Practical Steps to Take After Releasing an MVP
As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself in a situation where you've developed an MVP but have to figure out the other half of the equation. It's essential to turn your MVP into a full-fledged product that fits the market by undergoing a series of product development phases.
An MVP is only the first crucial milestone of software product development. As the initial version of the software, it is designed to assist you in investigating and testing your business idea before you enter the market. That approach drives the following MVP benefits for your business:
- idea and hypothesis validation;
- faster time-to-market;
- easy-to-budget modifications;
- improved user experience;
- helps to build a community of supporters.
While reaching the MVP stage is a significant accomplishment in product development, it's not the ultimate objective. To truly thrive, you must surpass the MVP and deploy a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP). An MMP is a product ready for the market with a defined value proposition and a unique offering.
With the help of the MMP, your startup can gather valuable feedback and insights, which you can use to make informed decisions about how to enhance the product's features and better meet customer expectations. By listening to your users and taking their feedback seriously, the company can build stronger relationships and nurture a more loyal customer base.
While product teams strive to create successful MVPs, many fail to succeed after MVP release. Common reasons for this include the lack of product-market fit, subpar execution, and insufficient resources. To avoid these pitfalls, it's crucial to gather user feedback, use the findings to refine your product, and ensure you have the necessary resources and skills to realize your vision.
In this article, we will explore the practical steps every startup should progress with once achieving a minimum viable product status. We'll also contemplate how to measure the performance of the product-to-be. After all, it is equally important to determine if your MVP will be a success.
Top Six Steps to Take After Launching An MVP
What's the next stage after MVP? How do you get closer to an MMP and establish a consistent development process? Let's go over the things you have to take care of once your early product version becomes available to users.
Step 1: Collect Customer Feedback
Collecting customer feedback is one of the first things that should come after MVP launch. Gaining insights and opinions from your customers will give you an idea of how to improve your software product in consecutive iterations. Besides, it helps to pinpoint your MVP's imperfections and shortcomings and gain an external perspective of the current and future state of things.
There are various professional ways to collect customer thoughts on your MVP at very early stages. Here are a few methods your startup can use during this vital step:
- In-product surveys enable you to gather valuable feedback using different forms of scores from your early adopters, such as the Customer Effort Score (CES), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Net-Promoter Score (NPS). By analyzing these opinions, you can assess user satisfaction levels with your product and identify areas for improvement to enhance your MVP.
- Interviews can be a time-consuming but efficient process disclosing each user's pain points and perspectives. They let you gain valuable insights beyond a simple "yes" or "no" answer but rather personal opinions from your focus groups.
- Landing pages help introduce the product and its functionality to large user bases. Interested customers can be encouraged to sign up for further information. By tracking their engagement (such as clicks on pricing details) with such an MVP type, it is possible to gauge potential interest and gain feedback.
- A/B testing with users is a way to introduce various versions of your product to potential customers. Eventually, you gather feedback on multiple versions to determine which one resonates most with your user base. There are plenty of MVP tools to help you do that.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to continuously organize, analyze, and act on generated feedback. This is what comes after MVP: the essential steps of product improvement based on customer opinions.
Step 2: Analyze and Monitor User Interaction with Your Product
What comes after minimum viable product release for public use? First, visitors start interacting with the product's initial versions and generate tons of behavioral data. As a startup, it's your ultimate goal to gain insights into user behavior and identify flaws in user experience.
This is where product analytics tools like Mixpanel or Amplitude come in handy. It's a piece of software that helps track and analyze data on your product, including user engagement, traffic behavior, and revenue opportunities. With this information, you can enhance your product, identify growth opportunities, and make informed decisions regarding future tweaks and adjustments.
You can take advantage of the following product performance metrics indicating the avenues for MVP improvement:
- clicks per UI element;
- sessions per visitor;
- adoption rate;
- retention rate;
- churn rate;
- feature drop-off;
- and many others.
Step 3: Act on Major Roadblocks Facing Your End-Users
By gathering user-generated data and customer feedback using different methods, you can better understand the most pressing end-user problems. At this point, it's crucial to reassess the obstacles your clients are encountering so you can enhance the MVP design and develop efficient solutions.
One of your primary objectives is to constantly come up with new ideas and meet the diverse requirements of your growing clientele. Among them, you can typically find the following:
- Performance requirements: monitor current digits and test the MVP's performance to ensure it meets current needs. It is also vital to lay the projected RPS in the product's architecture so that it adapts to the increasing load.
- Scalability requirements: address the envisioned vertical and horizontal scalability of the product's infrastructure in case the user base starts to grow.
- Product's reliability: if the product is unreliable or difficult to use, customers will likely look for alternatives and eventually switch to competitors. As you progress with the post MVP stage of your product, make sure you regularly handle QA testing and deliver a consistent UI and solve user problems.
