To Beta-Test or Not To Beta-Test?

June 26, 2013 Jennifer Christian

Do you consider various ways to market a product or service that’s new to your company? We know it wouldn’t be wise to go all-in sometimes, so to validate if you 're on the right track, beta testing can be crucial!

Beta testing allows you to analyze every detail, and considering alternate opportunities for better management, visibility, and success. In reality, beta testing is for perfecting what you may have assumed was perfect to begin with and eliminating any flaws before it’s presented to the masses.

Planning Your Beta

When planning a beta test it is important to consider these factors: establish clear program goals, utilizing an optimal test group, offering incentives for full cooperation, defining the product and retrospective analysis. Each of these aspects will greatly influence and facilitate a successful beta program.

What Do You Want to Find Out?

Setting goals is important to understand what you are measuring, where you need to go and set a path for how to get there. Clarify your goals so they are actionable and measurable. This will provide more insights for your retrospective analysis at the conclusion of the beta.

Once you have set your goals, consider who comprises the optimal test group to test your product. Do you mix up the group to include constants and outliers? Early identification of these considerations should lead to better results with differing scenarios.

Increasing Beta Program Engagement

Not only is it important to conduct beta testing on a well devised product, but it is often helpful to include incentives for cooperation from your test subjects. Since you want to gather additional feedback from your customers, then make it worth their while --  this usually will increase participation and stimulates their input.  This should be backed by responsiveness and results sharing to help build authority throughout the test.

Metrics that Matter

What it all boils down to is the retrospective analysis. This is key to the entire workflow as it will shed light on the pitfalls experienced by those involved in the beta, as well as what worked best.

There is no point in beta testing if the results acquired are not analyzed and reviewed before launching the actual product. So if you're not sure what you need to measure or don't plan to act upon any of your data, skip the beta and just keep shooting from the hip.  You're still bound to hit something.

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About the Author

Jennifer Christian

Nicole Neuman is a Local Marketing Coordinator at Sproutloud who graduated from the University of Miami with a B.S.B.A. She is a practical marketer with varied experience from event planning to office organization to data transfer and project management. She has a strong history in customer service and prides herself on attention to detail. She loves to travel, read, and basically anything on the water. She also happens to have slight addictions to Pinterest and strawberries.

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