Can you really produce a quality Online Marketing Product in a day? We are doing a live experiment to find out!
A few weeks ago I attended a weekend event where I pitched an idea, had people volunteer to join my team and then started my first Tech Company within 24 hours and it got me thinking…
Could this be done Online, with people all over the world creating products over a weekend.
Well you are about to find out because we are trying to create a product with 24 hours!
This thread is a diary of what we have done, some business lessons and some tips to help others to create your first Online Marketing product the right way.
I run a weekly mastermind group for Online Marketers, some are tech heavy, some are copywriters and some like me are marketing/strategy orientated.
I raised the idea on running our own launch weekend events with a partner with perhaps scores of teams participating. We decided it would be perhaps a good idea to test it first with a small group to see if the idea transferred online.
So within 2 days I picked up two volunteers from my mastermind group and by 7pm tonight (UK time) we have to present our product to the world!
I’ll update this thread continuously to keep you up to date with our progress.
Friday 4th 5pm (UK time)
Since multiple countries were represented finding a suitable starting time was a little headache. Actually one person had to drop out as finding a suitable time was an issue, thus leaving three of us on the launch event.
We began with a Pitch session.
We all had 60 seconds to pitch an idea (being a beta event I managed to pitch 3 ideas) and then after all pitches we voted on the best 2.
They then went through to a question and answer round where fortunately one idea was seen as the clear victor and the one we decided to work on.
Once we had defined the chosen idea we decided to spend 30 minutes talking about who our target customers would be.
That’s right before starting to make anything we decided to think about who we were trying to connect with and thus everything we would do would be targeted at these segments.
We did it in a very methodical way.
We used a free online collaboration system called ‘Asana‘. This meant that all our work could be organised and found in one place – a huge advantage over having stuff in multiple formats on lots of different computers.
Using this tool:
- We listed all the types of customers that would use our products
- We then looked to see if many of these types of customers could be grouped together
- We then choose the three we thought would be our main target groups (perhaps due to size or importance in terms of revenue)
So now we had defined our three main types of customer.
We then set about detailed information about each type of customer. We:
- gave each type of customer a name! Sounds strange but it helps make it feel realistic and helps you visualise a person
- We gies what age they would be
- we consider what job and professions they would be in
- We then looked at what particular problems this person had that related to our potential product
- We defined which of our features would appeal most to this tpe of customer (different types of customer will like different features most – thus helping us to target marketing)
- We thought about what their current process was to eliminate their problem (and thus help us identify where we could make the path shorter or easier)
- and we breifly thought about how to find this particular type of customer
Although you use the same words, quite often they mean different things to different people.
For example when we talked about a Newbie Internet marketer, some people thought we were talking of out of money, last chance saloon type marketers, whilst others were thinking it meant richer folk who wanted to use IM to escape the rat race.
Can you see how each set of newbie’s mentioned above are actually quite different? One has money, one perhaps not. One has experience, the other perhaps not.
Defining you customers together helps everyone to see the customer in the same way. It also helped everyone to clearly understand the benefits we were giving to each customer, something which will be essential when the developers and marketers work alone on their set tasks.
That is all we were allowed to do on Friday.
We decided to meet again Saturday morning at 9.30am and work though till our deadline of 7pm.
Saturday 5th May
One of the group was late this morning due to pre organised errands so we were left with 2 people.
We had not conducted proper competitor research by this stage, so we decided it was wise to research first and ensure our idea was as unique as we though it was.
We created a separate project in ‘Asana’ our collaboration tool, and listed every competitor we could find. We then details everything we liked about them and everything we did not like about them.
We were both worked on this together for 40 minutes before coming back together and discussing out findings.
NO IDEA IS UNIQUE ANYMORE!!!!
It’s quite true. We had asked around on Friday evening and people in our mastermind group liked our idea and thought it was unique. BUT when we started doing the research we understood that there were sites doing similar things already!!
We were not that unique!
Thankfully, nobody did what we wanted to do in exactly the same way. We wanted to target a slightly different audience with a slightly different value proposition.
Two of our close competitors have very major backing from huge well known firms, so we had to discuss if our idea was unique enough to carry on or if we had to make a change.
This may sound like being knocked over by a train… we had a great idea started brainstorming it and then found out it may not be as unique as we thought, but just imagine what would have happened had we invested time in building the damn thing only to find someone already did it better then we could ever dream of doing it.
Thankfully, we were just unique enough to carry on. It helped focus our product better and gave us the little kick that we had to do things well.
ALWAYS DO YOUR COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
To many people forget this part and it can be your downfall. DO YOUR RESEARCH or you will never know what really sets you apart form your competitors.
By this stage we had a ton of assumptions about what would make a great product.
We thought we knew what worked and we thought we knew what did not. However not all of us agreed!
