my mentorship meetings: “Are you sure about what your user is saying, before moving on to why?”

Let me lead you through an example. Think about an e-commerce website which has an 80% bounce rate value. When you see this ratio, you can easily say that “8 out of 10 users have left the website immediately” and then start to think about “Why did they leave the website immediately?”. This is the right approach when we are solving a problem, it’s true… Except for one thing: In addition to a single “Why?” There can be a number of “What?”s in this situation:

– 20% of users did not leave the website – 80% of users did not click anything or – 80% of users did not understand your message – The precious “20%” mostly visited … page and then bought something.

This is a very basic example but it should give you some idea about what my point is.

Especially if you are going to take some actions about the data you have, don’t forget to be sure about reaching all the “What”s that come with it.

When you clearly see the “what list” of your data, your action plan will be more efficient, rewarding and measurable.

Do you have any stories or examples about the “what” and the “why” approach? Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section.