Author: Savvy

But how do you do market validation? This week we spoke with Urko Wood an expert in growth strategy and innovation who helps companies determine where to focus and what to do to drive growth through innovation.

Urko, how do you validate a market?

It all depends on what you mean by “validate a market.” There are two different kinds of market validation. There’s validating the market demand and then there’s validating the solution. These are two very different things and, consequently, how we go about them should be different, too. I see a lot of large companies and startups fail to make this distinction all the time and, consequently, they fail with new products because they’re going about the market validation and innovation process all wrong.

Can you tell us more about these differences and how you would go about validating the market in each case?Continue Reading..

Google Keep just keeps getting better. Make Google Keep central to your life. Use it obsessively. When you do that, it becomes a mirror to your mind, an extension to your thought processes that never forgets — a nursery for your best ideas, projects, goals and plans.

Google Keep is probably the best Google service that most people don’t use.

Services like Keep, Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are often called “note-taking apps.” But it’s an obsolete label. They’ve grown beyond their roots, now offering collaborative workflow, reminders, checklists, geofencing, optical character recognition, voice transcription, sketching and more.

A few years ago, I would have recommended Evernote. But over the summer, Evernote took a wrong turn. The company changed its pricing structure in a way that practically forces users to pay or quit. Specifically, Evernote added limitations to the free version, called Evernote Basic. It’s now accessible via a maximum of two devices per year — a total deal-killer, as far as I’m concerned. They limit uploads to 60 megabytes per month, which is absurdly low. And they raised prices on premium tiers. The paid versions of Evernote now cost $34.99, $69.99 and $120 per year.Continue Reading..

Cost: $1,000/mo.
Type: Month-to-month contract
Includes: Twitter, 1 personal  LinkedIn account, corporate LinkedIn page, Facebook
Ramp: Two weeks
Expect:  Increased online visibility, website traffic, leads and sales
Twitter: 150-300 new followers per month in your desired target market.
LinkedIn: 20-30 good connections per week.
Website traffic: experience and average increase of 500%-1000% of social media traffic within the first 60 days of working with us.
Ideal for: tech companies that don’t have budget for a full-time social media marketer or companies that want to scale social quickly.

Savvy Social Media Marketing

Building social connections requires daily attention. And lots of it. But in high tech marketing departments social media management gets left behind as more visible projects take priority.

Savvy marketers know that just because social media isn’t as flashy as a new website, or big event, it is a powerful tool for communicating your message, building relationships, and driving website traffic.

Continue Reading..

With more than 10 billion endorsements since its launch in 2012, LinkedIn is now using machine learning to customize each person’s experience so that the most impactful endorsements are surfaced when you view a profile.

LinkedIn has taken its endorsements feature and given it a touch-up so that it actually means something on a person’s profile. With more than 10 billion endorsements since its launch in 2012, the professional social networking company is now using machine learning to customize each person’s experience so that the most impactful endorsements are surfaced when you view a profile.

Considered to be LinkedIn’s one-click lightweight version of recommendations, endorsements were geared toward letting people offer rapid testimonials about a person’s competencies and skill sets. Do you know Microsoft Office? Are you good at marketing? Can someone vouch for your engineering chops? But it was also prone to randomness, such as users planting false flags about someone’s credentials — you could be endorsed for being a good pet-sitter, for example, even if your career had nothing to do with animals.

Continue Reading..

Fully understanding your customers and the challenges they face might just be the number one key to success as far as product development goes. In the end, customers are the ones who will decide whether to buy a product or not. Here’s how to focus on them first.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

Henry Ford famously said that he invented the Ford T without asking for any feedback from his potential customers. According to him, people were not capable of thinking about radical innovation.

Since then, his words have sunk into the minds of many product teams that now deeply believe they should never listen to their customers. They’re afraid it might slow their innovative thinking.

However, we might be misunderstanding his words. There is a difference between deeply understanding your customers by asking them what they want and doing exactly what they say. It’s true that you shouldn’t always give your customers what they ask you for.

But, fully understanding your customers and the challenges they face might just be the number one key to success as far as product development goes. In the end, customers are the ones who will decide whether to buy a product or not, so it’s always a good idea to focus on them first.

But, how do you get to really understand your customers without quickly losing yourself in assumptions? This is where customer development comes in.

What Is Customer Development All About?

We are not trained to think about customers in a disciplined way. We have processes for product development, for sales, and for marketing. But, when it comes to our very own customers, we usually hide behind assumptions and guesses about what they need and want.

Customer development tries to fix that by pushing producers to understand customers as much as they understand the market they are in and the technologies they are using.

The idea being that you need to build your product or service for people who are or will be truly passionate about it. To do that, you need to get out of your office and check all the theories you have about your product against reality. It’s all about focusing on your customers.

The methodology is quite simple. Pick one customer that is or will be truly passionate about your product, build that product, and then iterate to improve it.

Continue Reading..

What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? Follow these tips and you can ensure that you have a killer LinkedIn profile that will stand out to recruiters, hiring managers, and potential customers.

Whether you’re job hunting, gathering leads, or networking in your industry, having a professional, eye-catching LinkedIn profile is an excellent idea to make sure that you can be found by the right people at the right time.

First and foremost: It’s not about you! Write your summary in the first person (as in “I accomplished XYZ,”) but remember who your audience is. With each statement you write, consider who you are hoping will read it, and what you’re hoping they will take away.

For example, when reading about your skills, past job duties, or anything else on your profile, a recruiter, hiring manager, or potential customer wants to be able to imagine how you can help them. So, instead of “I managed a team of 10 people,” you might say, “I was able to attract and hire top talent to round out my team, which then exceeded sales goals by 15 percent.”

