I have a confession to make. When I started working on Vuzop, I did not conduct any market research, any customer discovery discussions, any value analysis, describe any use cases, or even simply write down the problem I was trying to solve.
I developed Vuzop based on my own experience with 1) managing large software projects for clients, and 2) trying to understand how my clients’ businesses worked. In my own defense, I will just say that perhaps I got understandably excited when I saw the capabilities that VR could provide.
But this is all a highly risky way to bring a product to market. It postpones the essential question of “why will somebody buy this?”
I am pretty certain that I am not the only person to get irrationally exuberant about AR/VR capabilities, so how do we tell which AR/VR products are commercially viable? This blog exists in part to bring some discipline and attention of my own thought process back to the discipline of the marketplace.
So if I were to go back and think through the marketing aspects of my AR/VR product more proactively what questions would I ask? And, if I were in position as either an investor or a prospect of an AR/VR product vendor, how would I analyze the company and its product?
Some Criteria for Assessing AR/VR Products
- Target market
- Definition of the market
- Breakdown of any market segments
- Motivation of Buyers
- What is the critical business issue being solved with the product?
- What are the typical reasons for why this issue exists?
- Why will customers expend money and time to solve the problem?
- Initial motivational trigger
- Ultimate purchase motivation
- Intended use case(s)
- How much money can the customer add to their bottom line?
- Where can events be found that will create urgency in the timeline?
- Competitive solutions, i.e., other ways to solve the problem besides AR/VR
- Positioning/differentiation versus competitors, whether in same technology arena or other
- Why would a customer purchase the product versus DYI?
- Product features
- What’s a one sentence description of the essential value?
- Which product features serve to differentiate from the competition?
- What platform is the product based on?
- What infrastructure does the customer need to have in place?
- Is onsite sales or support required?
- What is the generally expected ROI in the market?
- What is familiar about the product and what is surprising?
- Permanent license or subscription pricing?
- Customer endorsements and recommendations
- Are there referrals or word of mouth leads?
- Are there any distribution partners?
- Are there existing customers the product can be sold to?
- What is the process of discovery with prospects?
- How are prospects qualified to go through the sales process?
- What is the vendor’s credibility?
- What does the vendor’s team look like?
- What is the vendor’s geographical coverage?
- Proof of Product
- Are there case studies?
- What is the number of customers?
- What is the sales growth?
- Are there investors?
- Are there partners?
- What is the role of the targeted buyer in the organization?
- Which features close the deal?
- Was pricing critical?
- What was the calculated ROI for the prospect?
- What technology needs to be deployed?
- What training needs to be performed?
- What does the vendor’s support look like?
- Is the company still using features that closed the deal?
- What features are used more than expected?
I could go on and on – there have been books written on this subject – but this gives a good framework to begin with.