Control your launch to attract the right customers at the right time.
The time has finally come. After months of hard work, you’re finally ready to launch your vision to your excited customers. Beyond the marketing campaigns, the success of any product launch comes down to how it’s launched and how quick you’re able to iterate to make important improvements. Luckily you’re in the right place, at Spritely we’ve managed a heap of product launches and we’ve learnt what not to do along the way.
At the end of most sprint cycles we generally schedule a delivery to an instance of your product that will become your live, production version that your customers will use. During the development of your MVP we will establish your technical infustraucture, testing environments and hosting providers.
Delivery procedures will start to take shape throughout this period and each delivery will be essentially practice drills to prepare for the upcoming launch to your eagerly awaiting customers. Every release will include release notes detailing what has been released and which infrastructure component was updated.
Our delivery team’s function is also to find you the most cost effective infrastructure combinations based on expected traffic and your budget. Without this you can find yourself spending a lot more than you need on servers and hosting. Investment in this area could mean the difference between a runway burn-through of six months and eighteen.
Once your minimum viable product development is complete and we’re almost ready to hit the big red launch button, we like to run a quick user testing activity we refer to as alpha testing. This usually includes a small group of family, friends, employees and even very engaged customers to run a final real world test to make sure we’ve dotted every i and crossed every t.
Quite often this activity will uncover some small improvements that will affect the user experience of your product with minimal effort. Even if purely for piece of mind this controlled test is a great way to get the whole team prepped for the upcoming launch to your customers.
Analytics Event Tracking
Analytics tracking is a great way to measure and track the performance of your product. During the development sprints we will implement tracking code to track specific user events in your product. These events will provide the metrics for our monthly analytics reports.
Coupled with our user testing activities, we use analytics to help us inform our product decisions moving forward. If your product is generating revenue via customer conversions, we can use analytics to tweak these customer journeys and analyse the effects of the improvements. As your customer traffic increases improvements that cause small percentage increases can have large impacts on your generated revenue stats.
There’s a number of toolsets we can use and we generally base our selection on your budget and the types of conversions we’ll need to track.
You could consider the alpha testing activity a practice run for beta testing. The testing scenarios we run are almost identical aside from any tweaks we make based on the results of the alpha test. The big difference here though is we’ll be testing with real customers.
In some cases beta releases can be controlled by restricting access by invite only. This is sometimes necessary if the beta release is deemed to lean to be accessed by the wider market of fear of alienating your customer base. The goal here isn’t to maximise eyeballs, it is to tweak and mould your product around real customers. But these aren’t your everyday customers, they are early adopters that are fully aware that this is the lean sometimes clunky first version of your product. They are willing participants in crafting the early stages of something that will bring value to their lives. They are the pioneers on the ground floor of something new and exciting and they are committed to helping us.
If nurtured well these early adopters often become your brands biggest advocates spreading the virality of your product adoption through organic word of mouth marketing.
Monthly analytics reporting
At the end of every month we will provide you with a monthly analytics report using the tracking events we’ve setup in your code base. These reports are essential in tracking customer acquisition, customer engagement, retention, device and browser traffic and locational data and comparing the performance each month.
The data we analyse here will also be used to validate some of the assumptions we’ve made during the discovery, design and development phases. Tracking specific goals set when creating these assumption helps us distinguish the mass market appeal indicators we will use to determine if your product has the scaling potential were working towards.
How deep we go with this analysis once again depends on your budget. We have data scientists that utilise data aggregation software to analyse and predict potential growth. This is the crème de la crème of data analysis, if you’ve got the budget it’s a great investment. There are however more affordable ways to produce these reports and we’ll work with you and your budget to make this happen.
Develop Validated Improvements
The goal of this entire phase is to ensure your product perfectly fits your customers’ needs and the market you will scale into. Throughout the entire process of your product’s development we test every assumption and build validated feature-sets into your product. The improvements we deem as requirements off the back of our beta testing and data analysis should be prioritised over any new feature.
Releasing these improvements rapidly feeds fuel to our build, measure, learn feedback loop. Establishing this loop early in the piece and keeping it running hot is the single most crucial mechanism to ensuring your product’s scalability potential. More times than not, business owners insist that their assumptions and feature ideas should take priority over these improvements. To which we politely disagree. Your customers are the most important people in your business, when we choose to listen to our intuition over the voices of our customers is the time we fail as entrepreneurs.
You product roadmap is the visual predictor of where your product could be in 12 months time. In our experience these roadmaps are constantly changing based on customer learnings and changes in the market. They should be taken with a grain of salt and used purely as a means to set flexible goals.
Throughout the process we will create and manage your roadmap to match the development goals we set throughout the project. We usually advise our clients to restrict the roadmap to a maximum of 12 months depending on the product and the market it services.