Marketing with Lean

Communities Just Don’t Happen Mind Map 0

I have gotten out of the habit making as many mind maps as I once did. It is probably because the amount of books that I now have on Kindle. My current tendency is to highlight and make electronic notes in the book itself. It has replaced the post-it-notes inside the books on my bookshelf. However, I recently was reading The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups that I not only littered in post-it-notes but had an outstanding chapter on communities that I could have just highlighted the whole chapter. Instead, I made the following mind map.

Community

Download PDF: Communities Just Don’t Happen

I had first found the book as a result of researching work by Bill Baker on the Seven Norms of Collaboration. These are a set of tools to create productive communication:

  1. Pausing
  2. Paraphrasing
  3. Probing for Specificity
  4. Putting ideas on the table
  5. Paying attention to self and others
  6. Presuming positive intentions
  7. Pursuing a balance between advocacy and inquiry

My first thoughts about both of these items; “What a great set of sales tools!” 

What are yours?

Update on Marketng with PDCA 0

Marketing with PDCA is about managing a value stream using PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Using the new SALES PDCA Framework throughout the marketing cycle will provide constant feedback from customers, and 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.

Targeting that value proposition through the SALES PDCA 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 facilitate the journey to customer value.

This book also introduces the Kanban as a planning tool or, as I like to think about it, as an execution tool. Improving your marketing process does not have to constitute wholesale changes nor increased spending. Getting more customers into your Marketing Kanban may not solve anything at all. Improving what you do and increasing the speed that you do it can result in an increase in sales and a decrease in expenses.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Lean Marketing House
  2. Future of Marketing
  3. Marketing Funnels
  4. Cycles to Loops
  5. Knowledge Management
  6. PDCA
  7. Sales and Marketing Teams
  8. Kanban
  9. SALES PDCA
  10. Marketing with PDCA Summary
  11. Marketing with PDCA Case Study
  12. Constancy of Purpose
  13. Marketing with Lean Program Series

SALES PDCA is the framework I use for the process that takes place in the customer groups. It is nothing more than a standard PDCA cycle except the SALES part of the framework is where the sales team gets its directions and coaching from the team coordinator and value stream manager. Within the actual PDCA stage the sales team is empowered to make their own choices and determine their own direction to accomplish the goals of that cycle. This framework is introduced in the Marketing with PDCA book.

The individual stages of the SALES – PDCA framework are as follows:

Select the initial problem perception
Analyze the current knowledge of the process
Locate the people who understand the process
Empower the team
Select the improvement that needs to take place
Plan the improvement that needs to take place and plan the change
Do it the new way, execute the plan.
Check the results of the plan to determine whether the plan worked.
Act on the results. If the plan worked, standardize the change. If it didn’t work, readjust and go through the cycle again.

Lean Sales and Marketing is built upon the philosophy that there has been a subtle shift to knowledge as the way to engage, develop and retain your customer base. The sales and marketing team must act as a vehicle to cultivate ideas not only within their four walls but more importantly from their customers and markets. If this is true, how do create new knowledge? How do we learn? Most studies show that we learn best by doing and by being forced to resolve our perspective with those of others who disagree with us. This means that you have to encourage contradictions and be willing to push the envelope with your customers.

This is a strange paradox. Disagreement with your customer can hardly be seen as a positive mechanism for sales and marketing. However, it is the embracement of this understanding that will move your sales and marketing efforts to a higher level of performance.

Can you disagree with a customer? Can you purposely cause tension? You must! You must move away from the comfort zone and create a healthy tension and instability in your sales and marketing process. The first step in doing this is that you must create an atmosphere of respect. The next step in the process is surprisingly easy but difficult to do. It is the process of reflection or in Japanese, hansei. There are three key components of hansei:

  1. Recognize that there is a problem – a gap between expectations and achievement – and be open to negative feedback.
  2. Voluntarily take responsibility and feel deep regret.
  3. Commit to a specific course of action to improve.

