All about Minimum Viable Marketing
The marketing industry has been constantly improving, developing and growing as time passes by. Deciding to pursue business ventures have become challenging, as markets evolve at a greater speed, while new products also continue to launch all over the globe.
In this article, you’ll learn about 1) an introduction to minimum viable marketing, 2) essential components of minimum viable marketing, 3) the process view on minimum viable marketing, 4) considerations in minimum viable marketing, and 5) a comparison of minimum viable marketing and traditional marketing.
AN INTRODUCTION TO MINIMUM VIABLE MARKETING (MVM)
1) Defining MVM
Minimum Viable Marketing (MVM) in general is a common sense approach to marketing. It is built on business practices and project management; these techniques are then applied to the marketing function. The process uses the scientific method in weeding out the weak hypotheses through customer feedback and understanding.
2) Framework of Minimum Viable Marketing
The validation process. This entails testing and validating ideas and marketing propositions. In the MVM, validation of the proposition or the campaign theme is done with a small group. This way, resources are not put to a great wastage if it performs poorly in the process.
Measurement is important. Data is examined for measuring the impact of the campaign done. It is results focused, thus letting you continually improve the results in the process. Since there is only a minimal level of activity, you can measure it directly.
Learning is then applied. From the experiences you make and the results particularly, you can take on the best ideas you have forward. Greater budget control is allowed as continuous measuring and learning from outcomes entails you to foresee and calculate easier the next steps.
There is always room for improvement. Looking into the areas that did not do well, you improve them gradually, also monitoring if these adjustments improve the whole campaign. You are given a chance to explore more innovative ideas and use your creativity. Having a controlled framework in MVM, you can see the aspects that definitely need improvement.
3) Factors to Consider
Do not solely rely on your intuition. You should weed out bad ideas. How? Answer these questions:
- Can the experiment be tested quickly?
- Can you receive qualitative feedback from your customers?
- How long will it take to redo or modify the experiment?
- Are people interested in the campaign?
Qualitative customer feedback is a must and will help you improve. You can obtain feedback through telephone, email, Google forms, and even online surveys. The aim is to collect feedback and also generate interest.
4) Minimum Viable Product (MVP): what is it?
It is a version of a new product that allows marketers to collect a maximum amount of feedback from customers before it undergoes further enhancement and selling in a larger market. MVP is both a strategy and a product that aims to minimize the time being spent on repetition.
ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF MINIMUM VIABLE MARKETING
In MVM for start-ups, there are 5 essential components that should be remembered. Namely as follows:
- Positioning and marketing entails understanding who the marketer is and what he or she is conveying to the market, such as how your product fits the market. By focusing on this and conveying in a consistent manner, customers will see how the product will be of help to them and why they need it. The conveyed message should be clear cut.
- Branding is the application of the positioning and marketing in a visual sense. The brand is a representation of who you are and what you stand for. As your brand develops and becomes solid, you will need to work on how you present yourself to your target market. Marketing visually is important as customers recognize it, and is easier to put in mind.
- Pitch decks are basically presentations for potential customers, investors and early adopters that should be clear, compelling and concise. Every individual or group is different, and you should be able to communicate with them in different ways personalizing to their identity. Make sure of the design and content you will be presenting, as your audience will be listening to what you have to say, and at the same time watching you.
- Social Media is essential in advertising. You do not necessarily need a big budget, just perfect avenues to reach out to your target market. Being active in the different right channels, you are able to drive awareness and create leads on your product. The fit for your business depends as every business is unique. There are several avenues for social media awareness, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many more.
- A website helps you tell your story to the people who do not know you well. It may be considered the most important tool needed in marketing. It should contain your actual contact information, such as email address, contact numbers, and street address. Your brand must be showcased on the site and you have an option to invest in a website developer to continuously improve how it looks and its ease of access.
All the aforementioned components must be put into mind and heart as it will guide marketers on how they should do things to make their marketing strategy an effective and efficient one. By making sure the components are taken into consideration and applies properly, you can develop your business in a cost effective manner.
GOING ABOUT MINIMUM VIABLE MARKETING
In Minimum Viable Marketing, weeding out of the weak hypotheses is done. How? It is done by putting the focus on customer feedback, the implementation of experiments in a speedy manner, and understanding what data matters in the different stages of the experiment. With MVM in the picture, you can still be able to make an impact on your target market by working on a limited yet strategic use of your marketing budget.
Before testing, it is best to rethink and evaluate your marketing goals, and how do you think will be the best way to achieve these goals. Here your understanding of the message and strategy comes in. What would you want your target market to see and understand? Define your campaign first, then from there, try different strategies that will highlight it. Each strategy will have results and these results will guide you on their effectiveness. Conclusions from it should be drawn and will give you an overview of how things will possibly unfold.
Then proceed with testing. The most common form of testing used in the MVM approach is the A/B Testing. The test entails a marketing practice wherein there are two different advertisements being tested on the same media channel. During the trial period, the ad that gets the most responses is considered to be the more effective one, and thus will be used in moving forward. In the MVM approach, it is the media channel that is being tested differently. Results will show what media channel is most effective in garnering responses from the market.
After the testing stage, the components of MVM come in. Application of the components is very important to boost the effectiveness of the campaign. Marketers would want to be very cost effective and avoiding of huge wastages, after all, no one would want a very risky investment. Using MVM is already an advantage as there is gradualism involved and there is room for measuring outcomes and most especially improvement.
