One of the biggest problems those with a new online business have to deal with is how to market themselves. Marketing is incredibly expensive, which is something most of us are unable to deal with when we first start. Another problem is that we find ourselves choosing a strategy and then noticing it isn’t bringing in the revenue we expected. So is there anyway to engage in marketing that works but doesn’t cost the earth?
One concept is known as lean marketing.
You’ve heard of the lean startup concept pioneered by entrepreneur Eric Ries and popularized over the years by professor Steve Blank. The lean startup approach, which favors experimentation over planning, offers a useful blueprint for developing a more efficient marketing strategy.
So how does this work, and how do you turn your lean marketing into something that works and really brings in the big bucks?
Test Any Marketing Concepts You May Have
The first thing you need to do is work out how likely it is that your marketing concept is going to work. If you only have a limited budget, try using only a part of this, rather than purchasing an entire package. This may work out more expensive, but if your marketing concept works, you should earn your investment back, returning you to your starting position.
Concept testing is the attempt to predict the success of a new product idea before putting it on the market. It usually involves getting people’s reactions to a statement describing the basic idea of the product. It is usually conducted as a pass/fail, go/no go test.
Speak to Your Customers
Your customers are at the heart of your business and you must listen to their opinions. Even if your marketing concept generated just two or three customers, speak to them to find out what made them choose you and ask them what problems they encountered. This will help you improve your business greatly.
Be Ready for Change
As humans, we are incredibly resistant to change. It is often a matter of pride, particularly if we have to change our own ideas. We feel that changing what we wanted to do is a sign of having made a mistake, which nobody wants to do. However, the world isn’t stagnant and if you see that something could be done better in a different way, you must endeavor to change.
More than ever before incremental innovation is not sufficient for survival. Many businesses need to re-tool their business models in order to achieve breakthrough innovation.
You must be responsive to your customers’ needs as and when they occur. In doing so, you don’t need to have a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. A lean marketing tool will be more than sufficient and you can start to grow from there on end. After a while, you can then start to invest more money into your marketing efforts, but you don’t need to worry that you will never get anywhere because you only have a few funds available.