The first step, acknowledge that there is room for improvement is not that difficult. However, putting a number to it may be a different story. When we create a performance gap we identify 2 things, one where we are at now and where do we want to go. Of course we may not get there overnight but there will be limitations. You have to determine what is realistic to achieve. A simple but effective way of looking at it is, “From what to what by when”. The second step can simply be stated – don’t look for excuses. Take responsibility, feel a little humility and move forward. Without this, you will never fully release from the past and it may be much more difficult to bring fresh ideas to the table. This is your action plan to move forward. However, without step 2, you will seldom be passionate about step 3. It will just be another effort and ownership will be limited. Ownership cannot be done without an emotional attachment.

The steps of Respect first, Reflection second will drive the 3rd step of Kaizen or continuous improvement. This is the process and culture of PDCA in your marketing cycle. It is the embodiment of tension, a performance gap to send you off on a new path. This path acts as expanding spiral of co-creation of knowledge with your customer that will be truly valued. THE ABILITY TO SHARE AND CREATE KNOWLEDGE WITH YOUR CUSTOMER is the strongest marketing tool possible. Few companies will take this path. Few companies will take the time to develop the level of respect required. Even fewer will use Hansei and look at performance gaps releasing their own pre-determined reasons. Few will ever practice continuous improvement in sales and marketing.

Purchase Marketing with PDCA


Lean Service Design Program Offer 0

Lean Service Design changes the way you think about business. No longer can companies focus their efforts on process improvements. Instead, they must engage the customer in use of their product/service rather than analyzing tasks for improvement. We no longer build and hope that there is a demand. We must create demand through the services that we offer and Lean Service Design is the enabler of this process. It changes our mindset of thinking about design at the end of the supply chain to make it look good and add a few appealing features.Lean Service Design Instead, it moves Design and the user themselves to co-create or co-produce the desired experience to the beginning of the supply chain.

Or, purchase the Lean Service Design Program!

Purchase the 130 page PDF for download, Lean Service Design

The umbrella of Lean offers Service Design a method of entry into a well-established market. Lean has been very successful in Services and Design through traditional practices. However, we must move away from these traditions and institute a wider scope of Design to Services. This download contains a 130-page PDF book, workbook with forms, PDFs and training videos.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 – Lean (SDCA)
  • Chapter 2 – Service (PDCA)
  • Chapter 3 – Design (EDCA)
  • Chapter 4 – Trilogy

In addition, for a limited time, I have included 2 popular eBooks from the Marketing with Lean Series:

  1. Lean Engagement Team (More Info): The ability to share and create knowledge with your customer is the strongest marketing tool possible.
  2. CAP-Do (More Info): What makes CAP-Do so attractive is that it assumes we do not have the answers. It allows us to create a systematic way to address the problems (pain) or opportunities (gain) from the use of our products and services.

Or, purchase the Lean Service Design Program!

Purchase the 130 page PDF for download, Lean Service Design

Connect with Me on LinkedIn and Mention the Date of the Blog Post

I will send you a Free PDF of The Lean Marketing House

A few reasons to consider the Lean Marketing House book:

  1. Is there a reason to use Lean in Sales and Marketing?
  2. Do you have to be practicing Lean in the rest of the company?
  3. Is Lean Marketing the same as Agile Marketing?
  4. How does A3 problem solving relate to Marketing?
  5. Why is Social Media so Lean?
  6. Can your company ever complete a Lean Transformation without Sales on board?
  7. What does Knowledge Creation have to do with Lean?
  8. Develop stronger partnerships with your customers?
  9. Provide a methodology to become more precise in your sales and marketing?
  10. Begin a continuous improvement program in your sales and marketing?

Book Description: 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.

Or, purchase the Lean Service Design Program!

Purchase the 130 page PDF for download, Lean Service Design

Market towards Opportunity 0

Last week, I discussed My Current 7 Step Marketing Outline which lays out the outline for what I would call The Funnel of Opportunity.  As I said in that post:

In most sales and marketing schemes we like to build what we call a Sales Funnel or Marketing Funnel. In the service world, we have learned to create customer journey maps. Both serve the purpose of trying to manipulate a customer through this selective path to arrive at the ultimate goal that WE DESIRE FOR OUR CUSTOMER. I have discussed this before, but the biggest problem I see in this train of thought, outside of thinking that we can manipulate the customer, is that we narrow our customer base.