We could have argued about it for some time and come to a consensus, HOWEVER the only people who could really tell us what is important is the type of people who will use our product!
That’s right market research!!
There is no point building something and then asking if it fits your customer. ASK THEM FIRST!
Surveys are a great and easy way to get your questions answered by people likely to use your service. We wrote down questions we needed answers to alongside any assumption we wanted to have proven in the wild.
We used a free application called ‘Kwiksurveys’ for this. It is very easy to use and very quick too.
We sent the survey to our Skype friends, mastermind groups and social media pages. Considering it is a Saturday morning we were very surprised to have over 20 completed within an hour.
If you would like to help us add to this number then please complete this survey too !!!
SWOT and Business model canvas
It’s not 12pm and we have not started building anything yet. We are a little behind schedule but there is an important part left to do, and that is to think about the business.
The very first part is SWOT.
SWOT very simply is listing your teams Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and threats. Again we used Asana so that everything was in one place and that we could all see what was going on.
It was interesting to understand what our strengths were (to be highlighted in marketing), know where our opportunities lay, whilst also trying to counter any weaknesses and threats we had – and believe me we have some major weaknesses and threats such as a big corporation just copying us and taking over. We are after all building this in a day…. we just have to make sure we bring something to this project that very few others can – our competitive edge.
The next part is often unknown in the marketing works but its an amazingly useful tool called a ‘Business Model Canvas’. It helps the entire team (devs, strategists, copywriters) all understand clearly what the strategy is.
A business model canvas is split into parts with instructions thus guiding you towards creating a solid strategy. It covers:
- Defining your key partners
- Defining your key activites
- Writing dow your value propositions
- Exploring how you will manage customer relationship
- Thinking about the channels you will use to get your product to consumer
- defining your jey resources
- Considering your finances
- and of course defining how you will actually make money
Fantastic tool. I’m good at business, but I would not be nearly as good without these cool free tools that help focus my thoughts into useable strategy.
Ok, Business thinking done its time to set to work.
We split into 2 parts:
- Dev guy alone and has to set up site and templates etc (we are using scripts)
- The two remaining are the marketing team. We have to think hard about how to contact our target market and see if we can have our first customer by the end of play today!
It’s a tough ask but the whole point of today is to challenge ourselves and do something out of our comfort zone. If we make a great product at the end even better!
We have a meeting at 4.30 (uk time) after which I will update this thread again.
In the mean time, please give us some support and feel free to spread our survey for us!! (it will actually give you some idea as to what we are doing because we were not very subtle!)
I’m tired and exhausted. We have been concentrating for hours but unfortunately we have to admit defeat… we are not going to finish it tonight.
What went wrong?
We hit one single roadblock that wasted an hour of our time brainstorming. We even brought in help to double the size of our team to help us, but we still could not overcome it….
The single roadblock that stopped us achieving our success was simply finding a name!
Yep, we were so deep into this project that perhaps we over thought the whole naming process. Perhaps a name is not as important as we believed it to be and maybe we lost track of what was really important, which was to choose a name that was GOOD ENOUGH and get the project launched within a day.
It is not all bad though. We will continue this project another day when our minds are fresh and we took a lot away from this 24 hour marathon. Here are some of the highlights:
- If it was not for our naming issue we would have had a live project within 24 hours with just a team of 3
- Surveys are unbelievably useful to obtain quick feedback AND to get your initial influx of hungry customers (50% of our survey takers wanted to be updated on our progress)
- Proper planning and identifying your target market, really can lead to identifying gaps in the market
- No idea is unique, you just need to make sure you satisfy a need that others have neglected…
Another big takeaway for me is that the Launch Weekend project should run over a true weekend and not just one day. Sometimes a small roadblock can ruin a large part of your day, whereas over a weekend you have time to step away, clear you mind and focus on what is important.
I’m waking up now on Sunday morning very focused and fresh. We achieved so much yesterday and I’m sure if we had continued today we would have maybe even made our first dollar by tonight.
Although I work hard, I don’t think I have worked AS HARD in a long time. It showed me what I really can do when focused and just how much you can achieve with the right people around you. Just to refocus my mind on being more productive, this DYS Launch weekend was worth it.
We have decided to continue this on another selected day, so bookmark this post and see what we really do achieve.
If you would like to be part of our next ‘DYS Launch Weekend’ (DYS is my company Double Your Success) then be sure to bookmark this page and add me to Twitter too (@dee__Kumar)
Thanks for all that supported us. We didn’t achieve everything we wanted but in no way do we think we were a failure. We are another success story that just needs an extra days work…
We managed to find a name… YEHHH !!
We are planning to spend half a day finishing off this project and then we will be ready to show the world.
Be sure to click here and check out the Double Your Success Launch Weekend main page, where details of successful projects will be updated.