Lean-agile marketing , a strategy that will save tens of thousands) of your marketing budget !

Lean-agile marketing is an interactive marketing approach which, once well implemented, will saves you thousands in marketing budgets – and will increase your return on investment (ROI).

“Lean-agile” marketing is based on the lean-startup product/business development methodology, started by Eric Ries, inspired by The Toyota Production System (TPS). Lean-start approach aims to minimize waste of resources which happens when companies developed products/service people don’t need.

Lean-startup follows agile product development approach to implement a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) /Service and to shorten product/service delivery cycle, in order to measure clients’ response to a business idea, also called hypothesis.

Inspired by lean-startup, “Lean-agile” digital marketing also uses the agile testing technique to quickly test a targeted market segment before investing too much money. It then uses A/B testing technique to search for a marketing recipe, which gives the highest Return on Investment (h-ROI), and scale it.

It is done in two (2) main phases:

1) Searching for the highest ROI marketing recipe

a) Formulate a hypothesis

This is the most critical step of lean-agile digital marketing approach. Although a lean-agile marketing strategy is not scientist experimentation, it has to following the experimentation approach.

A good hypothesis should cover at least the following information:

• An expected outcome to validate/invalidate after the experiment; • A limited time of the experimentation; • Actions to be taken to validate the expected outcome; • A market segment and channel of distribution (platform/medium)…etc.; and • it is formulated as in the following:

Based on my observed data [D], I believe taking action [A] for market segment [S], using channel of distribution [C], will make outcome [O] to happen within a given time [T].

b) The implementation and deployment

This is where the implementation of your ideas happens. This step includes the creation of marketing material; setting up & deployment your campaigns on the identified channel of distribution for a sample of your targeted market segment. The implementation also includes the integration of lessons learned during previous implementation to validate repeatability.

c) Measuring results or clients response

Measuring results is a self-explanatory exercise. However, one of the common mistakes we observe is that, people let the experimentation run until they see the expected results – or, until they run out the allocated budget. It is critical to set an end timer for your experimentation. At the end of time [T], the experimentation must be stopped. Your hypothesis can only be validated / invalidated within a given limited time.

As mentioned above, before we declare victory, we need to ensure that the results are repeatable using the same marketing recipe (market segment + distribution channel).

At possibilitis, a hypothesis is considered conclusive when we get 90% of expected outcome, 95 % of time, with a 2% margin of error of (92% /88%). Your standards can be different but, before you scale a marketing recipe, it is recommended to reach at least 75% of your expected outcome, 95% of time.

d) Analyze & learn

You use your analytical skills to find actionable insights from your collected data. This means understand the meaning of the data you see; why you are getting the results you see; and what you can do about the results. It is important to understand that the quality of the information you get depends on the quality of your hypothesis. That’s why, writing a good hypothesis is paramount. Your hypothesis must be clearly, easy to understand, and testable.

As you can see on the figure, the information collected servers as input into your lean-agile marketing cycle. It is used to reformulate your hypothesis, to troubleshoot & tweak your implementation and deployment.

2) Scaling the winning marketing recipe

Congratulations, you have found the winning recipe, you can now scale it. This is the time to put your money in your marketing strategy. You apply your winning recipe on a bigger sample of the winning segment, using the winning distribution channel.

In next article of we will cover a step by step demonstration of how to run a lean-agile marketing strategy as well as a list of tools used to conduct our tests and analysis.

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About the author:

Jean Bosco is an entrepreneur & investor with more than 10 years of hands-on experience in business intelligence consulting. He is certified in Business Intelligence, in Digital Marketing. He is the president of Possibilitis Inc. and co-founder of canadiancrm.ca.

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