I went on to say in the post:

Why create funnels that narrow the opportunity to create a customer? Why would we market too many to find a few? I just struggle with that line of thinking. When we market this way, we reach beyond our capabilities to find prospects so that we can have that select few that buy. Not only is this expensive, but it does not always assure that we get the right prospects/customers buying. Why don’t we create Funnels of Opportunity for us as suppliers versus Funnels of Exclusion for buyers?

My podcast guest tomorrow, Craig Elias, author of Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers, expressed a similar thought and how seldom it is used.

An Excerpt from the podcast: 


Joe Dager: I think that’s a great lesson to be learned. It’s a great way to take a look and it’s like you’ve started marketing towards an opportunity versus trying to market towards problems. Shift

Craig Elias: That is a big piece and here’s what I find interesting. I had really 3 big epiphanies in that summer of 2002. The first epiphany was I just got to find people that are unhappy and thinking of changing. When you call someone like that, they’ll say, “You know what, I’m thinking about changing. Why don’t you phone me back in December.” You phone him back in December, and it drives you crazy because they’ve already made a decision. When the next time someone hears “I’m thinking of changing” you need to know those are the perfect prospects. Right, if there’s a fit.

My first epiphany, the window of dissatisfaction, my second epiphany, these triggers or events, I call them trigger events that shift people from one buying mode to the next, but my third big epiphany was the fact the for the first time in 20 years, what I had done, instead of analyzing my losses like my bosses always said, “If you lose the business, you never lose the lesson”. You would conduct a lost sales analysis.

For the first time in 20 years, I did a WON sales analysis, W-O-N, analyzed the business I had won and then out of curiosity, I actually went to the internet to learn more about this process of analyzing your wins and I started with a generic search of sales analyses. Go to Google, type between quotes the two words “sales analysis.” The importance of the quotes is that’s a phrase, so the search results have to contain those two words together in that order. I found about a million pages on the internet. I said to myself, “Well, I’m not going to read a million pages.” So, how do I go, like how do I refine the search? I added the word lost to this phrase, “lost sales analysis.” I found 50,000 pages on the internet, and I said to myself, “I’m not going to read 50,000 pages. Why don’t I just replace the word Lost and add the word Won? So, now I’m looking for a phrase, Won Sales Analysis.” In the summer of 2002, I did that search. Do you want to guess how many pages on the internet talked about how to analyze your Wins, so you can repeat them?

Joe Dager: I would say under 10.

Craig Elias: Good answer. The answer was 2. I’m totally flabbergasted about it all the time and energy people spend analyzing sales. They talk about, look at all the stuff they lose, and they lose more than they win and try to guess or hope they can figure out how to win next time around. My epiphany was “Hey, forget the lost sales analysis. Let’s outsource that to somebody else. But as an entrepreneur, salesperson, whatever, I need to do my own Won sales analysis because that analysis turns on that selective perception and has you seeing that car, or all the customers are prospects that just had a similar event.

Joe Dager: People that listen to this podcast, will know you’re singing my tune. We’ve talked a lot on this podcast about appreciative inquiry, what we call SOAR. We are looking at strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results. It’s the way I frame sales. So, you’re beating to the right drum on this podcast, Craig.


Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

Special Marketing with Lean Book and Program offers on Facebook

Lean Marketing House Giveaway 0

Connect with Me on LinkedIn and Mention the Date of the Blog Post

I will send you a Free PDF of The Lean Marketing House

A few reasons to consider the Lean Marketing House book:

  1. Is there a reason to use Lean in Sales and Marketing?
  2. Do you have to be practicing Lean in the rest of the company?
  3. Is Lean Marketing the same as Agile Marketing?
  4. How does A3 problem solving relate to Marketing?
  5. Why is Social Media so Lean?
  6. Can your company ever complete a Lean Transformation without Sales on board?
  7. What does Knowledge Creation have to do with Lean?
  8. Develop stronger partnerships with your customers?
  9. Provide a methodology to become more precise in your sales and marketing?
  10. Begin a continuous improvement program in your sales and marketing?