Money is at stake, thus, a working budget must be set to avoid unnecessary spending. A benefit of the Minimum Viable Marketing Strategy is that it does not certainly require having to spend so much. Marketing as a whole for your business or campaign will definitely involve a significant amount of money as you have to take care of different things, like your branding and advertising for instance. It is the message you convey that is most important, and the information possible customers get when they find you through different channels. One must keep his or her presence a positive one, client centered and having forward thinking.
Trial and error is involved. You may try and end up failing, but it is okay. There may be attempts that will fail immediately, but do not lose hope. The MVM approach is minimal, thus allowing you to take risks and still being able to spring back even if the attempt does not work. This allows you to look for other options to use and be creative and logical.
Marketing as a whole requires you to be constantly monitoring and tracking. Why? This is to know and be aware of the things around you: what is performing?; how is it performing?. You cannot track something accurately when you are not aware of its performance. It is best to track everything including your social media channels and website if these are generating traffic and followers. Compare the outcomes of each to one another. With this, you will see, know and be able to gage on what you need to do to generate sales from these outlets.
Being a start-up and having a limited budget is definitely not an excuse to avoid a stronger wave of marketing efforts. There are many avenues to make your presence known and to advertise; you do not necessarily have to shell out a really big amount of money. Since social media has a great influence on individuals and helps in your online presence, you might want to invest your time working on it there. Run different experiments and do not be afraid to take risks; you will never know how it does and the outcome unless you try. Take risks, but at the same time be safe with the proper application of the minimum viable marketing strategy.
Especially when you are still a bit new to the industry, you might still have a relatively hard time dealing with everything at the same time. Piece of advice: take it slowly but surely. Do not be in a hurry to develop this and that. One must first gage on what he or she can possibly offer the market. It does not have to be perfect the first time. Be open to criticisms and feedback, and let these make you and your ideas grow.
CONSIDERATIONS IN MINIMUM VIABLE MARKETING APPLICATION
The marketing environment should be put into consideration. Marketers are faced with a very uncertain environment. Times keep changing, technology continues to advance and grow, society, people, and their lifestyle continue to evolve, and the way they think changes depending on what they are faced with. Given the uncertainty of the environment, one should be open to modifying models, and customizing a model that will let him or her be able to validate the hypotheses and hinge a strategy without consuming the marketing budget right then and there.
The aim should be to spend as little as possible to obtain the minimum viable product or service and introduce it to the market to obtain feedback and to be able to validate hypotheses such as on promotion, product and pricing. If your brand gets negative feedback, then so be it. You still have the chance to modify and create a new one that would already fit the audience’s preference.
To sum it up, marketers should:
- Be specific about the hypothesis. Know your audience, and create an identity for them. Understand and be aware how they will be able to make use of your product or service offering. Most importantly, continually test and enhance your hypothesis.
- Be ready to pivot the strategy used. Always be open to feedback and improvement. Understand the different outcomes to know what is working and not working. From there, if anything is fund to be not working, be open to any revisions that need to be made in the marketing mix and modify.
- Keep it minimal. Do not be very engrossed in spending too much time in designing a logo or creating a name for the product when you have not tested your hypotheses yet. Start with a simple and functional design, and from there, the feedback you will get will dictate if you need to improve it or totally change it. You would not want investing a great amount of time, money and effort immediately without even knowing if the risk you will be taking will be successful in the end. What if it fails and you have invested everything that you have, where will it get you? Bankrupt and poor. Not a scenario anyone would want to be in.
Before doing something, one must make sure he or she is ready for it, to avoid a waste of energy and resources. As they say, it is better to be safe, than sorry. Risks are inevitable, yes, but first learn to weigh it and its possible impact.
MINIMUM VIABLE MARKETING VS. TRADITIONAL MARKETING
As time has passed, marketing, just like other things, have also continued to develop. Traditional marketing entailed large teams of marketers, big budgets and campaigns that burn slowly. The approach was step by step, and each stage should be completed before the next one can even begin. Wastage was of a huge amount and some investments were gone like dust.
Minimum Viable Marketing showcases a philosophy of agility and activities can take place concurrently. It allows marketers to start again once the campaign did not work out, as its focus is on experimentation and validation of propositions, and learning from each outcome. Being result oriented, the elements that perform poorly are discarded and thus allows marketers to create a new addition to the marketing mix. This way, to make it more effective and efficient to use.
Concepts, propositions and campaigns are tested immediately in a small group. Feedback from the market will dictate what to do. Problems and other potential issues are identified then resolved in an earlier stage, wherein the marketing budget has not yet been fully consumed.
Given both positive and negative feedbacks collected from various channels allow marketers to gage which method needs to be modified and or discarded totally. Marketers are allowed to be creative and innovative and thus constantly improving the marketing mix and making sure to implement it in an effective manner.
Wastage of resources and effort is also reduced as measurement and validation is done immediately in small scale. The earlier to have feedback the better, so that there is ample time to analyse, understand, and develop what the target market wants from you. Time invested in the process also would not be wasted and can be conserved.
Aside from reducing costs, the MVM approach also entails a greater control for the budget. Since marketers are constantly measuring and learning from previous experiences, it is easier to be able to foresee and calculate the return of investment. A smaller budget may be worked on first before investing on something fully without it being validated yet.
In a general total, the Minimum Viable Marketing strategy can help you cut costs and resource wastages without compromising the value and quality of the outcome. Before entering into the marketing industry, it is best to understand the basics, including the different aspects and strategies you can use.
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