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"Test the Waters"

Proof of Concept and Market Validation

Spending significant resources on development before proving a product or service concept is a good way to lose money. Validate your market and concept first.  

Proof of Concept Market and Service Validation


On The Mark Consulting, LLC specializes in conducting primary research through executive level Market Validation studies.  A Market Validation study is used to provide valuable information to the client company about their end users.  Market Validation studies could be conducted by an in-house Sales and Marketing organization, however, it has been proven that end-users are much more likely to give in-depth information to a third party where they do not feel the pressure of a pending sale.  A Market Validation Study will provide:


  1. Information to the client for Target Market Profiling

  2. Feedback for the client’s product/service(s) while in the Pre-Product Development Phase or Post-Implementation Phase.

  3. Detailed information on the end-user’s organizational structure and key decision makers.

  4. Business information such as budgeting, business priorities, barriers to sale, etc. 


Added benefits of a Market Validation Study are:


  • Qualified Leads

  • Positioning information for Sales Tools (specifically Testimonials and Case Studies)

  • Leads for “upselling” to other organizations or business units.


Some example interview questions might be:


  • Do you see value in the product described?

  • What is the 3-5 year business plan of the company?

  • Is your customer using a competitive product/service?  What do they like/dislike about that service?

  • Do they think the client’s product/service could add value to their company

  • Can you describe the key decision makers who might be involved in reviewing this product?

  • What projects are the customer’s priorities today?

  • Have you budgeted for a new technology for this year?


How We Do it?


  1. Meet with the client

  2. Uncover reason for market validation study

    • ​Are you launching a new product?

    • Did you just install a new product and now want post-installation feedback?

    • Are you trying to identify a target market?

    • Are you testing market profiles for a product in development?

    • Are you trying to get information for marketing tools?

    • Are you trying to get good sales leads?

  3. Look to other divisions in the company that may also benefit from talking to the customer. Because you may only get one chance to speak with a customer, we want to get as much information that will benefit as many departments as possible.  This can also help defray some of the costs of the study if you are able to spread out the cost amongst different divisions or product groups.

  4. Learn about the product/ service in-depth.

  5. Develop the questionnaire

  6. Build the database

  • Using existing customers

  • New customers in different segments

  • Look at other horizontal and vertical markets (ex.  ‘horizontal’ Software product that can fit across multiple verticals (e.g. healthcare, insurance, telecom, etc.) or a product that is designated for specific verticals (targeted to telecom companies only) but may fit one or two other vertical markets.


  7. Begin the interviews

  8. Review questionnaire and revise after 2-3 interviews to ensure questions are working.

  9. Midway summary

10. Final Summary which will include an in-depth report to the Client which identifies “Key Quotes”, 10. 11. Summary results, and recommendations



Market Validation…how is it different from market research.


Market validation is market research.  Typical market research may try to get some information from many people.  For example, a company may institute a large telemarketing campaign to get as many leads as possible from a specific target market.  Market validation takes a different approach.  Rather than a broad brush to get as many leads as possible, ,Market validation goes “deep”  - to get as much information from a few targeted end users. 


Think of it like drilling for oil.  You may need to initially survey a large land area to determine the whether it is possible to find oil at all in that region, however, it will take “drilling down” to determine if the oil is really there, how much exists, and the quality of the oil… This is what Market Validation can do for your business.  Drill down to find the “quality” information that will help direct you and your teams to finding the best products/services to meet your customers’ needs.   

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