On delivering a minimum viable product to test a theory

Working agile means getting on with things, which is what creatives tend to want to do.

We’ve all been there. The business have initiatives they want to test. Marketing have hypothesis that need proving. There are new markets to explore. New products to launch. New segments to investigate. And limited resources and limited time to do it all in.

What’s more, you don’t know everything you need to know to get going, but you have to get going. You could be tied up in planning and focus groups for another six months but by that time the market could have changed. There’s a need to get out there quickly, and to do it efficiently. And there is a need to not blow the year’s budget on trying things out. In fact, first of all, you need to know what is worth investing time and money in.

Which is where minimum viable comes in.

The principle is simple. Use technology to create discreet live test scenarios. Creative deliver a minimum viable offering. It looks the part, it says what you need but they don’t sweat it. Creative aren’t getting precious over the delivery because they are testing propositions not delivering the creative executions. It’s a fully functioning, live prototype. And it is agreed upfront that the very least you need to do is test a proposition, and creative deliver it, in a planning role. Everyone knows it isn’t perfect. But it’s there so that you can get out there quickly and test multiple propositions real time and in a live situation.

This is when the fun begins.

What bomb’s gets dropped – you haven’t invested much time in it so it’s no real loss. What works you develop. And everything happens really quickly.

And with modern technology this means you can run a minimum viable test on Monday morning and have a real feel for it by Tuesday. You can learn and shift weighting in real time and move so much faster. Working agile in this way we delivered a very simple, but functional test website for a new product launch into Europe for Vanquis Bank in less than 2 weeks and using Facebook ads to test propositions we were able to test 4 different creative routes, learn fast and switch budgets effectively. We also applied the approach on projects with AXA,  on their booking portal and their quote and buy website. It proved the hypothesis and then enabled buy in and agreement on the business case to progress.