Book Description: 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:

  1. Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product family.
  2. Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
  3. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  4. As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
  5. 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)

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 have 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 is this how you manage a marketing funnel?

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?

How to Create a Story for your Organization 0

The Nonprofit Narrative: How Stories Can Save the World authored by Dan Portnoy is one of the best introductions on how to tell your story as a For-Profit or Non-Profit organization. This might be an endorsement; I own the book in both audio and as a Kindle. The book is short, to the point and will make an impact on how you tell your organization’ story. Dan can be found at The Portnoy Media Group.

Dan is my podcast guest this week. Below is an excerpt from the podcast.


Joe Dager: Should every story have a hero and a villain?

Dan Portnoy: Classically, yes. I think the other thing that I really find is that the hero can be a non-profit but it also in more effective campaigns and probably in the next edition of the book it will be, but the hero is actually the audience, and that means the non-profit functions or the organization has to function as a mentor. So, thinking through that in story terms is that if you’re Obi-wan, you have to shepherd Luke along. You don’t know how everything’s going to go, but you do know that there’s a force, and you do know that there’s space, and there’s a big world and there’s a Darth Vader and there’s you know. You know all of these things, so you can prep your audience for the journey, and that’s really important.

I think beyond that, I think every organization is fighting something, and I think it’s really easy when you start targeting for profit terms I think there could be something that is villainized. Yes. So, I think, and that makes the story telling process a lot easier.

Joe Dager: Oh, I can just pick my competitor, “I could villainize him, can’t I?…

Listen tomorrow for the answer, it may not be what you think!


Bonus: Here’s 3 quick tips to tell a better story today.

The Nonprofit Narrative: How Stories Can Save the World

Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do

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7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Marketing 0

I wrote these steps several years ago. In Monday’s post, I will update these 7 steps to my current thinking. I wonder how much has to be changed. Any suggestions?

  1. Develop a Customer Persona. Remember, though the commonality does have to be centered around your product/service, you may find out drawing a stick person and labeling their features will help you in defining your market. Why is this step so important? When you develop a target message, referral system, advertising products and lead generation tactics it will help you be more concise and directed in your efforts. The better picture you paint, the better the demographics.
  2. Develop a brand: If you have been in business or your business has been developed because of your expertise, guess what, you have a brand. Simply ask three customers
    to find out who you are. Ask several non-customers why they do not buy from you. You will find out what you are not! If you want to be somebody different, changing that perception will cost you marketing dollars and time. It might be easier to buy a company that has the brand you
    want. However, before you write the check, go ask three of their customers.
  3. What have you done for me today? You must become part of your customer’s life. The more you interact on a regular basis the more value you will be able to provide. If you do anything less than this, you run the risk of being commoditized and competing day in and day out on
    pricing.
  4. Planning: Jim Rohn said, "Never begin the day until it is finished on paper." We have all heard it before but why do few of us do it? It is difficult, but the rewards are tremendous. Develop a 90-day marketing plan to start. Touch your referral network as often as you touch your customers, If you do not touch them at least monthly, they probably are not customers.
  5. The Sales Process: If you develop this effectively, you will never run out of material or customers. However , if you are like most , your sales process will not self generate good material or the type of customers you are looking for. Use an outline that is adaptable and centers on developing better diagnostics skills. If you do, your PR, testimonials and case studies become abundant and simply stated, you sell more.
  6. Don’t Sell: Efforts should be in creating prospects, not selling. I am not sure anyone "sells" anymore. We create interest through the information we supply and the questions we ask. We interact with our customers to build trust and cooperation. As a result, when there is opportunity, we can involve the right people with the right questions at the right time.
  7. Getting Referrals: Do you think cold calling works? Does asking for referrals work, it certainly does. If you continue to use Step 4 and 5 as building blocks, you will eventually receive enormous amount of referrals. The referrals are just not from customers but vendors, network partners and so on. The development of a referral system is essential.

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