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1
Getting Customer Validation
Of Your Product Before Release
2
Meet the Speaker
Emily Hossellman
Director of Marketing @ Centercode
emily@centercode.com
@ehossellman
linkedin.com/in/e...
3
Who is Centercode?
Services Run hundreds of fully managed beta tests and programs
Software Built a complete beta program...
Agenda
1. The importance of customer validation
2. Running a beta test
a. Planning
b. Recruiting
c. Managing
d. Closing
3....
5
Role of Customer Validation
The Role of Customer Validation
6
I've built an amazing product.
I'm so excited to launch it.
...But will people like it?
7
Beta Testing =
Customer Validation
Real, targeted customers using your product in real environments
Increases quality, i...
8
Do I Need to Run a Beta Test?
Short answer: Yes
● Any product with an end user needs customer validation
● All product t...
9
What Beta Brings to the Table
1. Introduces you to your target audience
2. Facilitates a real, meaningful conversation
3...
10
The Impact of Beta
Development
Product Management
Development/QA
Usability
Product Management
Support
Marketing
Sales
B...
11
What You Can Achieve During Beta
Not just technical check → Customer validation
● Sanity check / Will they use it
● Out...
How To Do It Right
12
People
A qualified and capable team --
in the right place at the right time.
Platform
A flexible, se...
13
Running Your Beta
14
The Process
Planning
Recruiting
Shipping/Distribution
Managing
Closing
15
Planning
1. Identify your stakeholders
2. Set (some) objectives
3. Determine your tester breakdown
4. Plan out your sch...
16
Recruiting
1. Create a qualification process
2. Craft a compelling message
3. Build a community of potential testers
4....
17
Shipping/Distribution
1. Create a process for shipping/distribution
2. Keep records
3. Complete the new user experience...
18
Managing
1. Collect the right feedback
a. Collect a variety of feedback
b. Check alignment from the beginning
c. Get th...
19
Closing
1. Get final feedback
2. Distribute incentives
a. Decide whether testers get to keep it
b. Hold onto rewards un...
20
Leveraging the Data
21
Improve Quality
● Prioritize your bugs using scoring
● Attach test platforms
● Use the data to justify changes
22
Prepare Support
● Improve documentation based on hurdles testers faced
● Prepare for known issues
● Build in more custo...
23
Fuel Marketing & PR
● Build a trove of user generated content (quotes, videos, testimonials)
● Find what testers loved ...
24
Optimizing Your Betas
Optimizing Your Beta Program
25
● Dedicate the Resources
● Design Quality Feedback Mechanisms
● Improve Feedback Workflow
...
26
Final Thoughts
● Beta testing is your chance to get true customer validation
● Plan out your priorities and stakeholder...
27
Q&A
Emily Hossellman
Director of Marketing @ Centercode
emily@centercode.com
@ehossellman
linkedin.com/in/emilyhossellm...
28
Thank You!
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Getting Customer Validation of Your Product Before Release | Emily Hossellman | Lunch & Learn

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About UCI Applied Innovation:
UCI Applied Innovation is a dynamic, innovative central platform for the UCI campus, entrepreneurs, inventors, the business community and investors to collaborate and move UCI research from lab to market.

About the Cove @ UCI:
To accelerate collaboration by better connecting innovation partners in Orange County, UCI Applied Innovation created the Cove, a physical, state-of-the-art hub for entrepreneurs to gather and navigate the resources available both on and off campus. The Cove is headquarters for UCI Applied Innovation, as well as houses several ecosystem partners including incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists, mentors and legal experts.

Follow us on social media:
Facebook: @UCICove
Twitter: @UCICove
Instagram: @UCICove
LinkedIn: @UCIAppliedInnovation

For more information:
cove@uci.edu
http://innovation.uci.edu/

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Getting Customer Validation of Your Product Before Release | Emily Hossellman | Lunch & Learn

