Founder of RepuGen
Ajay spent his first 15 years working at senior positions with several firms. He owns four profitable businesses and is investor in several startups in different stages.
Ajay created a process to track and monitor patient satisfaction, and obtain positive reviews for his clients in 2011. In June, 2016, RepuGen, an automated version of that process was launched. RepuGen helps healthcare businesses bring consistency between their actual patient satisfaction and reviews across the web.
Developing An Ideal Customer Profile For A New Product
Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Ajay’s success
Identifying ideal customers
Result if you follow the steps in Ajay’s session
Develop an ideal customer profile
Expert session snapshot
So let’s try to, you know, identify and visualize your ideal customer. And so I always say when someone comes in and say all vegetarians are my client, I’m just giving the same example, I’m like not all vegetarian, it’s too big. So let’s just start to narrow you know, either it’s geographically, you’re narrowing it by the behavior, by the age group, whatever.
So, you really want, when you’re starting, you want to first plan. What you have to do is, you say, who exactly is my ideal customer, right? That you are going to be thrilled with. And then at that point, once you have the ideal customer, you know what will happen.
All of a sudden, the messaging will start to become very clear, right? What is the message that will appeal to this customer? Of course, your product offering will start to, you know, crystallize and say, this is what I want to offer.
So once you have that, then you just stick. So now, you know, even though with all the, and frankly you know I am with the group where I think that the Facebook and Google have become way too powerful for my taste but for marketing actually, it’s a wonderful platform right, so you can really narrow focus and your ideal customer that you want.
And now you have the messages. So you can very quickly test it. Now, I have never seen anyone be successful in the first shot because what you think and what really happens is almost always different. But then that gives you a starting point where you have the messaging. You can now attract you know the kind of people that you want.
So, either they are going to your message, and you know, as you thought they will and get attracted, or you have to tweak the message. And once they come in, then you offer their product, either they’re going to like it or you need to tweak it.
So when you’re starting, it almost never happened from the get go, you hit, you know, you hit it off the ballpark, it just does not happen. And by the way, this is no different for big companies. I have worked for really major corporation, I’m like, top 10 largest corporations in the world also. And I’ve worked on startups and everything.
And the big companies, you will be amazed how much testing they do before the product is launched. So that’s what, as a startup, you have to do. That you have to test to find out which message works. You know, how do you tweak your product so that it is now, you know, appeals to everyone. And so, that is the beginning. That’s how you start.
So, I think this is great. I want to dive deeper on this testing and time to launch because, like, how ready does the product need to be? And is it just like an idea that you can throw out there and then just start getting feedback as soon as possible?
Exactly. So there is something I call the minimum viable product, right. I’m sure that most of your audience has heard of it. So that’s what you want to create, the minimum viable product.
And actually, even if you have patchwork so far, there are some platforms that I am involved in building for, you know, in partnership, right, as an investor. So you know, the platform has certain features that we want to launch like, represented a platform and we did the same thing.
So I said okay, what is the core thing that I have to have, right? And then the moment you have it, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You launch it because when you attract your new customers and you know, if you can afford to do that, you can give them some free trial.
If you cannot, you charge, but you set the expectation very clearly that listen, we are you know, the custom, this is the feature but I’m also looking to you for advice. And then that’s when you launch.
RepuGen right now is one of, I think, that’s really way up there in terms of any product with a similar kind of service that it does. But you’d be surprised that 80% of the features that we have now, because it looks like all these bells and whistles, and there came from customer.
So customers will launch it, the core functionality, it was getting done and then we’ll go and sit down and meet with them and say, you know, what would you like to do? And they were like, oh, I want this kind of reporting I want. And you know, now we use them to give us a feedback to how to improve the product. And again, in any business, improvement never ends, right? So you have to keep on improving. So you just, you know the question and feedback.
So you have to decide the minimum viable product and that has to handle the core features, that’s the only thing I would say. And then you just launch, I mean, and by the way, not everything that you will launch as an entrepreneur will also succeed.
I have had several false starts also, you know, that I thought great idea and didn’t work. So again, when you launch with a minimum viable product, then I always say if you have to fail, and which you will fail, if you’re entrepreneur, fail quickly, fail cheaply. So that you are still standing and you can go after you know, something else.