5 Reasons to Use Lean Marketing
Marketing used to be the domain of endless user studies, gut feeling, and a lot of trial and error. This has all changed with the arrival of big data analytics. Why ask users what they think they want, when we can measure what they really buy, watch and read online or offline?
These statistics are incredibly useful when it comes to building effective marketing strategies, but why should you think about using them? Here are some of the reasons for using lean marketing or data-driven marketing.
1. It doesn’t grow on trees
Money, of course. Maybe a few years ago it did in the startup scene, but those days are over according to startup founders in Berlin, London and Bangkok. Being conscious about expenditures is more important than in the golden days, they tell me. This is not just the case for startups, but also for NGOs, SME and anyone with a limited marketing budget.
Lean marketing applies short experiments to find out which marketing channels have the potential for major growth. Before spending a lot of time and money, we test if this is the right path for a specific product and target audience.
Once the right channel has been identified, we start optimising the campaign itself. And only then do we double down on the proven approach. This means no more money is lost; every cent goes toward identifying the successful channel and campaign.
2. Time is money
You’ve probably guessed it by now; these short experiments also mean speed. Compared to user studies that could take months, this approach gets results in a few weeks or even days.
One reason for this is that it’s possible to conduct parallel experiments across channels and with different messages per channel. That way we are quicker to identify which marketing channel resonates especially well with your customers, and what message on that channel is most effective.
It always puzzled me to see companies become less conscious about cost and efficiency once the product is launched. The most important phase just started; now you have to prove that your product, its chosen niche and your entrepreneurial gut was right in the first place.
3. Get feedback before it’s too little too late
You don’t want to be one of those founders that realises after years of product development that there is no demand or the product lacks essential features. This is one of the fastest ways of going out of business. Assuming you’re in it for the long haul, getting customer feedback early through lean marketing is one way to prevent this from happening.
By co-developing the product with marketing efforts you receive feedback to implement directly into your product, instead of developing the product first and asking potential users later. Implementing short feedback loops early on also ensures you have the successful processes in place to continue to improve your product once it is launched. Especially the period right after launching your product is when you get important feedback from (potential) customers, so you want to make sure everything is in place before then.
4. Put a baby monitor on your product
Once you’ve successfully launched a product and the number of customers starts growing, it’s essential to keep tabs on what’s going on. Every marketing approach will hit a ceiling sooner or later and you want to be there when it happens.
Declining sales could mean you’ve reached all the customers in your target audience and need to focus on another demographic. Or it could mean the early adopters are replaced by the masses and you need to change your marketing message and tone of voice to resonate with the new audience. Another potential reason is that the competition copied your successful marketing campaign and now customers are ignoring your efforts because they are being overwhelmed with similar products via the same marketing channel.
Keeping tabs on the data means you’re the first one to notice when the growth isn’t as impressive as it used to be, which is inevitable. You’ll be able to see why it is happening, or at least figure it out by taking a closer look, and address the cause appropriately while everyone else still assumes there is no problem.
5. Prevent U-turns once you start speeding up
Why conduct your whole operation lean (or ‘failing fast’, if you like), but abort this approach as soon as the product is developed? Many companies choose to get their product out there as fast as possible in the form of an MVP, and continue improvement afterwards based on customer feedback.
So, you’re a startup or SME and deployed a lean approach to your business. This means selecting employees comfortable with producing results fast that might have imperfections, set up an efficient decision-making process and putting feedback tools in place to increase the chances of success.
Once the MVP is finished you should continue the lean approach, because just as important as sales is that your team continues to work well together for the continuity of your business. A U-turn in decision-making processes from lean and data-driven ones to slow and gut-based alternatives guarantees a break-down of group structure and efficiency.
What additional reasons do you have for implementing data-driven marketing? Let us know at info[at]theleanmarketingcollective[.]com.