I'm just a common person, but I'll offer you my crude understanding.

Lean Marketing

Since this is my last post as a “student”, I am going to coin a big sounding term: “Lean Marketing”, inspired from the hot and trending “Lean Startup“.

The stand is: “a social marketing campaign, especially if it involves a new-media tool, should be approached as an iterative experiment and not as a one-shot deal.”

Traditional Marketing Campaign: Television and radio commercials, newspaper and magazine advertisements, billboards, tradeshows, product promotions and price cuts and the like.

– A linear process where the problem and the typical solution are known; it is all about execution.

Lean Marketing: An iterative experiment with new technology platform to engage with customers; in search of an optimal middle ground between business objectives and customer satisfaction.

An iterative process. Neither the problem nor the solution are clearly articulated, but there is an eventual business objective.

Another way of looking at the difference is that traditional marketing campaigns require up-front capital, time, and other assets creating an indeterminate amount of risk.  In addition, it is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of any traditional marketing campaign during the planning and investment stages.

With the transition of marketing strategy to one that effectively utilizes social media tools; an organization can successfully mitigate a majority of the risk inherent in traditional marketing practices.  Instead of a substantial up-front investment, social media marketing allows for smaller, incremental investments, which, if applied appropriately, should scale to the size of the participating market.  In addition, these incremental investments should stimulate immediate feedback among the consumer base that will allow for the organization to further optimize its strategy.

Updated. Thanks to Richard (see comments).

This dynamic call and response methodology, when compared to the traditional “static” approach, allows for a dialogue between the organization and the consumer that should further increase customer loyalty.

For an prototype “lean” campaign, here is a case study Umair and I wrote on Intuit’s Love a Local business campaign.
Btw. check out the slide share below, if you ever need to convince you boss about a social marketing campaign:

Brickbats welcome :) !
Richard Miller
Richard Miller

Conceptually it is like agile scrum for marketing. Which goes well with the viral and gorilla campaigns. But It might be wise to reconsider your bubble graph. If my input = output there is no value generated. Value in marketing is measured by the "x" factor. How much more (x) is the value generated from the cost of marketing. If they are equal (10$ in marketing to yield 10$ in sales) you will be fired


great post...love how you are applying the lean startup methodology to marketing. Two of my favorite words = Learn + Lean


Thanks for pointing it out. The main aim of the bubble graph was to try and show the difference in the time lag between the investment and return. I will update the images in ASAP.