Taking a Lean approach to B2B marketing
Minimum Viable Marketing™ (MVM) allows marketers to get back to basics. It focuses on experimentation and validated learning through measuring iterative cycles of activity. The goal is to quickly build a plan based on content and marketing activities that deliver the best marketing outcome. It is a common sense approach to marketing – based on testing a proposition, idea or campaign and then building on its successful elements. By relaxing some of the marketing planning disciplines, and taking ideas from the Lean methodology, marketers can transform how they go about B2B marketing. The MVM framework follows four key steps:
- Validate - test and validate your ideas or propositions
- Measure - examine the data in order to measure the impact of your campaign
- Learn - learn from your experiences and take the best ideas forward
- Improve - improve the aspects of the campaign that didn't work as well
MVM is particularly useful for enabling innovation. It allows organisations to test a radical new approach without the costs of a traditional campaign or the risk of alienating key target segments.
MVM allows for greater budget control, as with continual measuring and learning, the return on investment becomes easier to foresee and quantify.
Digital tools lend themselves particularly well to MVM such as paid search or online advertising strategies – where a small budget pot can be allocated to validate the approach before a more sustained investment is made once the tactic is proven.
Getting to market first can be a key advantage for firms in fast moving environments such as technology. MVM enables a rapid time to market by starting with a minimal marketing mix and building on it. This means you can start to grow market share and build your brand whilst investing in the marketing elements that work best.
As MVM focuses on exploiting the marketing elements that perform best you continually improve results as you move through a campaign.
You can start with a minimal level of activity which helps you go to market quickly, measuring as you go. Adjustments can be made based on the results and new elements added, measuring the impact of each one. The idea is to gradually layer the marketing mix with high performing elements that contribute to meeting your objectives and business goals.
“What gets measured gets improved”
By taking some of the best ways of working from start-up culture, and applying it to your marketing in this controlled framework of Minimum Viable Marketing, you can explore more creative and innovative ideas, test them and add those that work to your marketing plan. The focus on measurability gives you tangible evidence for the marketing investments being made. This means that you know that they are supporting and contributing to the wider business goals. Peter Drucker was right: “What gets measured gets improved”. Otherwise, how can marketing be held accountable?