Step 4: Prioritize Features
When it comes to improving your product after MVP, you can use the insights accumulated through previous sessions: initial feedback, user interaction patterns, and technical roadblocks. Based on that input, you can consider which features will truly enhance the product and bring value to end-users.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to implement every idea due to time, budget, and resource limitations. Instead, we encourage you to use a structured approach to feature prioritization. You will have better chances to succeed by using objective metrics, such as rankings, charts, and matrices that include customer feedback and align with your product strategy.
There are diverse product prioritization frameworks that can be instrumental in solving your particular problem. Here's a glimpse into the most popular ones:
RICE Scoring System
The RICE method combines individual scores for reach, impact, confidence, and effort into a standardized overall score. This objective approach helps product teams prioritize essential features based on their potential value to the business and user experience. The findings can help you better shape your product development roadmap.
This method classifies features into four priority categories, namely Must-Have (Mo), Should-Have (S), Could-Have (Co), and Won't-Have (W). Product development teams prioritize the "Must Have" initiatives before moving on to the "Should Have" and "Could Have" features. The latter elements are still crucial, but if there is any resource or deadline constraint, they will be considered in later iterations.
Kano Prioritization Model
The Kano model provides comprehensive prioritization guidelines for product development teams. It helps to evaluate MVP features in two dimensions: satisfaction and functionality. To gain user insight, you can create a Kano questionnaire and inquire how your customers would feel with or without a specific feature. The obtained results will help you better determine your OKRs and KPIs and further product plans.
Step 5: Choose a Monetization Strategy
As you proceed with your after MVP strategy, it's vital to consider how you will monetize your product. This involves evaluating your revenue model, implementing proven and inventive monetization tactics, and keeping up with current trends in monetization.
The idea behind MVP monetizing is another aspect of your product-to-be ability to deliver value and stay competitive. You need to test new ideas before jumping into full-scale MVP agile development. At this stage, previously accumulated knowledge of your user base and market will pay off.
Find efficient ways to generate revenue that are tailored to your target audience and aligned with your current and long-term goals. Consider different revenue models for your product, such as the ones below:
- One-time payment (grant access to your software product through licensing);
- Recurring subscriptions (charge users a monthly/yearly subscription fee to gain access to your services);
- Freemium subscription (encourage users to sign in to your standard product offering for free and charge a fee to access a locked version);
- Pay-as-you-go model (provide active customer groups with the ability to pay for the product on-demand);
- In-product advertising (generate revenue from selling ad spaces to agencies and trade desks);
- Affiliate marketing (post partner links inside your software product and earn a commission when users click on them).
Step 6: Develop a Rock-Solid Marketing Plan
To grow your business and attract new clients, it's essential to have a strong marketing plan and establish a solid online presence. This means creating a strategy that resonates with your early adopters and first customers and effectively communicates the value of your product to potential traffic segments.
Consider leveraging social media, SEO, content marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising to reach potential customers and build a database of leads. Make sure not to ignore data analytics and consistently track consumer response to the first working versions of software and encourage your visitors to spread the word about your product.
How to Measure an MVP's Success
Suppose you know what to do after MVP release to production. But how do you determine if your efforts pay off? Market conditions and customer expectations can change overnight, which adds complexity to success measurement processes. The ultimate path to assess your MVP's performance is to monitor your progress on the go and continuously evaluate your key success metrics and customer feedback.
Gather and Look into Your Metrics
Upon releasing an MVP, data visualization becomes an indispensable tool for analyzing your KPIs. Here's what you can measure with its aid:
As you continue to improve and tailor the MVP to meet your customer's needs better, you should observe an increased performance of the critical metrics. If this isn't the case, it may indicate that there are issues with your MVP that you have to address or a signal of the need for a business pivot.
Gain Continuous Customer Feedback
As you may recall, we've talked about the significance of collecting user feedback, as it is what comes after MVP in the first place. While analytics dashboards operate on quantitative data, they don't provide a complete picture. The missing piece of that puzzle is qualitative research: customer input that you need to consider.
Multiple ways to gather customer voice can come to the rescue. Those include surveys, interviews, in-app questionnaires, and email campaigns asking for opinions regarding your product. Your subscribers can suggest changes to the product so that it keeps evolving alongside consumer needs.
However, the general rule of thumb is not to fulfill every user request. Otherwise, you will have to tweak the product every now and then. To avoid this situation, you can still engage your audience and show their voices matter. For instance, you can let users vote on features on social media or other digital resources.
Major Takeaways on Post MVP Actions
Moving from an MVP to a full-scale product is a gradual process that requires preparation and patience. However, if you've successfully passed the MVP development process, you already have the necessary skills to succeed. With careful planning and intelligent decision-making, the MVP will be the start of your exciting journey toward growth and scaling.
Does the process of going through the post MVP stage challenge you? We at Upsilon understand your pain points and are ready to lend a helping hand with expert MVP development services. Let's build great products together and help them grow until they meet all your objectives.