Starting a company from scratch is not an easy task; as someone in the startup world, you already know it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Moreover, all throughout the startup process, the same doubts will cross your mind: Will people really want my products or services? Are the actions I'm taking enough?
While we can't be 100% certain about the future of your company, we can assure you that there is a way to attain a more promising future: by using a Lean Startup strategy and combining it with the Lean Marketing tactics that we will detail in this post.
The Lean Startup Methodology
Lean Startup is primarily based on meeting the specific needs of consumers with the minimum amount of resources. This methodology is based on three pillars:
When you're building your startup, the market data you have is usually not enough. This makes the creation of a product that suits the needs of your Buyer Personas difficult. In this situation, you must create the minimum viable product, known as MVP, which will help you launch the product to the market in the shortest possible time, avoid failures, optimize your database, reduce costs, etc.
In this phase, you should ask yourself if the version of your product has the necessary characteristics to solve the problem that affects your target audience. If the answer is yes, you are one step closer to success.
Our advice at this stage is to use landing pages, A/B tests, videos where you show your products, etc.
Next, it is essential to develop an effective measurement method. To get there, you must evaluate the data of the company itself (planned expenses, resources that are available, etc.) and measure the needs of your potential customers; this will help you keep track of what they are really looking for and adapt your product or service to fit their changing needs.
When all of this has been figures out, it is time to develop the final product that will reach the market.
Thanks to the results you obtain in the measuring stage, your company will be able to learn from your own experiences, and tailor your products and services to your customers. You must carry out all the necessary adjustments based on testing and experiments, so that your product is fully aligned with the market needs. If you are unable to do that, you must modify what is not working properly and create a new MVP in order to meet your objectives.
What is Lean Marketing?
Lean Marketing builds on the concept of Lean Startup. Similar to the build, measure, and learn methodology, Lean Marketing prioritizes feedback, drawing conclusions from data, and quickly implementing changes to carry out successful Marketing activities and campaigns. In addition to this, Lean Marketing also makes it possible to avoid spending time and resources on wasteful activities that aren't related to your Buyer Personas or market. Thus, it is the perfect strategy for startups, which need to be agile, targeted, and smart with their resources in order to survive and succeed.
There are many companies that have decided to carry out this methodology, such as, Spanish telecoms company, Telefónica, which has been using this methodology since 2011 and has seen an increase of innovative projects by 45% with the same budget. They even managed to triple the development project speed (OhMyBrand). These results show the importance that this methodology has today, not only for startups but for corporations, too.
Lean Startup and Lean Marketing: 6 tactics to stay lean
1. Segmentation of Buyer Personas
A big part of the "lean" methodology lies in understanding your customers. To do this, you must first collect information about them. Here are the steps to follow:
- Analyze your database: See if there are any trends on how your leads and customers consume information.
- Use web forms with key questions that allow you to capture data and view metrics.
- Get feedback from sales and services teams on the problems customers share with them. As they are client-facing, their experience and knowledge will inform the actions you take.
- Conduct interviews with current and potential customers to find out what they like and don't like about your product or service.
2. Study Your Sector
Having a deep knowledge of your sector can be very useful in making the right decisions for your Marketing strategy. Market data is essential, but it's just the first step. Study the website, social networks, and Marketing channels that your competitors are using, and compare them with the activities that you're performing. Look at things like reviews, interaction, process design, and more. Identify what they're doing well, so you can do even better.
3. Social Media Storytelling
Today, social networks allow us to manage and generate campaigns more easily. One strategy we propose is for you to create stories and messages that allow users to see themselves reflected among the customers of your products or services. For example, if you offer a car repair service, all of your messaging should reflect the characteristics of your ideal Buyer Persona: their age range, job type, interests, style, humor, etc. Your social media, and in turn, your brand will become more relatable.
4. Content Marketing
The "lean" methodology can be even more powerful when used in combination with content marketing. To do content marketing, all you need is online assets like a website or blog and a customer database. With just these two things, you can start experimenting with content. For example, you could try sending a short survey to some of your customers about your services and their interests. Based on their responses, you can now create relevant articles for your blog and newsletter. It is important that you offer different approaches to your content and display your expertise and authority.
For example, if you are a kitchen gadget company, your articles can focus on how they are used, share simple recipes that can be made with each appliance, and offer a monthly newsletter.
5. Email Marketing
The use of emails to attract customers (and keep them) is a popular and surefire trend. To start carrying out email marketing campaigns, you need to capture customer data through forms or subscriptions, always keeping GDPR in mind. What's the best way to get leads to leave their precious email addresses? By offering them relevant, quality, and valuable content like ebooks, infographics, guides, videos, etc. Once you've got the email, you can start creating tailored email nurturing campaigns and newsletters, following these best practices.
6. Track Metrics
The importance of metrics is fundamental to be able to evaluate the data and see if your strategy is achieving desired results. In the digital age, practically everything can be measured, especially if your main tools include a digital website and database. For example, with analytics tools Google Analytics, you can track metrics like visitor traffic, clicks, conversion rate, etc. Platforms like HubSpot let you measure the performance of all of your Marketing activities in a single place, with dashboards and reports to easily visualize and interpret data.
What about Inbound Marketing for startups?
Any company that wants to progress today in the Marketing field cannot ignore the Inbound methodology. In case you are a startup, Inbound can help you in numerous ways:
- Study and creation of Buyer Personas
- Creation and elaboration of a content marketing strategy
- SEO research, positioning, and optimization
- Automation such as workflows
- Lead capture and generation like landing pages
- Social media strategy
Inbound Marketing uses many of the same "lean" Marketing tactics that we mentioned above, so this is definitely a methodology that your startup should consider. What's more, mbudo are experts in Inbound, and can help you take your strategy from start to finish to beyond.
Whether you have just started your company or if you have been operating for years, using the Lean Startup concept and Lean Marketing techniques, can help your company focus on your product or service, core customers, and quickly develop successful Marketing activities. At mbudo, we can help you do it all, so contact us today.