It’s probably one of the cruelest ironies of creating and marketing a product: the time period between the development and sales of your product, when you’ll likely have the least amount of money to spend on anything but the most essential aspects of manufacturing your product.
But you’ll need todo some market research to figure out how to sell what you’re making. That’s going to cost money, and you may not have much to spare depending on how deep your investors’ (and your own) pockets are.
Good market research can be done without breaking the bank, though, and we’ve listed some ways to do it below.
You can use your existing staff and some savvy social media to do some informal market research by just talking to people.
Through Facebook or Twitter or whichever platform you prefer, ask for volunteers to have a conversation about your new product. Give them details about what you’ll be talking about, how long it will take, what possible incentives you’ll be offering, and make sure to include a link where they can get more information or contact you if need be.
There are several great options out there for creating an online survey (SurveyMonkey, for example) that can help you hone your marketing strategy and see what might work and what might not. Online surveys are a much more convenient and less expensive way to ask consumers about their preferences.
Use your own website
Why not invite people to visit your product’s website, if you’ve created one already, and answer a few questions about what appeals to them? You’ll be in a position to give more details about your product and its launch than you typically would on social media, and nothing’s wrong with increasing traffic to your website.
It’s really a win-win to give people a better look at both your product and your online platform for selling and promoting it, and you’ll have some handy information from the consumers on how to proceed with getting their attention and selling to the right people.
Hone your questions
What do you really need to know right now about how to market your product, and what can wait? If you are investing in market research on a tight budget, keep in mind that quality and quantity are not always the same thing.
What questions can be eliminated from your marketing process? What can wait until further down the road? How can you make your goals more specific to weed out unnecessary (and more expensive) information that might not be of use to you?
Those are the questions to consider. Less can often be more.
Trust your instincts
What need were you thinking of when you created your product? What role did you see your product filling in the marketplace? Why did you make what you’ve made?
You’ve done this for a reason. You’ve taken on a big risk and a difficult task because you believe in what you’ve created and what you can do with it. Doesn’t it stand to reason that someone else feels that way, too?
This product is something you’re excited about, right? There are reasons why, and that could apply to others out in the world, as well.
Don’t stop once you’ve launched
Feedback might be the most important thing to consider when it comes the health of your business. There’s no reason to stop seeking it once your product has been launched. In fact, the early responses you get are extremely important because they can guide how you proceed.
Listening to what your customers want becomes even more vital once the product is out there. There’s nothing more valuable than hands-on experience, and the consumers will be all too happy to let you know how they feel once they’ve used your product.
Read more about getting feedback on your new product in our blog post “How to Tell if Your New Product is Good Enough to Make It.”