Filling out a profile isn’t difficult, but there are some important best practices you should follow to make sure yours is as powerful as possible:

Start with a professional photo.

If you don’t have a professional headshot, add that to your to-do list, and go with the cleanest, most professional looking snapshot you have — and upgrade as soon as possible. And smile! Remember: That photo may be your first impression with a potential employer.

Continue Reading..

Are you inadvertantly sabotaging your customer development? Here are some anti-patterns to watch out for and defeat.

Steve Blank always liked to say, “In a startup, no facts exist inside the building, only opinions.” The lean startup movement encourages that you get out of the building with a mixture of experiments and qualitative research. Doing qualitative work gives you several benefits. It helps you learn how others experience and think about your problem space. It helps you uncover evidence about your assumptions, or lack thereof.

My post “12 tips for customer development” tries to help entrepreneurs and product designers understand how to do qualitative work more effectively. But people struggle with this area. Here are some anti-patterns to watch out for and defeat.

1. You treat speculation as confirmation

Here are some question types that I don’t like — and if you ask them, you should heavily discount the answer: “would you use this?” “would you pay for this?” “would you like this?”

I can’t say that I *never* ask these questions, but I always prefer behavioral questions over speculation.

As contrast, here is a behavior-focused interaction: “Tell me about a time when you bought airline tickets online.” “What did you enjoy about the process? What frustrated you about the process?” “What different systems or methods have you tried in past to book tickets?”

2. You lead the witness

Leading the witness is putting the answer in the interviewee’s mouth in the way you ask the question. For example: “We don’t think most people really want to book tickets online, but what do you think?” Examine both how you phrase your questions and your tone of voice. Are you steering the answer? Ask open-ended, neutral questions before you drill down: “what was that experience of buying online tickets like?”

Continue Reading..

At Buffer, we have always taken a lot of pride in thinking that we were following the Lean Startup methodologies very closely. However we were not connecting with our customers enought throughout development. Twitter helps us quickly get customer feedback so we can continue to build products people love.

At Buffer, we’ve recently made a big change to how we build products and use the Lean Startup methodologies much more closely.

It followed what I’d call a phenomenon that Hiten Shah, one of our closest advisors mentioned to us in a mentoring session:

“There’s a strange thing I see. Startups do customer development once then don’t make it part of the product process.” – Hiten Shah

At Buffer, we have always taken a lot of pride in thinking that we were following the Lean Startup methodologies very closely. That’s why this line from Hiten hit me like a brick. We weren’t really being lean and avoiding waste if we weren’t doing extensive customer development.

From that day a few months ago, we started to double down and put almost every single assumption or hypothesis of our business through customer development interviews first. And I believe it’s been one of the best changes we’ve made recently.

I’ve personally never felt closer to our customers and their problems.

Continue Reading..

So you’ve done a bunch of interviews. How do you know when to stop, and then start building? Use this article to learn a couple of different methods.

Robert Graham of WhiteTail Software, and this awesome guest post on cold calling asks:

@whitetailsoft https://twitter.com/#!/whitetailsoft When do you stop #custdev efforts and build the product? I’ve been wrestling with the details of #leanstartup.

I talked to 30 people before I realized that a certain idea of mine was a crappy idea, and about 40 people before starting WP Engine. Here are the details of both of those customer development experiences. 

But there’s no one “number.” Food on the Table — a now-famous lean juggernaut in Austin run by IMVU alum Manuel Rosso — talked to 120. Capital Factory 2011 alum GroupCharger talked to 50 before building and another 50 after that. At AppSumo, another Austin startup with startling growth, Noah Kagan talked to 0 people initially, but maintains ruthless pressure on a tight and measurable product.

There’s two ways to decide when you should stop talking and start building.

Way #1: Go until boredom.

Recently at WP Engine I did some brand new customer development for a new project that we think will revolutionize WordPress blog management. I spent 30 hours talking to WordPress consultants, but I didn’t have “30” preset in my head. I knew to stop when the process got boring.

The first dozen calls were a blizzard of activity — my note-taking fingers furiously trying to keep up with new information being revealed, theories getting alternately validated and blown away, unexpected customer segments arising, and new ideas recombining from the primordial soup generated by introspective, honest, provocative conversation with thoughtful people who were “living the pain” we’re trying to solve.

Continue Reading..

Want to know the wrong way to approach customer interviews? This article explains the top three ways to fail at customer development.

Fail #1 – You Don’t Listen

The customer confirmed all of our hypotheses! We’re awesome! I mean really, who wouldn’t want a square disco ball? Let’s go build it!

Bullshit.

In the unlikely event that your revolutionary new product, the square disco ball, is actually a customer need, the customer will still challenge your expectations of what the product should be with either:

1) Pricing discrepancies – “I would’ve paid more than $2000 for that.”
2) Unexpected use cases – “This will make a great piñata!”
3) Marketing material miscommunication – “What is this disco thing of which you speak?”
4) Ridiculous feature requests that no one else will want – “Why doesn’t this disco ball come in a nice plaid?”

If you take the time to talk to customers and learn absolutely nothing new about your product, even if only a few random brainstorm ideas, then you probably were talking to not with the customer.

So congratulations, you made a sales call. You were probably leading the witness the entire time. You did not do a customer development.

Shut up and learn to listen.Continue Reading..


Contact

Say hello to savvy marketing.

Name
Email
Message

Yay! Your message is on the way.
Error! Please validate your fields.
© Copyright 2017 Savvy Internet Marketing