Do I build a mockup page and advertise it on the right side of the Facebook page, along with other ads?
Do I make a survey of potential customers to see if they're willing to pay for the app (SurveyMonkey, or smtg else?)?
Should I build at least MVP to give potential customers a taste test?
You're on the right track. I'm glad to see you getting the steps in the right order.
WHO are potential users of your product?
WHAT problem(s) will your app potentially be solving for them?
HOW much do these potential users value the solution of these problems?
Find your user group of people who would pay for a solution to a problem your app will solve. Get their input. I would do this through a couple stages...the first involving live talking, and the second usage of a basic version of the app once you and they have figured out what its purpose is.
Talk to people.
Talk about your idea, genuinely listen to their comments and feedback.
Once you've done that, build your MVP and always be testing. Always be gathering feedback.
I don't think the FB ads will work because there is nothing of value to the end user.
Happy to help more, book a call and we can discuss a strategy to get your app to market.
That is a great question and one that many, many people ponder about. "if I build it will they come?" I have built over 10 MVP's and did some basic testing to see if I could validate the service. My suggestion would be to put together just enough of an MVP or test site to get your point or value prop across. Then I would set a budget for ads or facebook or some targeted demographic marketing and test the feedback and the conversions. You can actually fake it till you make it. You do not have to always deliver on what you are building. I can speak more to this in a phone call if you want... - JJ
It depends on the specific context of what you're trying to build, but I'd say that one of the best ways to initially test if there's customer demand for your idea is to see if people are already trying to solve the problem you've identified through some other means. To give you an example:
Let's say you want to build an app that helps businesses pre-screen candidates for interviewing -- how do businesses solve the problem today? Well, the hiring manager / HR team might do their own research by calling people who know the candidate and asking for feedback. Or the business might hire a headhunting firm to do this for them.
If people are already be paying someone to solve this specific problem for them, it's a good indicator that your idea might be worth something (provided you can come up with a better solution).
However, even if people are not currently paying someone to get their problem solved (but the pain point still exists, and people are still coming up with solutions of their own) it might be worth evaluating to see if you can come up with a solution + a business model that might work.
I hope this is helpful and let me know if you'd like any additional feedback!
Surveys are a great way to test the demand for your product or app. They provide a wide range of tools and features for measuring responses, so you can really do as much or as little as you want with the results.
One option that doesn't require any design skills and also creates beautiful surveys is Fieldboom (http://www.fieldboom.com/), which can create online forms and surveys in less than five minutes.
You can analyze responses one-by-one and also tag them with labels, star them and mark them as read or unread (just like Gmail). You can also use the simple but powerful reports to understand trends in the feedback you’re receiving.
No matter what survey option you go with, be sure to try it out before moving forward: You want to find the one that works best for you.