From day one at Drifty, I realized that bootstrapped marketing is a whole new (and very exciting) ballgame. At a lean startup, time and dollars cannot be wasted. Mistakes have to be minimal, and every single mistake must have very valuable takeaways for the future. How can we avoid making too many mistakes? How can we avoid wasting precious time?
Turns out, the leading school of entrepreneurial thought, The Lean Startup, can be applied to marketing strategy as well.
“BUILD, MEASURE, LEARN”
Plan your project carefully, and with many specific goals/measures in mind: If I am planning a social media contest I should have a goal in mind (drive users into our database to make an account), and specific measures that will tell a story about how well this goal was achieved (traffic to site, time spent on site, accounts created from traffic). My contest should exploit the end results I want by embedding them in the design: If I want traffic to my website, I make the goal of my contest for users to direct as many friends as possible to the Codiqa site.
Choose your metrics carefully, and be very well educated on what those metrics tell you about your end results. When you want page views maximized, measuring click through rate for a blog post makes perfect sense. If you want customers to upgrade their payment plan, then suddenly click through rate means nothing to you.
No matter what the result, learn something (or many things) specifically from each campaign, and carry them over into the next. If my social campaign got a ton of clicks to the site, and users were spending time on the site, then I have learned that my sign up process is either not appealing or simply too tedious to manage. I built a project around a designated goal, measured its success, and learned a valuable takeaway of how to change this for the future. This process is quicker, and far more efficient (in money and time).
Marketing on a tight budget seems limiting, but it’s actually an incredibly interesting challenge. Too many large companies market inefficiently. Can we change what it means to build an audience and grow a customer base using lean startup methods?
At Drifty, we are doing just that, by measuring and learning from every marketing campaign we run. By having a very detailed understanding our how our campaigns work, we can get much more value out of cheaper marketing investments.