Complexity: Medium
Time required: 3-4 hours
Material required: poster board, post-its, markers, pens, paper, cardboard, clay, etc.

References: IDEO’s HCD Toolkit,

What is it for?

Marketing prototyping allows you to test the desirability of the service/product by making it tangible through cheap, disposable tools. This allows for quick idea validation based on direct testing for marketability and feedback in realistic terms.
The results of the interactions with the prototype allows for deeper understanding of the idea and insight on how to market the final product/service and how to fashion communication

How to use it?

The first step is to review the value proposition of your idea as made in your business model canvas.

Marketing prototypes can be:

  1. paper-based and take the form of brochures, pamphlets and storyboards; or
  2. visual and take the form of TV ads.

Once the prototypes have been made, it’s time to get out of the door (if your prototype is mobile) and collect feedback from potential users. If you can’t move your prototype, you’ll need to find ways to get potential users to come to you. Feedback should be collected on how they interact with the prototypes and any problems that surface. Remember to stay in “character” when role playing.