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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

Marketing MVP: The Minimum Viable Program

Beware the marketing Moonshot!

That's that complex, rigid marketing campaign that takes months to set up and could last 18 months to be finished.

The reality is often they don't even finish and you end up with all this effort and it doesn't even give you any results rather than that.

Successful marketing programs do just the opposite. They stay as small and simple as possible and they flex with new understanding as you move along and grow as they're successful.

I call this the marketing M. V. P.: Minimum viable program.

Use the same concepts as the agile methodology to really simplify and accelerate your marketing programs. Here are some ideas on how you can make that happen in your business.

Choose a customer goal

Before you even define the program, start with a goal and objective for your business that's wrapped around your customers' behavior.

This will be in the customer journey. If you don't know your desired journey for your customers, you need to start there. You want your campaigns to all be tied to a purpose that's related to a customer result.

Set a target

The next step is to set a target for that program that make sense in your internal systems.

But it's based on that change in behavior that you're trying to achieve.

Setting a target before you choose a type of tactic is important because it commits you to a result. Then your tactic decisions get made for effectiveness reasons rather than excitement or desirability, or because somebody thought it was a good idea.

It takes it out of the realm of opinion and into results-driven decisions.

Start small and move fast

Once you've got that target - what that tactic needs to achieve - it's time to choose the format, choose the way you're going to do it and find out what's the least you can do to start that program going.

It's counterintuitive. You want to do your best. But if you think about Agile you know just what I'm talking about. You start with enough - but just enough - and you move fast.

Measurements can be manual to start. Keep it very simple. The goal is to do enough that you can see how it's working and that's the next step.

Invest in success

Go with the energy. As you kick this off, listen, watch what's working, what's not working and - what are you learning? What's the thing you didn't even know you didn't know? That's a real insight that can help you either double down on the best part of this program or pivot to something totally different.

That's the power of the M. V. P.: Itaking from the spirit of Agile to be iterative, to be fast, nimble.

You're going to see better results because you get to market much sooner, and you're able to adjust to the realities that we all know you don't know when you first defined your program.

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