Services for Product Design

TractionTank’s process has been used successfully not only with startups, but also with product and service design groups at larger companies. Why consider a traction acceleration program for your next product design project?

  • Build the right product using customer feedback. We serve as the critical link between your first 50 customers and your next 1000.
  • Traditional market research firms will get back to you in 3 to 6 months with a report about what to do next.
  • We’ll get back to you in a week, every week, with actionable insights for your marketing and development efforts.
  • Traction: You know it when you see it. At TractionTank, we’ll help you get it.

How it Works

We get to know your product or service, and your existing customer base. Then we go out into the world to find more people like your earliest customers. Unlike a traditional marketing company though, we don’t just pitch your product. When new customers say no, we find out why. And we use that information to help you to continue to iterate on your product or service.

The Goal

We want you to move from launching a product to maintaining a product. When you have good traction or product-market fit, you most likely won’t need our help anymore. Then your company will shift into scaling the business to meet customer demand, because you’ll be making something people actually want to buy!


We are strong adherents of agile and lean methodologies. We believe in the power of rapid iterations, keeping what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. We practice what we preach, too. We ship qualified and tested “product” to you each and every single week of our engagement, in the form of actionable customer feedback.

Practical Steps

This is an example product plan for a one-month TractionTank validation test. It was designed to test the effectiveness of a variety of marketing efforts for a product in a new market:

1) Customer personas – First step is to figure out who we want to target. This will evolve as we go along but we’ll need something to start. (Note: the customer in this example is a small business retailer who needs to track their customers across a variety of online shopping platforms as well as in-store)

2) Product demo – TractionTank needs a basic understanding of the current status of the product and how your current customers are using it. We will also review your current marketing and messaging.

3) Digital marketing – we’ll want to be everywhere for a few weeks. Once we have a customer persona outlined we should have a good understanding of what media your audience uses. For the sake of argument, we can run ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Google, as well as do remarketing to people who visit the site. We can also do an ad in a publication/blog that the target audience is interested in or perhaps on Pinterest.

4) Traditional marketing – a few days after the online ads start we should send out a direct mailing to your demographic. We can use a postcard with a URL on it or do a “bulky package” if there is budget. We can also do a paid ad in a magazine that the target audience gets mailed to them. Since it is one specific geography, we can also investigate local news media, like the local paper.

5) Sponsored event – We can sponsor an event at a local coworking space or brewery. The call to action in some of our advertising could be to the event, rather than to the product landing page. We can also email anyone who comes through the product page a link to the event (probably hosted on Eventbrite).

6) Interviews – We’d like to talk to as many people who respond to the ad campaign as possible, to get a better feel for what they are looking for in the product and what need/problem we spoke to that resonated with them. This will probably be done by phone/video chat.

7) Create the messaging – most of the above is more about the channel then the message. We will need to decide on a few different messages that we want to test.


Generally, it takes us about 10 hours to prepare to run campaigns. That is time we use to speak with you about the product, review any materials you have, and hopefully listen to some recorded customer interviews or demos. Then we need to create the marketing collateral, which for the above outlined effort is probably in the 10 to 20 hour range. Then we have the execution of the various campaigns, which should take about 20 hours. Finally is the interviewing, which depends a lot on how many people we get to take us up on it!

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