Before you create your product, especially if this is the first time in digital product development, you need to know exactly who will buy it. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?
However, what often happens is that what looks like a great opportunity to you – I bet many people would like to buy that – may not have many potential customers. And those potential customers may be hard to find.
A second problem is ego. It’s hard to let go of an idea if you’ve invested time in it. It feels part of you.
Surely, someone will but this.
Maybe, but maybe not enough to make a profit.
So, how do you verify that there is a real market with potential customers looking for this type of product?
Identify the price they pay for similar products.
Is there a demand for my product?
One way to approach this is to develop a business case for your proposed product.
In other words, imagine that you worked for a ‘real company’ and you had to convince your manager, who has to convince the Finance Dept, and so on, that there is a real, immediate demand for this product.
How would you do it?
- Creating a business case is a simple exercise in determining both to yourself and others if it should get development and marketing funding.
- Use the business case as the foundation for your marketing plan. It helps you identify the justification for the product. It also ‘proves’ to you and potential investors that a gap exists in the market and that your product will address this.
- Is there a gap in the market for my product?
Well, how do we find out?
Gap Analysis is another task which helps determine if there really is an appetite for your product as opposed to a ‘gut feeling.’ Gap Analysis looks are what currently exists in the market, what should be there, and how you can fill that gap.
Take languages for example. These are very popular. I’m learning Greek at the moment with GreekPod101.com.
The most popular languages are well served. Italian, French, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and so on.
But how about smaller, less well-known languages, for example, Gaelic Irish, or different Chinese dialects?
If everyone is competing to build the Italian, French, Greek, Chinese, Arabic products, the market is probably already saturated. Instead, look at other languages which are underserved. I’m sure you can think of two or three right now.
How to perform low-cost market research on my products?
If possible run polls on your site, ask questions in forums, perform searches on Twitter, and look at your competitors. In other words, take your own feelings out of the equation. Prove to yourself that Yes, there is a potential market for this.