Content Marketing | 5 min read
One of the most exciting times of a business is when a new product has been developed. AB Testing, Freebies here and there, and other ways to find out its efficacy are aplenty.
No matter how picture-perfect or amazing your service or product is, there will be an inbox with complaints, it pays to ask a test group first what they think.
What is Test Marketing and Why Do You Need To Do It?
There’s nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about your new product or service. That’s a normal emotion and behaviour because this offering might just be what you needed to bump you up into the big time.
However, the last thing you want is for any unhappy customers to deluge you with complaints when the product or service just doesn’t deliver on your marketing promises.
If you’re not quite sure about the offering, why not gather together some people and have them pilot test the product or service for you first? Clarify for them that you need their unbiased opinion about it. Test marketing may be an eye-opener for you.
Why You Should Consult a New Audience
The great thing about having strangers (who have been appropriately screened for their traits and demographics) check out your product or service is that their opinions are unbiased.
They don’t have a vested interest in what you have to offer because you’re providing it to them for free. All they have to do is test it for you then give their opinion as to why it is a wonderful product or a miserable dud.
It can be frightening to consult strangers as well. But this is necessary compared to leaping out into the market with your untested product or service and hoping that people will like what you’re selling.
Yes, it is possible that they really like what you’re selling and your sales will shoot through the roof. But it is equally possible that they will hate your offering and are not shy about saying so. (It is also possible that they feel neutral about it so that’s important too.)
When is The Right Time to Choose Trademarks?It is equally smart to hold off on selecting trademarks for your offering before you’ve had your test market try it out for you. You file for trademark recognition after the testers have finished their analysis.
The reason for this is quite simple: if you’ve gone to the trouble of filing for a trademark but then your product or service falls apart, what use is the trademark? Make sure first that you won’t be embarrassed by how your product or service performs in the market. The test group will do that for you.
What Do You Want?
It is also important to know what you want when you come up with a nice new product or service. What kind of reaction do you expect from your target market? If you come up blank when you think of this the first time, it is really time to bring in the test market group.
Select the Target Market Scrupulously
Take note that you don’t have to bring in just any Tom, Dick, and Harry from the street for your test marketing phase. The members of the test group should have the traits you are looking for in the ideal customer.
This is where demographics play a key role. Marketers everywhere can tell you that there are really some products that appeal to a certain demographic. Marketers will also inform you that some markets are automatically undesirable markets for obvious reasons.
Take feminine hygiene products, for example. Obviously, you don’t ask the menfolk to test these products for you. The men will probably not understand what the products are for. It is the women who can relate to what you’re offering so your target market is the females.
On the other hand, if you’ve invented a cool new hardware widget then marketers will advise you to have it tested by a male-only test group. Women might be exposed to such widgets but for the most part, it is the men who would probably be interested in trying it out.
How Does Font Size Factor In?
The size of your marketing text also plays a role in this. Research has shown that there are only around 20 font styles that are popularly used.
You can go two ways with this: you can use a common font style so that you don’t alienate your target market, or you can use a less common font style to “make a statement”.
Either way, you need to have a good grasp of what your potential customers are thinking when they see a certain font style. Font size, and then bolding or italicizing are also other options.
If you’re not sure which font would make an impact, ask your test group instead. Take note: you only get about 5 seconds for a shopper to notice what you’re offering. Go beyond that and the shopper may select something else, probably from a competitor.
Adding a Price to Your Offering
Another key aspect to testing a product or service is the pricing. Your test marketers might be enthusiastic about trying it out, then will back off when the price is mentioned.
Yes, you have to recoup your investment that went into manufacturing a product or developing a service. But pricing is critical so that your offering isn’t ignored by real-world shoppers.
Another reason you should have competitive pricing is that competitors might have lower prices for their own offerings. People love good deals that they can afford. So set a price for your product or service that consumers will be attracted to as well.
As you have probably surmised by now, it all boils down to the appetite of consumers for what you are bringing to them. Some may be really pleased by their experience with your products or service. But others might not be. (And, of course, we have the neutral group who don’t hate it but they don’t love it either. Don’t forget them.)
Always Educate Your Market
Some people may balk at this because it can be tiring to educate the market. This is especially true if you think you’re dealing with something commonplace that you think everyone already knows about.
But then you release your product into the market and nobody knows how to deal with it. “What’s that for?” is the common query of the market. It is up to you to tell them what it is for. Because your competitors will gladly take your place if you don't.
Test Marketing is Key to Brand Success
If you’re certain that you have identified your target market and have selected a fairly representative sample group of testers, it is time to get their reaction. Doing this will allow you to broadcast your marketing message to the public confidently and conscientiously.
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Published on January 25, 2022