Discovering Product/Market Fit

Will the dogs like the dog food?

Your product/market fit will determine whether you grow fast, slow or not at all. Remember, a B2B product or service exists for only two reasons:

  • saves time
  • saves money

You must prove to yourself and your investors that your idea will fly in the marketplace. But the typical Catch-22 is that you don’t have a ton of money for formal market research.

You don’t need it. Use these no/low cost techniques to determine your product/market fit, before you open the vault to develop it.

Why am I doing this?

  1. To see your product’s value from your prospects’ standpoint.
  2. To hear what your salespeople will hear.
  3. To learn how to align your new concept with the marketplace.

Remember that business is a social process

The first thing to understand (and many people don’t) is that business is a social process. To do this successfully you’ll be spending the bulk of your time talking with people…not staring at a laptop screen.

If this provokes anxiety you’re in good company. Many people are hesitant to reach out to strangers. If you take the plunge, however, you’ll find it gets much easier as you go along.

 

Do this first

Work through the following 5-point strategy model first. Just apply what you already know, or strongly suspect, is true about the market. Support each assumption with whatever market information you have on hand.

  1. What are the trends in my industry?
  2. What’s driving the trends?
  3. What are we doing about the trends?
  4. What are our competitors doing about the trends?
  5. What should we be doing about the trends?

Now you have a baseline.

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About Mike Harris

Mike is the founder of Harris CMO Partners, a Nashville based firm offering interim and fractional CMO services to B2B companies.

He enjoys writing about what's working in B2B sales and marketing.

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