Digital marketing can be a scary beast when we first approach it. Yes, it’s an awesome tool with too many opportunities for us to leverage, but it also is quite overwhelming. That’s why it is critical to find a digital marketing approach that’s effective and doable. For me, that approach has been applying lean project management principles to my digital marketing campaigns, especially when the budget is tight.
The lean approach is a powerful tool to maximize our budget for two reasons:
- It allows us to develop digital marketing strategies with little to no friction.
- It helps us test our ideas in smaller, controlled environments without committing to big projects that might flop.
What’s the Lean Approach?
The lean project management approach is an implementation method where we develop a minimum viable product (MVP) to test its reception before investing vast amounts of money in an idea that might fail… This approach allows us to start our projects quickly but without driving head-on into uncertainty.
Now, I keep talking about developing “products.” If you have a service-based business or are a reseller, you might think, “Very well, but… what does it have to do with me?” One might even ask, how does product development relate to creating marketing campaigns and strategies? As I see it, it relates a lot — because this approach is so efficient and adaptable that we can apply it in pretty much any project.
Lean Project Management Benefits
Digital marketing is highly dynamic and complex. We can go deep or broad with it, and its reach is pretty much limitless… within the digital world, that is, of course. This amplitude pushes us to choose our battles wisely. So, it is critical for an efficient digital marketing strategy to stay focused on what truly matters to help our companies grow.
Thus, the lean approach to digital marketing incites us to experiment progressively and optimize our efforts. It helps us work smarter, not harder, to achieve our goals with fewer losses… and much less drama when things don’t go our way!
How to Be “Lean” in Digital Marketing?
Lean project management presents us with a straightforward process:
- First, we build and launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
- Then, we measure the user experience with the MVP.
- Lastly, we improve in the next iteration based on the metrics we gathered in the second phase.
Lean Marketing is a continuous process of growth; so, after the third phase, the cycle starts over again with more data and, consequently, more chances of success.
The lean approach helps us complete projects — and achieve goals — more quickly than traditional strategies, which often require us to dedicate too much time to planning and cause us too much stress when reality doesn’t match our projections. But it’d be shallow to assume the lean approach’s efficiency is limited to speed. Its focused nature allows us to take controlled risks, helping us optimize our resources.
This alone is insanely valuable in digital marketing projects because marketing is unpredictable and subjective in many ways. So, we can implement this approach to test specific tactics, gather precise data, and use it to improve our future digital marketing efforts in a much more efficient way. As a result, our controlled efforts can help us minimize marketing’s inherent unpredictability.
This is how the process looks like when applied to marketing:
- First, we create and launch our marketing campaign with a clear goal in mind. It can be as simple as our regular content calendar, an ad set, or a landing page split test.
- Then, we analyze the performance by tracking the goal KPIs. That’s why the goal needs to be established from the beginning and tracking methods to be enabled.
- Lastly, we learn what works based on the data we gathered in the second phase and use these findings to improve our next iteration.
Benefits of Lean Digital Marketing
This digital marketing approach can help tackle every aspect of your big projects separately. In other words, you’ll be able to evaluate and optimize every part of your business vision and strategies more easily and clearly.
The information you and your marketing team gather from every one of your brand initiatives will help you have more context and clues about the following:
- What tactics you might try next.
- Which platforms are worth your investment.
- Whether you want to go big next time… or improve the ones that aren’t working.
Now, after so much chat, I’m dying to know… would you like to go “leaner” in your projects?