G U E S T A R T I C L E
Is there a reason to use Lean in Sales and Marketing?
Do you have to be practicing Lean in the rest of the company?
Is Lean Marketing the same as Agile Marketing?
How does A3 problem solving relate to Marketing?
Why is Social Media so Lean?
Can your company ever complete a Lean Transformation without Sales on board?
What does Knowledge Creation have to do with Lean?
What are the Lean Marketing Tools?
How would you create a Lean Transformation?
Develop stronger partnerships with your customers?
Provide a methodology to become more precise in your sales and marketing?
Begin a continuous improvement program in your sales and marketing?
When you first hear the terms Lean and Value Stream most of our minds think about manufacturing processes and waste. Putting the words marketing behind both of them is hardly creative. Whether Marketing meets Lean under this name or another it will be very close to the Lean methodologies develop in software primarily under the Agile connotation. This book is about bridging that gap. It may not bring all the pieces in place, but it is a starting point for creating true iterative marketing cycles based on not only Lean principles but more importantly Customer Value.
It is not about being in a cozy facility or going to Gemba on the factory floor. It is about starting with collaboration with your customer and not ending there. It is about creating Sales Teams that are made up of different departments not other sales people. It is about using PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) through-out the marketing cycle with constant feedback from customers that can only occur if they are part of the process. It is about creating value in your marketing that a customer needs to enable him to make a better decision.
It is about managing a Value Stream Process. This is going to require re-thinking about the way you do business and the way you think about your markets. More importantly the way you think about Value. Value in terms of how your market defines it. Stop thinking about product or even product benefits. Your marketing systems must support the delivery of value to your customer at a much higher rate than your competitor. Targeting that Value proposition through the methods described in this book will increase your ability to deliver quicker and more accurately than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.
We use the Lean Marketing HouseTM as a way of introducing Lean. In Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated by Womack and Jones, the authors introduced five core concepts:
- Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product family.
- Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
- Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
- As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
- As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.
The book uses the symbolic Lean House to symbolize the five basic principles of Lean:
1. Identify Value (Roof)
2. Map Value Stream (Header)
3. Create Flow (Value Stream – Pillars)
4. Establish Pull (Foundation)
5. Seek Perfection (Base)
In addition to these five sections, the book also includes a section on Lean Tools and Tips for the marketing process. The book consistst of 112 pages and over 40,000 words. The book is the first in the series of the Marketing with Lean Program.
It’s a different concept that I believe is imperative to the future of marketing. Think of the touch points you have with a customer. Is each one of them creating value? When your customer moves from one stage to the next stage, do you make it value driven? In the truest form of the meaning a Lean Marketing company should only have two components: An introduction to a new lead and the acceptance of an order. All other components would be considered wasteful and are candidates for elimination. If you consider each item that you deliver to a customer of something value that he is paying for in essence he accepts an order each and every time. Do you create valuable enough content that your customer would pay to get it?
Marketing has to address value and the content they are distributing. As important, they have to address the time or the stream of their marketing system. The acceleration or throughput is extremely important. Creating systems within our process that are efficient and propels customers through Value Stream is imperative. Our days of leaving non-responsive customers on our mailing list, online or offline are ending. Creating advertising to the masses and expecting a reasonable return has already ended for small and maybe even medium-size businesses. These statements are not meant to say that we only market to someone for 90 or 120 days and that’s it. It is more inline that we have to create interactive platforms that allow our customers to interact at their leisure, their timing and at their discretion. A good description of pull marketing, but how do you manage a stream?
You must understand your Value Stream well enough to have a throttle. You must know where your constraint is, maybe even on a seasonal basis. You must address indicators that are built into your process and not built into month-end reports. Do you have a monitoring system that lets you know? Do you adjust your marketing message accordingly? Are you improving your stream with better information to qualify yourself to the customer? If you are proving a higher value of information to the customer, does that propel you through their decision-making process?
About the author:
Joe Dagger is a Freelancer working in Sales and Marketing using Lean Practices based on the above title; The Simplicity of Lean. His work is about DOING sales and marketing with a little Service Design mixed in. See Joe’s full profile at LinkedIn.
The article first appeared on Business901 website.
Copyrighted Material: The article has been published with permission from the author. Title picture is not associated with the original writing and property of our sponsor Designplex.ca.
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