  1. 1. 1 Getting Customer Validation Of Your Product Before Release
  2. 2. 2 Meet the Speaker Emily Hossellman Director of Marketing @ Centercode emily@centercode.com @ehossellman linkedin.com/in/emilyhossellman
  3. 3. 3 Who is Centercode? Services Run hundreds of fully managed beta tests and programs Software Built a complete beta program management platform Testers Grown a community of 150k+ deeply profiled testers Content Created a library of free tools and best practices
  4. 4. Agenda 1. The importance of customer validation 2. Running a beta test a. Planning b. Recruiting c. Managing d. Closing 3. Leveraging the data post-beta 4. Optimizing your beta program 5. Q&A 4
  5. 5. 5 Role of Customer Validation
  6. 6. The Role of Customer Validation 6 I've built an amazing product. I'm so excited to launch it. ...But will people like it?
  7. 7. 7 Beta Testing = Customer Validation Real, targeted customers using your product in real environments Increases quality, improves user experience, validates performance Other names: CAT, UAT, FUT, Customer Evaluation, Field Trials, Pre-Release
  8. 8. 8 Do I Need to Run a Beta Test? Short answer: Yes ● Any product with an end user needs customer validation ● All product types: B2B, B2C, software, hardware, mobile, new, revision ● Much less expensive and risky to fix issues before launch than after
  9. 9. 9 What Beta Brings to the Table 1. Introduces you to your target audience 2. Facilitates a real, meaningful conversation 3. Gives you the opportunity to really listen
  10. 10. 10 The Impact of Beta Development Product Management Development/QA Usability Product Management Support Marketing Sales Beta impacts every part of your product:
  11. 11. 11 What You Can Achieve During Beta Not just technical check → Customer validation ● Sanity check / Will they use it ● Out-of-box experience ● Test for interoperability/compatibility ● Prepping support processes ● Marketing insights ● Diversity - more eyeballs, more environments, more use cases
  12. 12. How To Do It Right 12 People A qualified and capable team -- in the right place at the right time. Platform A flexible, secure, beta-focused tool set Processes Well-planned, robust, adaptable processes
  13. 13. 13 Running Your Beta
  14. 14. 14 The Process Planning Recruiting Shipping/Distribution Managing Closing
  15. 15. 15 Planning 1. Identify your stakeholders 2. Set (some) objectives 3. Determine your tester breakdown 4. Plan out your schedule 5. Outline your workflows/processes
  16. 16. 16 Recruiting 1. Create a qualification process 2. Craft a compelling message 3. Build a community of potential testers 4. Review applications 5. Select a balanced tester team
  17. 17. 17 Shipping/Distribution 1. Create a process for shipping/distribution 2. Keep records 3. Complete the new user experience 4. Plan for failed units/downloads 5. Keep your testers in the loop
  18. 18. 18 Managing 1. Collect the right feedback a. Collect a variety of feedback b. Check alignment from the beginning c. Get the right details d. Mimic real world feedback 2. Create a great testing experience a. Support your testers b. Build a feedback loop 3. Triage feedback on the backend
  19. 19. 19 Closing 1. Get final feedback 2. Distribute incentives a. Decide whether testers get to keep it b. Hold onto rewards until the test is over c. Say "thank you!" 3. Manage the data d. Clean and organize the data e. Pull out & highlight interesting insights f. Get prioritized data to your stakeholders
  20. 20. 20 Leveraging the Data
  21. 21. 21 Improve Quality ● Prioritize your bugs using scoring ● Attach test platforms ● Use the data to justify changes
  22. 22. 22 Prepare Support ● Improve documentation based on hurdles testers faced ● Prepare for known issues ● Build in more customer feedback mechanisms
  23. 23. 23 Fuel Marketing & PR ● Build a trove of user generated content (quotes, videos, testimonials) ● Find what testers loved about your product ● Use data to back up marketing claims ● Find new use cases ● Identify/cultivate evangelists ● Leverage your commitment to customer feedback
  24. 24. 24 Optimizing Your Betas
  25. 25. Optimizing Your Beta Program 25 ● Dedicate the Resources ● Design Quality Feedback Mechanisms ● Improve Feedback Workflow ● Increase Beta Participation ● Invest in Beta Management Tools People PlatformProcesses
  26. 26. 26 Final Thoughts ● Beta testing is your chance to get true customer validation ● Plan out your priorities and stakeholders ● Set up your test well and the feedback will come naturally ● Trends will emerge, look for alignment ● Listen to the feedback
  27. 27. 27 Q&A Emily Hossellman Director of Marketing @ Centercode emily@centercode.com @ehossellman linkedin.com/in/emilyhossellman
  28. 28. 28 Thank You!

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