The word Lean marketing has been one of the buzzwords of business for a few years now, but beneath the buzzword lays a strong, successful and above all common sense strategy.
The Lean Marketing process is actually nothing new. The business tactics it employs are all well known and widely used. Despite this most businesses do not follow them in any particular order or manner. What makes Lean Marketing special is that it organizes its techniques in to a coherent, easy to follow strategy. These steps can be followed step by step to not only launch a successful business, but stop you from launching an unsuccessful business.
The key aspects of lean marketing are:
• Market Targeting
• Minimum Viable Product
This sounds like common sense, but how can you apply it to marketing? Let’s go through it piece by piece.
Finding out your target market seems obvious, but have you done it in your business? Don’t just select a target audience, research what your audience needs, and ask them what they want. Whether you are doing content marketing or Pay Per Click (PPC), targeting your efforts at the correct audience is key. Asking someone if your PPC ad probably will not get much of a response, but asking them what they need tells you what you need to focus your advertising on. Avoid going broad; narrow down who you want to be affected by your marketing.
Do initial testing before you go on an all out campaign, find out what works, make sure that whatever campaign you run, be it PPC or otherwise, try things out on a small sample, see if it brings you interest before making a full scale campaign. Validating a marketing idea is much harder than validating a product. With a product, you can simply ask your target audience if they would buy it, if it does what they need. You cannot ask a person if they like a marketing method. This means that validation of a marketing idea comes down to testing.
Minimum Viable Product
Minimum viable product is quite simply the least amount of work you can do before launching a product. Finding a way to create a minimum viable marketing campaign is difficult, it doesn’t fit in to the product model, but there are some things you can learn. The simplest form of a minimum viable marketing product is to take your validated marketing ideas, and form them in to a campaign focused only on those validated idea. Don’t over-complicate things, just implement what works.
Setting goals gives you an aim, something to shoot for. Goals are often misunderstood, but they perform an important role.
• They let you plan for a future what you want to achieve.
• They give you an aim, something to achieve.
Once you have a minimum viable product, and you have goals, it is time to start reaching and exceeding your goals. Improving a product to customer’s needs is the focus of a lean company, in marketing we improve based on response to our advertisements. This might be test bed campaigns, A/B testing, backlink types, landing page optimization, or social interaction; by improving your campaign, you can extend your goals based on testing, and see continual ongoing improvement.
So you know what works, and you can improve it. Now it’s time to expand. Again, scaling a product is very different to scaling a marketing campaign. Scaling a marketing campaign is difficult, and varies wildly from case to case. Despite this, it is something you must learn to do, especially if you find a profitable marketing technique that offers a consistent Return on Investment.