Resources > Articles

Beta Program Testing: Beginner Marketing Guide

program

A successful beta test program accomplishes three goals.  The first is to get greater test coverage.  The second is to get market feedback.  The third is to prepare your organization to support the new product. All of these goals should be considered when planning a beta program and are equally important. From the engineer’s perspective the beta is a way to move the product into the hands of potential customers who will use the product in wide range of environmental conditions that could not be simulated in the lab.  But a beta program should never be a substitute for good testing practices or usability testing.

program
Photo By Markus Spiske on Unsplash

You still have a responsibility to provide the best testing you can and the UI should be baked.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but ship a buggy beta you may have a very difficult time finding beta customers for the next release. From the marketer’s perspective the beta is a way to get customer feedback of what is liked about the product and what needs to be improved.  It’s also a way to validate market research and assumptions about positioning.  Funny things happen when a product gets into the hands of customers.  New uses for your product will be discovered and some things you thought were really cool (and differential) will get lukewarm response.

Be prepared and be open minded. From a customer support perspective a beta is a way to interact with customers in a relatively forgiving environment to gain experience handling common issues.  Often developers want to be the ones with direct contact with beta customers.  The upside is direct feedback.  The downside is once the product ships those customers will know who you are and may expect to reach you directly when they have problems.  Using customer support as a first line of defense enables the development team to be more effective in the long run. Beta tips:

  • Don’t use a beta program as a substitute for good testing practices
  • Involve development, QA, customer support and marketing
  • Have someone with a good market understanding take the lead
  • Don’t flood beta customers with new releases
  • The beta program will always take much longer than you think it will
  • Require registration for all beta customers
  • Give beta customers something for their efforts
  • Reach out to customers for feedback, including making phone calls
  • No feedback = failed beta

Other articles on beta programs:

Other Resources in this Series

Most Recent

Article

[Comprehensive Guide] Product Owner vs Product Manager

Learn how to separate the roles of product owner and product manager on Agile teams and uncover some common challenges with confusing these roles. Including a short primer on the Agile revolution.
Article

Use Scenarios are Stories That Provide Context

The problem with today’s user stories is that they aren’t interesting. And they aren’t stories. The solution is use scenarios. It’s a narrative. It explains the problem in the form of a real-life story.
Article

Benefits of Bundle Pricing

Bundle pricing is simply a strategy where services or products are packaged together for one (often reduced) price rather than priced separately. This article covers some benefits of bundle pricing followed by a system for getting started.
Article

A Quick Guide to Value-Based Pricing

Value-based pricing begins with knowing the customer’s willingness to pay based on the perceived value of your product. You can charge less than a customer’s willingness to pay, and they feel like they’ve received an
Article

What Is Captive Product Pricing 

If you’re looking for a simple answer, it’s this: captive product pricing is when consumers make a one-time purchase (usually a lower-priced core product) but are required to purchase accessories for the main product to

OTHER ArticleS

Article

[Comprehensive Guide] Product Owner vs Product Manager

Learn how to separate the roles of product owner and product manager on Agile teams and uncover some common challenges with confusing these roles. Including a short primer on the Agile revolution.
Article

Use Scenarios are Stories That Provide Context

The problem with today’s user stories is that they aren’t interesting. And they aren’t stories. The solution is use scenarios. It’s a narrative. It explains the problem in the form of a real-life story.

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices.

Sign up to received invites to upcoming webinars, updates on our recent podcast episodes and the latest on industry best practices.

Subscribe

Subscribe

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Phone
Company
Job Title
Location
How can we help you?
Preferred method of contact
Privacy Policy*
Map Your Message to Its Audience with the Communication Compass
Map Your Message to Its Audience with the Communication Compass
Ensure your message hits the mark. This eBook helps you visually map communication styles so you can tailor your design story to a stakeholder or business partner.

Download Ebook

Demystifying Data Projects: A Guide for Business Leaders
While data science is a competitive advantage, data isn’t magic. Learn how to make magic happen by partnering more effectively with data professionals. This eBook delves into types of data projects, sample questions, tools and methods, key points and cautions—so stakeholders like you can initiate data projects with real business impact.

Download Ebook

Define Ebook Thumbnail
What’s the difference between a successful data analysis project and one that falls flat? 

Before you begin working with the data, you need to understand what you’re solving for. Gathering context and aligning around goals with your stakeholders from the outset will help you avoid disconnects and deliver actionable insights. Discover the most vital questions to ask before embarking on a data analysis project in our in-depth guide, “Define: Laying the Foundation for Successful Data Analysis.”

Download Ebook

Download Now