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Many people think of Adwords strictly as a direct-response tool for driving conversions. While it certainly does an admirable job of accomplishing this, treating that as its sole function is a disservice to the platform as a whole. One of the most underutilized functions Adwords can serve is Market Validation. Adwords is a fast, affordable and efficient method of subjecting your ideas to a huge audience. By doing this you can gather massive amounts of data, split test variations, and get results on an incredibly short timescale. If you’re interested in this kind of Lean Adwords Marketing, the first step is to set up an account.
When delving into the arena of Market Validation and customer development, one of the things that can be difficult to remember is that a “failed” validation still gets you a large amount of useful data. This is one of the most appealing factors with Market Validation: even an unsuccessful test yields results. Sometimes this is simply telling you where not to market. You can learn that the people you thought would be your ideal marketplace are in fact not interested in your product. This can give you valuable insight into either changing your product, or altering your targeting to be more effective. A business associate of mine had an experience along these lines that proved that ongoing, iterative Market Validation can truly have staggering results in the long term.
He began by, of course, creating an offer that involved an executive marketing summit to help develop business culture. The goal was to invite people to attend this summit, and then utilize this carefully cultivated group as a potential source of future clients. Based on his offer, he formed the hypothesis that his target audience would be be the highest level decision makers; CEOs, owners, and other individuals at the very top of their company. These would be the people most interested in developing the culture in their business environment, or at least that was the hypothesis.
As he reached out to these individuals, he was overwhelmingly met with rejection. These individuals presented a common set of similar objections. They didn’t even have the time to spend focusing on these aspects of their business, so they certainly didn’t have the time to dedicate to attending a summit based on the concept. Now at this point, you should be seeing how this is just another form of Market Validation. Regardless of the medium, software or method that you use, Market Validation still boils down to the same basic principles. You develop an offer, form a hypothesis, and then begin testing that hypothesis through marketing. At this point, my business associate’s hypothesis had been proven false. CEOs weren’t interested in his offer. Some people might give up at this point. But the key information to take away here was that even with a “failed” test, he gained useful information that he was able to apply to his offer: CEOs didn’t have the time to dedicate to their business culture. So who did?
My associate decided to retarget his offer to the areas within the company who had a specific responsibility relating to the culture of the business, and find the decisionmakers in those departments. This mostly referred to secondary executives in HR or Operations. This is where LinkedIn came in. He decided to alter his medium and begin sending out invitations via LinkedIn, testing whether or not this would have a higher return than simply approaching individuals in person. He sought out as many executives in the right positions as he could find, personalized his message to show he had read their profile, and sent the following with the headline “Exclusive Invite to Attend Culture Summit”:
And what happened? He received a 25% conversion rate. One in every four individuals he sent the message to responded and attended his summit. A lot of individuals might also stop here, but my associate decided to take it one step further. Now that he had access to a good group of individuals who were very receptive to his offer, he continued to do research. He asked them a simple question: Where can I find more people like you?
This ended up leading him to a “secret” message board for individuals in exactly the niche who had responded so positively to his offer. It was an online meeting place for hundreds of potential customers who had shown they were directly interested in his offer, and ideally positioned to take advantage of it. By persevering through “failed” Market Validation, and then pressing his advantage once he’d found it, he ended up with a literal goldmine, custom fitted to his exact specifications. There are many intricacies and strategies to Market Validation, but with the right expertise it can change the way you sell products forever.
Market validation is a concept that is too often overlooked and undervalued in the entrepreneurial community. When moving into the exciting implementation stages of a new startup, it can feel mundane or even counterproductive to stop the momentum and question the idea. Additionally, the methods that come to mind when you think of market validation can be costly and time consuming. In those early days, you probably don’t think you have the time, money or manpower to invest in validating your proof of concept.
That’s where Aaron Opfell’s talk, Market Validation Hacks Using Digital Tools, can be exactly what you need. By leveraging the power of technology to your advantage, you can learn how tools like landing pages, Google AdWords and Google Analytics allow you to refine your product and define your customer in the early stages of product development. By taking these steps early and treating them seriously, you can avoid losing countless hours and wasting piles of money down the line. Every hour you invest in the early stages of market validation will provide a significant return on investment down the line.
This talk was originally given as part of the SARTA Leadership series to some of the most respected and successful members of the Sacramento business community. With funding for business development being limited, SARTA was forced to close its doors, but that has only increased the need for talented members of the community to come out and share their knowledge, skills and experience. Aaron Opfell will be bringing Market Validation Hacks Using Digital Tools to a venue near you shortly, and you can’t afford to miss out on the opportunity. Want Aaron to present for your organization? Request Speaking engagement Now.
