Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Read the Guide Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Learning Center
Learning Center
Close

Learn

Access the Learning Center

Free resources to help you master inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center

Blog / Newest Insights

Jump straight to the latest inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer insights

Access the Learning Center

Free and Pro Courses

Take your knowledge to the next level with free and Pro courses inside IMPACT+

Access the Learning Center

Recordings on Demand

On-demand recordings from past IMPACT events and livestreams

Access the Learning Center

Featured

Inbound Strategy Playbook 2022

Learn 7 foundational principles that have proven to set inbound marketing strategies up for success

Access the Learning Center

Free 5 Min. Inbound Marketing Assessment

Take this free assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales

Access the Learning Center

Blueprint for a More Profitable Agency

See why coaching, not implementation, is the key to happier clients and better profit margins

Access the Learning Center

Case Studies

See examples of companies working with IMPACT and thriving with They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Services
Services
Close
Navigation_8_2021_taya

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training
They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop
Navigation_8_2021_workshop

Inbound Marketing Services

Inbound Marketing Services
Navigation_8_2021_website design - monitor

Website Design & Development

Website Design & Development
Navigation_8_2021_hubspot implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation
Navigation_8_2021_virtual selling

Virtual Sales
Training

Virtual Sales <br>Training
Navigation_8_2021_swell - paid ads

Paid Search & Social Services

Paid Search & Social Services
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Close
... Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy
Close
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Read the Guide
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Free Inbound Marketing Playbook
View The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

How to Increase Your ROI With Lean Rapid Prototyping

By Erica Dube

Erica Dube also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022.

How to Increase Your ROI With Lean Rapid Prototyping Blog Feature

shutterstock_191868533-compressor-compressorAt Hubspot’s INBOUND 2015 conference, Nichole Kelly, CEO of Social Media Explorer, spoke to a room of wall-to-wall Marketers, eager to learn about ways they can increase ROI.

As I sat in the audience for her presentation, I was in awe of her progressive and actionable “lean rapid prototyping” process. Kelly and her team have been using this 6 step process with great success in increasing ROI for Marketing.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

So, What is Lean Rapid Prototyping?

Nichole Kelly and her team at Social Media Explorer coined this term by combining “Lean Startup” principles and “Rapid Prototyping.” These principles, formally used in the creation of the infamous “Google Glass” have been adjusted by Kelly to work for Marketing.

In Marketing, specifically in the realm of Inbound and Digital Marketing - there is an immense amount of trends and strategies that can be implemented every day. It’s impossible for any Marketing team to execute on every new idea they have and successfully produce ROI from the program. This is where Lean Rapid Prototyping comes in.

Kelly recommended using LRP for any new idea that comes in - Marketing project, campaign or any use of resources from your Marketing team.

To start, it’s an excellent way to test ideas, but more importantly, it helps you develop a framework for more concise project management and integrates feedback earlier into processes to ensure better ROI long and short term.

The Rules of Lean Rapid Prototyping

Kelly used Tom Chi and the Google Glass  as an example of  inspiration for Lean Rapid Prototyping is. Chi defined three rules in order to properly build prototypes.

Rule 1: Find the quickest path to experience

Prototyping isn’t about building a perfect eBook, blog article, or entire Marketing campaign. It’s about finding the quickest way to execute on something that will be as close to the experience as you set out to create.

For example, let’s say you want to launch an eBook campaign on a certain topic you think will resonate with your target audience.

It’d be valuable to prototype this campaign before putting in all the time and resources into creating the eBook content and its campaign assets.

So you can start with a small “version” of that campaign - a blog article on that same topic, targeting the same audience.

Rule 2: Doing is the best kind of thinking

The biggest takeaway to this rule is - don’t overthink. Often Marketers want to provide research and set aside time to think through a strategy and solution, but you need to just do it.

Start working and testing; that’s the best way to collect the data that you need in order to understand the best way to actually get there.

When you overthink you may start creating complex solutions that will be much more difficult to implement. Get started with your prototype and start testing.

Rule 3: Use materials that move at the speed of thought to maximize your rate of learning

This goes along with rules number 1 and 2. You don’t need all those fancy graphics or fully designed images in your post before it’s published. Use the least amount of materials possible to get this prototype out fast. (This is also known as the Minimum Viable Product.)

Getting Started with Lean Rapid Prototyping

Nichole Kelly lays out seven specific steps in her process to execute on Lean Rapid Prototyping. To summarize:

Step 1: Define conditions of satisfaction

Identify who is invested in this project and ensure that everyone who has a role has defined their conditions of satisfaction. This could include your Marketing team, CEO, CFO, and possibly others.

It’s important that all parties who would be involved in the end product or results are also involved in defining these conditions.

