Since beta testing is one of those tasks that may be handled by a number of different people within a company, it can have a number of different objectives. While every beta test will have the core goal of polishing up a product prior to launch, the other objectives will vary greatly depending on who is tasked with running the beta test itself. In this series we’re looking at the different beta objectives that serve the needs of people in different roles. If you missed our first installment of this series (which outlined the beta objectives of beta managers) you can read it here.
This week, we’ll take a look at the specific objectives that make beta testing valuable for marketing managers. Marketing managers are often focused on goals that will help promote the product during launch, like the measuring the product against its competition, establishing user opinions, and figuring out the best way to generate a buzz around the product. Let’s take a closer look into some of the specific objectives that benefit marketing managers during beta.
Perform a Competitive Analysis
Beta testing isn’t just a chance to see how your product works in the homes of your customers. It’s also an opportunity to see how competing products compare to yours. This helps you gauge how your product will fare in the marketplace in terms of functionality, quality, and performance and how you can differentiate your product from the competition.
Solicit Product Reviews
Enabling and encouraging testers to write mock reviews of your product will give you a sneak peek of what’s to come after launch. We’ve found that reviews collected during beta are a great predictor of what you’ll see on Amazon or in the App Store after the product’s released. They can also provide invaluable insight into what stands out most about your product and how customers view the entire user experience.
Collect Testimonials and Case Studies
Beta participants are the first customers to gain real experience with your product. This presents the opportunity to collect valuable testimonials that your marketing and PR teams can use during your product launch. With high-cost or B2B products, you can also use beta participants as customer references or case studies, so the sales team can leverage these resources from day one.
Acquire Early Adopters and Brand Evangelists
Providing early access to a product can be a great way to gain an audience of enthusiastic people who will become early users of the product and may spread the word about your product and the great experience they had with your company. During the beta test you can identify testers with the potential to be brand evangelists and encourage them to tell others about their experience once the process is over.
Generate Product/Launch Awareness
Public betas are now common in the release strategies for web applications, entertainment products, games, and more. The goal is to build awareness (while collecting vast amounts of feedback and data) by offering an early or limited version of the product for free, with the understanding that issues are still being worked out and the product isn’t in its final form. If executed correctly, these can build a lot of momentum for your product prior to release.
Incorporating these objectives into a product’s beta strategy will help marketing managers gather important data to improve their product and set up their launch for success.
There are many other beta objectives that may be valuable to pursue. Here’s a complete list of the most common beta testing objectives you may want to consider during your next test. Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more editions of this series. Next time, we’ll be discussing the beta objectives of Product Managers.