B2B Articles - January 27, 2015

What is Lean marketing?

So, what is Lean marketing?

Lean process represents a fundamental change in the way companies build websites, software, products and manage marketing. Lean is about validating hypotheses and iterating to reduce the size of failures and increase the possibilities of success.

The Lean marketing process is highly iterative. Iteration, testing, and measurement are core tenants of the Lean philosophy.

Lean marketing process

Why is Lean marketing important?

According to John Mullins and Randy Komisar in Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model, most businesses that are successful change their business model on the road to success. Change is inevitable. Rather than investing a significant amount of resources into a product, website or marketing campaign and hoping for the best, Lean provides a better way and reduces the risk of failure by acknowledging failure within the process--accepting it--and making swift and informed changes to evolve the plan along the way.


But It's Not Just About Iterating... I'm kidding. It is just about iterating.
- Laura Klein, Author of UX of Lean Startups


What is Lean marketing all about?

Lean marketing is about using a feedback loop, data, iteration and validation to build success with marketing efforts quickly. Lean marketers study results of small, trial campaigns, learn from the results and evolve the elements of the campaign. Lean marketing is about testing a visual and is quite the opposite of the "fire and forget" model that many enterprises and corporations unwittingly employ. Lean marketing is always iterative.

Lean marketing

Elements of a Lean marketing process

  • Personas - Identify who you are trying to engage with your marketing. This eliminates the "wheel spinning" and wasteful communications that are not targeted.
  • A marketing process that supports analytics, adaptive learning and iteration
  • Analytics - web or app analytics that can measure behaviors and interactions.
  • Testing & measurement tools: A/B testing, marketing automation and lifecycle tracking to test and validate your communications, design and ideas
  • A refined approval process for publishing and launching smaller pilots, tests, trials and micro-campaigns. Lean marketing is always iterative. Build and create small ideas, get them into market quickly, measure the results, learn, and iterate using the lessons learned.

Tools that we use - practical application

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Hubspot - enterprise version
  3. Adwords
  4. optimizely.com

Personas for marketing Personas for marketing

Who is Lean marketing for?

  • Marketing teams
  • CMOs
  • CEOs that wish to take an ROI-focused approach to their orgs efforts
  • Startup founders
  • Marketing managers and specialists that need to drive results
  • Business managers

Resources for further reading:

  • John Mullins and Randy Komisar, Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model
  • Ash Maurya, RUNNING LEAN
  • Laura Klein, UX of Lean Startups

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