Something that has been going through my mind recently is the different uses digital marketing has. One thing you might not be aware of is that you can use digital marketing for proof of concept, even before you’ve written a single line of code or bought your first screw you should be stress testing your idea with your market.

Many SaaS companies set about creating an MVP (minimum viable product) before ever speaking to a customer, especially the first time round.

Getting out there and hitting the market is your first step, you need to prove there is demand before you waste time on something that won’t sell.  

How Do I Talk To My Customers If I’ve No Product / Service

It’s simple enough really, here are the steps you need to take. Identify who your end user is start to ask yourself questions that you don’t know about them.

Create a conditional logic survey, if yes ask them a certain question, if no, ask them a different question Pick 10 close people you know you can have a coffee with who are likely to use your product.

Ask questions about their past experiences, not what would they do in the future

  • Have you faced this problem before
  • How did you deal with it
  • Have you ever tried to look for a solution

Don’t mention your start up idea, not because they’ll steal it but because they’ll change the conversation if they think you are trying to sell to them or perhaps they’ll want to be nice.

The aim of this is to discover what people have done in the past and prove you are fixing a problem that they do not only have but that they actively seeking to fix.

Lots of people are good at spotting problems but problems that people actively seek to fix are the ones people will pay for.  

You’ve Identified The Problem & Recognise There Is Real Value In Fixing It

Brilliant, now that you’ve identified the problem and you’ve learned that people really care about this and have actively seeked out solutions you are ready to introduce your idea.

You can tell them you are thinking about building X which will solve Y, ask: “is that something you are interested in?” Tell them “You are looking for beta testers and ask them is this something they’d be interested in?”

So before you’ve even started to conceptualize the service or product you already have customers.  

Where Does Digital Marketing Come In

More than likely you’ll have a handful of people you can ask. One or two people will be the ideal target and the rest just about fit.

With digital marketing we can reach hundreds if not thousands of your potential customers to fill out surveys and answer questions giving you the proof of concept and building a market before you’ve even built the service or product.  

The Added Bonus

While you’re busy proving your market exists you’re also gathering very valuable data, data that tells you the ins and outs of the problem that you can feedback to the development team.

Its these snippets of information that will help you determine what to build and focus on adding value rather than spending months on a feature that no-one uses.

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