What are the best marketing tactics to validate a business idea?
Even the most courageous entrepreneurs want to be confident that they are throwing themselves into a business with real potential to become a success. Marketing is one of the best ways to be sure, before you quit your job, make the big announcement, and throw your life savings behind this.
So, how do you do it? Check out these marketing tactics to determine whether you’ve nailed it, or not.
The Importance Of Validating Your Business Idea
In spite of the perception that entrepreneurs are big risk takers, no one really wants to bet it all without being pretty sure they are going to win. At least not in business. Throwing away some money for fun in Las Vegas is one thing. Betting your savings, career reputation and income for the next year and having to put in all the hours, work, and mental focus is a lot more to bet.
Starting a business may never risk free. Just as no investment is either. Yet, there is a lot that entrepreneurs can do to prove their idea, reduce risks, and kick doubt to the curb before putting it all on the table.
The risks of not doing this is everything when it comes to the marketing tactics to validate a business idea. IQ, the school you went to or who you know is not a free pass, and still doesn’t mean you’ve got a genius idea that can’t fail. Even if you believe passionately that this is a no-brainer that everyone in the world will die to get their hands on, you want to prove it.
This reduces risks, will help attract investors and strong team members, keep you in the game on the challenging days, and perhaps help hone the brand, business model and product before a public launch so that things go better from right out of the gate.
Even if you’ve done market research or read and purchased industry reports, until you test with marketing, you are just guessing.
If you want to build a billion dollar business you are going to need to raise capital from outside investors and they are all about validation.
In addition, keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
The Importance Of Custom Tailored Marketing For Your Business
Before trying or adopting any of these marketing tactics to validate a business idea, it is vital to recognize the importance of having a customized marketing strategy and plan that is tailored to your unique business and customers.
Not all of these ideas will be ideal or optimal for your specific business. That’s true even if you see your competition or other seemingly successful personalities and corporations using them.
Unless you have access to their real internal data, you don’t know what is really working for them or not. What’s right and best for one business can be a complete fail for another.
For example, some may appear to be going viral on YouTube and Facebook, but those channels may not work for you at all. Failing to get this right can bankrupt you faster than anything else.
So, before you launch any serious marketing campaigns, be sure you are working on facts and experience, and have really thought through the match for your ideal customers and your company.
Marketing Tactics To Validate A Business Idea
1) Landing Pages
This is a critical one of the marketing tactics to validate a business idea. You don’t need a full website or even a tangible product on shelves to validate your business idea. All you may need is a simple, single landing page, and some traffic to it
This landing page can be used to farm customer leads for when you are ready and to gauge interest. It can be used to sign up free users and beta testers. Or it can be used to secure real sales.
There are plenty of landing page tools you can leverage, and many that offer easy email, listing building and instant payment integrations.
Surveys are a great way to test the market, validate your idea and even build early lists and sales. To be truly accurate it may be wisest to use a third party service for unbiased results. However, you can use your own marketing surveys to build connections and lead to soft sales.
There are a variety of ways to do this from people in the street with ipads, to email questionnaires, Twitter polls, and outbound phone calls or text based surveys.
3) PPC Ads
Pay-per-click ads are a fast way to test your business idea. In a few hours you can have a variety of split test ads running online, with your brand getting thousands of views.
The flexibility with budgeting means you can run with less than $100, or put a $1M into a real test. Then get feedback and data within hours and days instead of months.
If PPC is a part of your longer term branding and marketing strategy, then testing it now can give you insight into what your customer acquisition is impacting ultimately your startup costs.
You may also be interested in the video below where I cover in detail how to create a marketing plan.
4) In Person Sales
Many of today’s big nine and ten figure business success stories started out with the founders traveling the country and canvassing their cities. They went door to door, one prospect at a time to pitch in person. This one has the highest touch from the marketing tactics to validate a business idea.
5) Free Demos
Giving free consultations, demos and test drives can all be ways to generate leads and sales, make warm connections and get your product in users’ hands. Just make sure you are differentiating between those wanting the freebies and those who will become paying customers.
6) Pre-Sell On Existing Platforms
For consumer products there are many existing marketplaces you can use to quickly and inexpensively test before building your own assets. This might include the likes of Amazon, etsy, eBay, letgo and offerup.
Hopefully this post provided some perspective as you are looking into the marketing tactics to validate a business idea.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.