Accelerate your thought leadership by contributing to our blog. Join our community of experts now!
Learn how Ryan O’Hara uses data to validate product ideas at Request For Meeting, and double down on the marketing channels there are already working.
Ryan uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to validate product ideas for Request for Meeting. The problem he wants to solve is clear: you hate getting cold email, and the people pitching hate getting ignored. But there are a number of ways that can be solved.
At this stage, many founders have a vision of the best product to solve the problem. They spend most of their time building, only to realize customers don’t actually find it that valuable when they take it to market. Ryan takes the opposite approach. He spends most of his time validating product ideas before building them, and much less time whipping up a minimum viable product (MVP) to get feedback from.
First, he starts with qualitative research. This involves interviewing 30 target customers who share the same job title to learn how they view this pain. Then he’ll interview the next batch of 30 who hold a different role. Alongside that, he’s doing quantitative research. This involves surveying a much larger group of prospective customers to try and find statistically significant insights. At the end, he has a much clearer picture of what features or products his target audience is open to.
He’ll quickly build an MVP based on that research and take it to the people he interviewed to learn if they’d use it, what they think of it, or if it’s what they had in mind. This process gives Ryan much more confidence that he’s building the right things, vs taking something to market that people don’t actually want.
Marketers get stuck in “analysis paralysis”: tracking everything and waiting to take action until they have a perfectly clear picture of what the next best steps are. Ryan thinks you should spend less time looking at data, and more time producing. He’d rather see companies increase their output and get 3-4x the “at bats” rather than waiting to test the perfect thing.
More output will lead to more awareness/impressions and faster feedback loops to know what’s working and what’s not. So maybe another way to summarize his priorities would be, “spend your time validating and building the right thing, not deliberating on how to market it.”
But this poses the question: how do you make sure you’re not wasting money/time on all this output? In other words, there are two dangers: looking at your map too long, and rowing blindly in the wrong direction. Ryan’s answer is, ‘spend an hour a week looking at the map, and take periodic measurements to make sure you’re headed the right way.’ As long as revenue and pipeline continued to grow, Ryan was good with his team focused on output and creation.
And to help identify which channels or content were working the best, he used a self-reported attribution survey. Everyone who entered their email for the survey would be entered to win a $1k gift card. Ryan would list all channels LeadIQ invested in that year, and have participants select the one that made them aware of the company. If they chose “word of mouth”, the form had conditional logic to ask, “cool, who?”. This allowed them to identify the most influential individuals so marketing could later partner with them on special promotions (webinars, social posts, interviews, etc.)
Ryan learned that it’s not enough to merely report the numbers. You need to give the story, or educate the rest of the team on why those numbers matter. Reporting the numbers looks like, “we ran this campaign, which drove x leads and x opportunities, for $x.” Educating on the numbers looks like, “here are the numbers we need to grow, what we tried to make it work, why we tried this, what worked, and what didn’t.”
By educating your team on why you chose what you did, what worked, and what didn’t, you’ll:
Get practical strategies that drive consistent growth
Latest from our blog