As a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner, you have to wear many different hats – from accountant to sales manager, administrator, and marketer. And even more so in the beginning as you’re growing your business.
While each has its challenges, a marketer’s hat is probably one of the more complicated hats to wear. Digital marketing, especially, involves many aspects and even the most experienced marketers need to put in a great deal of time and effort into doing their jobs well.
Working on your digital marketing strategy can seem incredibly overwhelming with so many other things on your plate. However, it’s something that you still need to tackle.
So, what do you do?
You start by working on a Minimum Viable Marketing strategy.
What is a Minimum Viable Marketing strategy?
The concept of Minimum Viable Marketing (or MVM) takes a very common-sense approach to marketing. Rather than starting out using the many marketing tools available, you focus on the main things you need to market your business.
Minimum Viable Marketing helps you detect potential risks and areas of improvement before you’ve amplified your marketing campaigns to larger budgets. Many entrepreneurs also use MVM to introduce their product to the market, obtain feedback and validate their promotion, product, and pricing ideas.
So, what’s the best way to move forward with a Minimum Viable Marketing strategy?
Begin at the basics.
Start with getting your marketing foundations right
We like to compare creating a marketing strategy to building a house. For both, you need to start with building solid foundations. Because, without solid foundations, you’re setting yourself up for possible risk down the line.
As your business grows, so will your marketing strategy. Strong marketing foundations will give you the base needed to pivot as you need to. Your minimum viable marketing strategy needs to focus on building these foundations and nothing more.
Here’s what you need to focus on:
An analytical framework
We’re living in a data-driven world, generating enormous volumes of information across an increasing number of channels. The question is, how are you using this data to grow your business.
To better inform and provide guidance to your customers, you need to use your customer data (the right elements) to full effect. Adopting an analytical framework allows you to effectively blend the traditional side of creative marketing with the more data-driven marketing side. It helps you use your customer data to tailor your interactions in the best way possible.
Using the right tools
There are marketing tools available for almost every aspect of marketing these days. But that doesn’t mean that you have to use them all, especially in the beginning. Instead, start with the basics while making sure to set them up correctly.
Your website, for example, would be at the center of your Minimum Viable Marketing strategy because it’s one of the key assets that a business has. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but it should clearly state your value proposition and key features. You might want to set up your website on Google Analytics or similar options like Plausible Analytics, SEMRush, or Ahrefs.
Other essential tools to use are email, social media, content marketing, and (of course) data management tools.
Being specific in your process
Focus on following specific steps in your marketing to keep your strategy development focused and efficient.
It helps to build processes that work specifically for your business. And once you’ve decided on a specific process, stick to it.
Building the right team
While you might be wearing the marketing hat now, it’s a good idea to start considering building a solid marketing team to handle it for you. For your business to grow, you’ll eventually have to hand over specific roles to give you more time to focus on your business.
Building a team shouldn’t be a fast process, instead spend time putting the right marketing team together. Whether you hire an in-house or an external marketing team, you want to be sure that the team knows marketing.
Build a marketing team that understands the fundamentals of marketing and how to best market your business.
Basic principles of a Minimum Viable Marketing strategy
The Minimum Viable Marketing process weeds out weak business ideas through testing, customer feedback, and readjusting your strategy.
Here are the basic principles to follow to do this:
Instead of reaching an entire market, a Minimum Viable Marketing strategy concentrates on a specific group of customers within a larger audience. A targeted approach helps you fully optimize your resources, time, and budget.
Define your approach first, then from there, try different strategies that will highlight it. Each method will have results, and these results will guide you on their effectiveness. It then becomes easier to narrow down the most effective strategies.
Test first, and test small
One of the main components of Minimum Viable Marketing is the validation process, including testing and validating ideas and marketing propositions.
Before going in with larger budgets, first, test your marketing out with smaller budgets. This way, resources are not put to a significant wastage if it fails.
The most common form of testing used in the Minimum Viable Marketing approach is A/B testing. You can either test two different adverts on the same media channel or use the same advert on other media channels. That way, you can test either which adverts work best on specific channels or which channels are most effective for your market.
Be prepared to do a lot of testing. You’ll be happy about it later.
Talk to your customers
Minimum Viable Marketing focuses on customer feedback. Talk to your customers as much as you can and listen to their feedback. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from them. Your customers are the key source of information for your company, whether you want to launch a new product, improve your sales, or evaluate the performance.
Try again (and then again)
Minimum Viable Marketing involves trial and error. You may try and end up failing, but it’s okay. The Minimum Viable Marketing approach is minimal for a reason; it allows you to take risks and still spring back if those attempts don’t work.
There is always room for improvement. And by trying again, you can look into areas that didn’t do well and gradually improve them.
Start with Your Foundations
The most crucial aspect of your Minimum Viable Marketing strategy is getting your marketing foundations right. By doing so, you’re setting yourself up for tremendous success further down the line and removing the obstacles that can slow down your growth.