DISCLAIMER: What i’m documenting here is based on personal experience and there is no hard and fast rule of growth hacking. There can be multiple ways to start growth hacking, this is just one of them.
Is your product needed by the masses?
One common thing that I have figured out at places where I have worked is, you can’t just go into full growth mode and start your experimentation, you need to figure out that the product you are trying to grow is even needed by the market?
No matter how big your marketing team is, how good your tech team is, if there is no product-market fit, you are going to fail. In simple words, if your product is not a must have, people won’t even bother looking at it.
As a growth hacker, it is your duty to very honestly give feedback about the product to the company that is paying you.
How do you go about finding your product’s core value?
First and the most important step is to get a survey ready. Assuming you have invested in a beta testing group, this survey needs to have a lengthy description of your product and what it does. Then you proceed to have the following questions:
Q1. How disappointed would you be if this product no longer existed tomorrow?
a) Very disappointed
b) Somewhat disappointed
c) Not disappointed (it really isn’t that useful)
d) N/A—I no longer use it
If you get more than 40% saying people would be very disappointed, your product is good to go and has a good market to cater to.
Q2. What would you likely use as an alternative to [name of product] if it were no longer available?
a) I probably wouldn’t use an alternative
b) I would use: [ Short Paragraphs]
This question helps you understand your competitors better. Such a question would also help you understand the price point at which your customers are comfortable at.
Q3. What is the primary benefit that you have received from [name of product]?
This lets you understand the features that the user likes in your competitor. This also helps you fine tune your marketing message.
Q4. Have you recommended [name of product] to anyone?
Yes (Please explain how you described it)
This question allows your marketing team to check if the product has word of mouth marketing potential. When a user describes a product, it helps you to use the same language to use in your marketing. The masses will connect to it better.
Q5. What type of person do you think would benefit most from [name of product]?
Simple and straight forward question to understand your potential audience. This helps you pin point whom you want to target.
Q6. How can we improve [name of product] to better meet your needs?
Q7. Would it be okay if we followed up by email to request a clarification to one or more of your responses?
Last two questions are related to product improvements, if there are issues in the product that is stopping broad adoption, you will find it here.
2. Community Building
Your beta testers are your first customers! Treat them nicely!
Conducting survey might be time consuming, but you are indirectly building your first customers that way. Building communities for them so that you and your consumers grow together is essential.
And there has not been a better time to build communities than now!
Once you have completed your beta testing phase, you get all your beta testers into a group where they can share their experiences and moderate what comes out of it. More often than not, invested communities provide you a good product roadmap.
This blog is a part of an ongoing series, you can read more about it here:
1. What is growth hacking?