I’m writing a series of guest blog posts on Quantitative Product Market Fit for Marketers for Bootstrap Marketing, a silicon valley marketing agency that helps startups launch. Check it out on the Boostrap site or read on…
Case Study: To Get the Right Answer You Need the Right Question
One of the most valuable aspects of the QPMF methodology is that it quickly reveals your assumptions about what’s important to your customers, how well your product or service delivers on those customer needs and desires, and how you stack up against the competition. And with the assumptions out in the open, you can take action. A prime example of this can be seen in Bootstrap Marketing’s implementation of the QPMF methodology.
In early 2015 the Bootstrap team went through a QPMF analysis to uncover assumptions about their own product-market fit. They wanted to explore a particular type of Bootstrap customer: technology start-ups that are moving into their growth stage and need to execute a launch that will quickly build awareness and revenue. These tend to be companies that have established a strong need for their product with a small number of customers, but are still relatively unknown to the majority of their target customers.
Bootstrap has an excellent track record helping start-ups like this develop launch strategies that deliver results. But what they wanted to better understand was what these start-ups look for in a marketing partner.
In an accelerated two-hour session, we went through the analysis and defined the key Value Dimensions for the segment, selected a set of competitors to evaluate, and scored everything. Because the QPMF process forced the Bootstrap team to quantitatively rank every Value Dimension in terms of how important it is to their customers and how well they and their competitors perform, it immediately revealed interesting results.
First, the process revealed that Bootstraps two primary competitors are virtually identical in terms of how they appear to customers.
Second, it revealed that when start-ups are about to launch and are looking for a partner to help them do it, there are two main qualities they look for:
Strategy—Given the complexity of the communication challenges that disruptive start-ups face, they need an experienced team that understands how to focus marketing energy on the right audience and craft a positioning and messaging strategy that will inspire customers to take action.
Marketing Execution—Start-ups need a partner that can deliver high-quality marketing content and programs quickly and efficiently.
The team agreed that strategy and execution were the two most important Value Dimensions; however, the QPMF analysis uncovered a question the Bootstrap team could not answer with confidence: “What do our customers value more? Our strategic capability or our marketing execution skills?”
So they did what smart marketers do—they asked the customer. A survey went out, and the results came in: the clear message that customers deeply value is Bootstraps ability to help start-ups with BOTH developing an effective strategy AND skillfully executing marketing programs.
With this knowledge of what their customers value, Bootstrap has dramatically improved communications with their audience.
QPMF led them to the right question; the question led them to the right answer.