Step 2: Define your Minimum Viable Product For Feedback

For example, if you are using this process to test out content you may start with something as simple as a social media post or a blog article to test your persona’s response. The goal is to get something in front of your target audience and begin compiling feedback from that audience.

Note: Your audience for this test should not just be your Marketing team.

Often when teams try to “test” strategies they review within their circle and only gather feedback internally -- leading to bias.

This part of the process allows you to remove subjectivity. During this step, you should decide on what the Minimum Viable Product is and agree on it.

Step 3: Define your Learn, Measure, and Build

This includes asking three key questions:

  1. What is the first thing you need to learn to move forward?

  2. How can you measure what you’ve learned?

  3. What can you build in under two hours to test it?

Step 4: Check “risk assessment” to determine you have the correct first Learn, Measure, Build. 

Kelly warns newbies about this step, saying that many times during this process your first thought for a build will have something more to do with the end result or take much longer than two hours.

Make sure that what you are working on is the right “learn” for what you are trying to deliver, the right “measure” to show you have achieved, and is the right “build” for this stage.

Step 5: Build your prototype!

You have two hours. This is very important - do not go over two hours.

In Kelly’s presentation, she told her audience that if a build takes more than two hours “just stop” and re-assess steps 3 & 4.

Step 6: Get feedback from the target audience

This is the final step before you move forward to “rinse and repeat.” Here’s what you should ask about your build:

  • What really worked?

  • What could have made it better?

  • What do you want more of?

  • What do you want less of?

People often get stuck on this step because we are not used to getting feedback on something that isn’t a final product. However, this step is critical because the feedback you receive will help you get a final result that is perfect for your audience.

Next Steps

After completing step 6, you should be able to continue building upon your prototype until the feedback is 100% perfect.

As Nichole Kelly states in her article, “this is a big mindset shift for how to manage projects.”

It may take a bunch of tries for you and your team to get into the groove of prototyping for each Marketing project, but if you are ready to take your Marketing strategies to the next level and increase ROI, lean rapid prototyping is the perfect methodology to create that path.

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Topics:

Marketing Strategy
Published on October 6, 2015

Recent Articles

Video Marketing: What Your 2022 Business Video Strategy Must Include
January 17, 2022 • 10 min read
8 Crucial Elements Every Homepage Should Have [+Video]
January 15, 2022 • 6 min read
5 Organizational ‘Cleanses’ To Start Your Year Off On the Right Foot
January 1, 2022 • 6 min read
What Should a 2022 Content Marketing Strategy Include?
December 30, 2021 • 9 min read
17 Business Blog Topics Your Audience Wants You To Write
December 24, 2021 • 11 min read
Brutally Honest Pros and Cons of They Ask, You Answer for Digital Marketing
December 7, 2021 • 10 min read
The Step-by-Step, 12-Month, DIY They Ask, You Answer Implementation Plan
December 2, 2021 • 16 min read
‘The Big 5’ Best Business Blog Topics That Drive Traffic, Leads, and Sales (+ Video)
November 26, 2021 • 9 min read
Why Trust Is the True Currency for Any Business
November 16, 2021 • 5 min read
How To Get Started With They Ask, You Answer: Your First 6 Months
November 11, 2021 • 11 min read
How a Lack of Sales and Leadership Buy-in Is Killing Marketing Morale Worldwide
November 9, 2021 • 6 min read
Free Inbound Marketing Courses and Training
November 5, 2021 • 5 min read
What is the Value of a Digital Marketing Consultant?
November 4, 2021 • 6 min read
Benefits of Online, Peer-to-Peer Learning for Digital Marketers
October 30, 2021 • 8 min read
How is IMPACT Different From Other Agencies?
October 27, 2021 • 5 min read
Why You Might Want to Hire a Marketing Coach Instead of an Agency for Your Business
October 26, 2021 • 7 min read
How To Become a Better Coach (for Business Consultants, Sales Coaches, and Marketing Strategists)
October 20, 2021 • 8 min read
How to Get Your Whole Team to Buy in to They Ask, You Answer
October 19, 2021 • 4 min read
Get Clients To Seek Your Approval, Not the Other Way Around (Podcast)
October 13, 2021 • 1 min read
Why Your Business Always Needs to Invest in Marketing — in Bad Times and Good (+ Video)
October 7, 2021 • 8 min read
How to Grow a Digital Marketing Agency (with Coaching Services)
October 6, 2021 • 6 min read
36 Eye-Opening Inclusive Marketing Statistics That Prove Its Power for 2022
October 6, 2021 • 6 min read
Hire Freelance Writers with Caution (Read this First)
September 27, 2021 • 10 min read
5 Key Elements of a Winning Inbound Marketing Strategy
September 14, 2021 • 14 min read
How to Get the Most Out of Your 2-Week HubSpot Free Trial
September 13, 2021 • 5 min read