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Exploring the Benefits of Proof of Concept for Marketers

Learn what proof of concept is and how it can be used to improve your marketing strategy.

Before you can turn a business idea into a reality, you need to make sure that your idea is actually feasible. It's crucial to ensure potential investors see that your idea is worth pursuing, and one way you can test the feasibility of a product idea is with proof of concept.

So, what does proof of concept mean?

Proof of concept is the act of taking a business idea, turning it into a real product or service, and testing the product to determine if it can work in the real world. Proof of concept can be applied to just about any business model or concept that needs to be proven before it goes into production.

It can be used for business development to help a company grow with a foundational business plan, gives project managers a framework to develop a product idea, and aids in software development to bring new technology to the market. You can also use proof of concept to create a solid marketing plan that maximizes sales and profits.

Proof of concept can be used in many industries, but it's especially beneficial for marketers. In this article, we'll discuss the proof of concept meaning, how to implement proof of concept in marketing, and more. Continue reading to learn more about how proof of concept can improve your marketing strategy.

What is proof of concept in marketing?

So, what is proof of concept in the business and marketing world?

The goal of proof of concept in marketing is to take an idea and turn it into a viable product, final design, or marketing plan. Any business idea needs to undergo a proof of concept development process to make sure it works as intended.

But first, you need to create a minimum viable product that meets the basic parameters of the concept you're seeking to sell. From there, the product development process builds upon the successful proof of concept to make it better and find areas for further testing and expansion before coming up with a final product.

With proof of concept in marketing, the goal is to develop a marketing strategy that's successful, repeatable, and applicable to similar products.

One proof of concept example is coming up with a marketing idea for a product or service that can attract current customers as well as bring in new ones. In order to get the attention of your target audience, you need to lay out your plan and test different variations to determine which one is the most successful.

From there, you can identify your target audience, their demographics, and their consumer profiles. These are the people you want to buy your product or service.

The concept is your Point A and your target audience is your Point B. Now you have to figure out which concept is going to be the most effective to get from Point A to Point B.

The development process begins by taking the most viable product marketing ideas and testing them as the proof of concept is developed. It's normal to test multiple ideas at the same time while positioning them for different markets in order to find out which of the ideas works the best.

Once you've managed to get successful proof that the marketing idea is viable, tests well with the target audience, and shows promise in terms of expected sales numbers, you can release the final marketing plan to a wider audience.

Benefits of proof of concept for marketers

Proof of concept can help you find the best way to market a product with less effort and lower costs. It's much easier to identify problems in the early stages before they go live and makes your messaging more effective as a result.

A good example is getting the bugs out of the program during the software development process in order to have software that works right from the moment it's finished You're essentially doing the same for your marketing plan by working out the issues before the product or service goes live and the associated advertising efforts along with it.

Proof of concept can help marketers in many ways, including:

Identify potential flaws and issues

Proof of concept helps marketers identify flaws and issues before they become major problems. The problems show up during the planning stages and give you the opportunity to fix them long before going live with the marketing plan.

Reduce development costs and risks

With proof of concept, less time and resources are spent chasing down the "what ifs" during the development phase of the plan because it's easier to prove the viability and feasibility of the product or service.

That translates into less money spent and eliminates "scope creep", which can happen when the development process gets out of control.

Understand customer needs and preferences

Focus groups can help you learn more information about what your customers are looking for in their customer journey. Proof of concept can improve your customer experience by helping you better understand customer needs and preferences and creating a marketing strategy that appeals to them.

Improve product or service quality

The feedback you receive from focus groups and other sources of input helps you improve the quality of the service or product you're looking to sell. It also generates brand trust because the customer base knows you're listening to their opinions and desires for product or service improvements.

Enhance marketability

One of the benefits of the proof of concept process is learning more about your product or service as it relates to the market. You may think you know everything there is to know about your product, but getting feedback and finding out who buys your product opens up new marketing avenues and the opportunity to appeal to a wider range of customers.

Increase sales and revenue

The information you collect from studying how your ideal customer reacts to your marketing efforts shows you how best to position what you're selling. When you have awareness and insight into how well your concept might sell, you can expand your efforts to reach more of your intended audience.

Build customer trust and loyalty

By using proof of concept, the product or service you're marketing has been thoroughly vetted for soundness and viability. The customer knows they can trust your brand because your marketing efforts helped them buy something that worked as intended and without problems.

Delivering a sound marketing strategy and product to the market helps build customer relationships and improve brand loyalty.

How to implement proof of concept in marketing

The proof of concept framework is easily adapted to creating a viable marketing campaign.

You create your workflow by following a series of established steps and applying your problems to each step, then figuring out how to overcome the problem, apply a solution, or act on the step.

Implementing proof of concept in your marketing campaigns is relatively easy and requires you to follow a few simple steps, such as:

Identify your objectives

Identifying your objectives, or setting your goals for the product, helps you create a measurement for product success. Using SMART goals lets you break down your objectives into a guideline that helps you move the proof of concept forward.

Define your target market

You need to know who is most likely to buy your product or service before you can actually create it. This will save you money on your final marketing efforts and help you refine your plan to create a marketing campaign that appeals to your desired demographic and customer profile.

Develop and test your prototype

The product or service you're looking to market may not be ready to launch, but it is in a state where it's considered a minimum viable product. That means you can take the product or service to the public for testing to determine how the target market reacts to it and determine what works and doesn't for the consumer.

Collect feedback

Getting user feedback from your focus groups and surveys helps you understand how well your marketing efforts will work. Always be sure to solicit honest feedback, as brutally honest information shows you where things are going right and where they need improving.

Analyze the results

The data collected throughout the development process tells you how your ideal customer reacts to your product or service.

By looking at your marketing materials, you can see how much time a customer spends looking at and considering your product before they buy it. It also shows where the marketing is lacking or goes too far in one direction, and where changes need to be made before going live.

Implement your product or service

Once you've completed the proof of concept development process, it's time to implement your product or service and watch your efforts turn into real-time sales.

Your hard work and planning gave you a good idea of how well your product or service will sell, enabling you to sit back and guide your team through the marketing rollout with the least amount of stress.

Leverage proof of concept in your marketing strategy

Planning is a normal part of any marketing strategy, but proof of concept takes it to another level. It removes the guesswork from your ideas and concepts and saves you time and energy figuring out how to position your product for the right audience.

You also save money on the development process and increase your profitability. Last, but not least, using proof of concept for your marketing processes helps you reach more customers who are likely to buy the product or service, expanding your brand’s reach.

At Mailchimp, we can help you learn more about how to market your business, how to identify your ideal customer, and how to use analytics that shows you how well your marketing efforts are working.

We feature a robust content library covering everything from how to start your business to finding your target audience, so you can grow your business into something you can be proud of.

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