These 3 steps will help you to shape the scope of MVP and start getting feedback from customers before the launch. You can run those task in parallel with the development activities.

One of the important rules of the product design is to insure that the message that your future customer see is consistent starting from the ad he clicks to the landing page, product description and experience. So while your development team is working on the product infrastructure you can set up the marketing assets, taste the market and start getting the customers feedback.

1. Explanation Video

An explanation video is a short video that explains what your product does and why people should buy it. Often a simple, 90 second animation. The video should give the early adopters a hint of the product experience. And enough to get many smart people to give them ‘the same feedback as if putting a product in their hand‘.

2. A Landing Page

A landing page is a web page where visitors ’land‘ after clicking a link from an ad, e-mail or another type of a campaign. The job of a landing page is to quickly communicate the value of your offering, diffuse objections, and call the visitor to action. Landing pages are where the excrement hits the fan. Based upon your interviews, surveys, and your product development you build a landing page. The landing page validates your value proposition, product-solution fit, sales argumentation and can even validate your pricing.

And all that in an environment of brutal and merciless honesty:
anonymous Internet browsing. Here is what to do:
  • Craft your landing page
  • Set up a Google AdWord campaign and drive traffic to your new landing page. Even here you can let the AdWord engine rotate different messages and
  • Test what works best on your prospects
  • Set up Google Analytics. The most important thing to measure is conversions — percent of visitors that sign up (or perform another desired action)
  • Set up a service like Qualaroo to survey your visitors

3. Wizard of Oz MVP

A ‘Wizard of Oz’ MVP is when you put up a front that looks like a real working product, but you manually carry out product functions. It’s also known as ’Flinstoning”. Zappos shoes is the biggest online shoe retailer, with annual sales exceding $1 billion. In his Lean Startup book, Eric Ries describes how the founder started with a Wizard of Oz product. The founder didn’t start by stocking up big amounts.

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