I’m Aaron Opfell, founder and owner of Searchermagnet. A boutique digital marketing agency. Were on the internet answering your questions about internet marketing. Do you have a question? Email to email@example.com and I will answer it. Today’s question comes to us from anonymous. Anonymous asks, there are infinite variations of possible customer search terms. How does this affect an SEO strategy? Great question. Very sophisticated question I might add. It’s true, people searching for things. We are looking for things. We’re not worried about how. Nobody’s judging our queries right, Their really primordial or cave men. Oh, what pizza. You know. So, you want to search for things. You know searches goes by name or any other name. We use different version. Variants right. Lawyers or law firm or attorney or attorney lease right. So, all mean basically the same thing. We might call things different things. Like a running for a legal thing for a second car accident, motor accident, we describe it differently. One thing is certain though. All these terms, they have their limit. There’s a cloud, keywords to describe your customer journey right from research to buying decision right. And you know, along that path, there are only small possible variations or spellings you know synonyms that people can only have. As an English major, I always find it difficult to understand what people don’t understand it. And It finally clicked to me when I realized that, you know in the same way that I am not strictly pure math person. I don’t enjoy calculus. You know. That people don’t really get how English works. Specially if it is not the first language. English is a very difficult language. Ask anyone. English by far is the most difficult language for a not native speaker right. But you know in our language, there are only so many synonyms. If you were to pick up the source to understand this like in any given word, you can only have 20 to 30 synonyms. And once if you ever you know try to play scrabble. I know this when coming up with the names right. There are so many synonyms that are actually worth the crap. Right. If there are any we’ll relevant to the original terms. So, when it might seem unlimited, it is actually quite finite. There are so many actual synonyms. Plural variants. Adwords and Google has already figured this out overtime. Google only cares about specific wording like you know S and N like the plural, or slight misspellings. If you type in, PZZA , you’re gonna get results for PIZZA. Try it for yourself. It doesn’t matter. It’s actually kinda fun game. See how badly you can messed up the query. See if Google actually know what you are talking about. There is something called auto complete effect. And it allows us to really just you know barf gibberish to Google and Google just know exactly what we are talking about. If you ever use Google if you are drunk or under the influence, Google is pretty good in looking at the pool, it looks like a line up and you are looking to a hundreds of searches and the one that is slightly out of them, there are slightly more taller or different shape and it is the same thing. Sorry to explain so long but as you can see, Google doesn’t really care about misspellings or variants. It really knows what’s up. And then you know, in the fine amount of terms, now the final problem is like, which of those terms are actually relevant. And you know, we’ll cover in another video, like AIDA. Attention, interest, decision, action. Honestly, there is a temperature or spectrum of how interested or accurate this person is. It started out just like barely have the attention and down here is the tasks whether making a decision. It moves along the spectrum and they’re gonna search for different things as they go. At the top they start up really broad. Like what is topic. What is pizza. And then maybe as their interested you know, difference deep dish and Chicago style pizza. Right. And as they keep getting down, further down, the decision action, there gonna be searching for like pizza near me and then finally pizza coupon. Right. So that’s kind of a, the spectrum, the search spectrum, but then again, there a fine other stuff here. You’ve got high interest or low interest. You’ve got, you know synonyms, so, it may appear unlimited. It’s not and there is actually a fine amount of variations that you can target, pay around with. Thanks very much.
I’m Aaron Opfell, founder and owner of Searchermagnet. A boutique digital marketing agency. I’m on the internet answering your questions about internet marketing. Do you have a question? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer it. Today’s question comes to us via anonymous. Anonymous asks, are buyers really using internet internet searches to find my product? Even if it’s B2B. That’s a great question. Great question. Kinda hostile right. Because you are saying, hey, hey Aaron, you are working in search advertising, make a living out of search engines. You people really use search engines to make decisions? I can’t figure about it but you know it’s odd but you know search engines are thing kind of thing that I almost feel like a little bit less mind sure than I did. You know ten years ago and I wanted to explain why. First search engine is a 97 or 98 I believe. All of this came up 98 I think. That time it was new and people are like, oh yeah. But now you know like a nobody thinks about this. It’s second nature to you know should ask question where is the nearest pizza joint. Three you know. What is the difference between base model and the double cap. You know if people is researching these questions you got the apple watch you can search right face directly in your apple watch. You know, you can Google them. You know but people are not realizing. Most of them think about the critical role of the search engine provides. When you look into research, people who look at search engines constantly it’s not such a natural fluid stage and that’s what Google works so hard on. Like a product that so easy to use. And just become forgot. Google is now a verb. Miriam, the dictionary, you know the official oxford dictionary, recognizes Google as a verb. You know to perform an internet search. You know, so xerox level. So if you really think about it, think of the last time in any sort how to get somewhere, where to eat, what type of product to buy. You know review stuff something, doing background something, Googling a date. Dating. Think about how you use the search engine to get you there. Right. And you answer for yourself. Do you people use search engines to get information. Do they use the information to make decisions. Do they start purchasing processes based on this information. Specially if there is a blog or article that contains information about the topic. Right? Do they do this three things? And, can you imagine where the product and services you sell. I don’t care what product it is. It could be escort services, deep fill oil fill drilling. Security. It can be a computer or physical body, body guards security. Education materials. B2B, B2B, B2C. I don’t care what it is. Can you imagine, stop thinking about computers. Stop thinking about the internet and imagine that your buyer is a human being and they are trying to make the decision about what you sell. Are they gonna use Google to help with the decision. If not, walk away from the computer, close this video. But if there is any possibility that they will use the search engine for any part of the decision, then you need to be there when they are researching it. And, that’s all there really is to it. You know. And the best way, you know if you are not convinced, test it out right. Test it out. It’s cheaper and more effective and a lower budget threshold. Than any other form of advertising out there. If you don’t believe, hit the numbers for your self. So, that’s the answer to that question, see you again soon.