Archive for Marketing with Lean
When I started writing my blog post yesterday, Lean Offers a Variety of Choices to drive a Nail, it was actually meant to be this one. I somehow, which is not difficult for me, wandered off on a completely different thought process. My initial conversation was directed at the similarities between Outcome-Based Mapping and how you can use similar tools such as the SIPOC (Supplier – Input – Process – Output – Customer).
I use a SIPOC before doing any process or value stream mapping process. It is a useful tool ensuring that you get all the steps aligned. In Outcome-Based Mapping, I use a very similar approach in structuring and explaining the process. When introducing OBM, I create a very definable current state. We can do this for services or sales and marketing.
First list the activities of the organization which consists of Inputs, Activities, and Outputs.
- The inputs are the resources you direct at the effort. I typically consider these to be Time, Money and Skill (People) and I might just add the word capacity. It is what we are capable of getting done. It is current state.
- Activities are based on what we do. We may do webinars, mailings, advertising, etc. All of our activities are supported by the dedicated resources.
- Outputs are what these activities accomplish. We may create website visitors, podcast listeners, readers reached, sales calls made. etc. This is what we internally accomplish within our organization.
What I like to do is list all inputs separately, activities and outputs generated. Mark down what you know and create a concept map from them. It can get quite messy and confusing. If you can segment, you can list the portion for each activity and also separate out the outputs from these activities. There could be one or many. Messy is OK.
If you have created a process map or a marketing funnel before you have most of this already done. The difference now in the outcome based mapping approach is that I skip the outcomes right now and list my boundary partners that our effected through my outputs. This incorporates any type of buyers, distributors, service centers, referrals and other that assist, not only in the purchase but also in influencing the bigger picture, the impact of what we are trying to accomplish.
This impact is the overall goal of our users that Job-to-be-done (Jobs to Be Done Mindmap) type thinking. It is not an outcome; outcomes are what we work for. Impacts are what we hope for. It is OK to make this a stretch and push it out a little we can always refine it. Most marketing plans and most people/organizations think in a transactional way and stop here.
This is where organizations that build eco-systems and platforms start. As I said before, outcomes are what we work for. It is a change in behavior, attitudes, conditions, knowledge, and status (BACKS). In OBM, we look at three basic outcomes, Expect to See, Like to See and Love to See. Within each of these outcomes, you can identify the BACKS of any given Boundary Partner that fit in each one of the three categories. There is little difference than what you might do when segmenting customers into multiple marketing funnels. The difference is that we are identifying BACKS measurement as the prime mover of influence.
Within the confines of our organizations, we are spending valuable resources on managing change and developing self-organizing teams. However, we are doing little to take the same approach with customers. We still believe that we can dictate our preferences upon them or that we can move them down the marketing funnel into a transactional event (Value Stream Mapping should be left on the Shop Floor). We even talk about ideal customers and getting rid of those that don’t fit. We do little to develop a structure to understand, facilitate and cooperate with the Behavior, Attitudes, Conditions, Knowledge, and Status of our partners and customers.
Using an Outcome-Based approach we identify the BACKS. We evaluate our outputs based on how the BACKS are improved. This is a true measurement of the customer experience. If we intend to build a sustainable business, if we intend to build a platform or have our own eco-system; we have to understand our customers and partners better. I think this approach is an excellent alternative. Your thoughts?
Outcome Mapping: Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs
The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox: A Complete Guide to Program Effectiveness, Performance Measurement, and Results
Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do
In the Outcome-Based Mapping approach, we view the outcomes as the central part of our theme. We recognize that a change of behavior must occur for us to achieve our goals or make the desired impact that wish to obtain. In traditional sales and marketing we can develop the simplest of all marketing funnels based on a pre-purchase, purchase (buy), and post purchase. We have a tendency to complicate this into numerous steps and activities. When we view an outcome-based approach we like to separate the group very similarly into Expect to see, like to see and love to see.
The major difference is that, in most marketing funnels, we view activities of both the supplier and the customer as opposing reactions, much like two boxers squaring off at each other. In Outcome-Based mapping, we separate our activities that we are doing and our outputs from the partner. We monitor and evaluate if individuals/organizations change or benefit as a result of their participation with us. If we have a positive influence, we assist our partner to move from expect to like to love. We focus on behaviors not activities and not processes. We are constantly adapting our viewpoint to meet the partner’s needs within the segment. So many of us try to force fit customers into a predefined path and achieve the ultimate outcome, a sale. We talk about win-win but pay salespeople based on closed sales. We leave up to our sales department to balance the outcomes and maximize the opportunities within them.
The drawing above is not an attempt to show differences instead it demonstrates the existing alignment. The change that must occur is to identify the behaviors, boundary partners or boundary personas we dare say, within each column and seek to understand and emphasize why that persona exists in that space. Most of the time we market horizontally to a persona and identify the actions needed to persuade them. In this approach the persona, identified by behaviors exist within the outcomes. I like to think of using Cap-Do as an evaluation tool within these columns as required. Our core strength and core competencies are embedded in the inputs, activities and outputs of our organizational structure and depicted on the left side of the map.
The example does not prescribe that we never change any organizational practices. It proposes that we monitor and evaluate behaviors and change organizationally (inputs, activities, outputs) from an outside-in approach. This is not meant for every organization. It may not be suited for start-ups trying to find product/market fit. It is very well-suited for companies that desire to grow through intermediaries that will benefit from user engagement and companies scaling that have a defined core competency.
The Outcome Base structure is very compatible with the principles I discuss in Lean Sales and Marketing. The map outline above is not for the entire organization. It is for only one segment or what we call the boundary partner. We do you not develop what I would call a pure Product Value Stream. Instead, it would be based on Boundary Partners or Sales Channels using an outside-in approach. It is strikingly the same as the Lean Marketing House structure and the original value stream layouts that I have used. Each pillar represents a different boundary partner and the sub-roof (User/Impact) can have multiple layers. For more information visit the Lean Marketing House eBook page.
How would you start something like this? I will show a few outlines in the upcoming weeks but initially I would start by taking a Cap-Do approach. Understanding your core competencies and more importantly how your customer views them is imperative in building an outcome-based approach.
Definitions and Overview: Mapping Expectations of Customer Behavior
Lean Sales and Marketing: Learn about using CAP-Do
I have a section in my office that I call the dirty book shelf. It is where books reside that have been marked up, highlighted, dog-eared and pretty much defaced. Most of them by now have a mind map that I have created. It was not till several months ago that I actually finally created a mind map of the Jobs to Be Done process. It is from one of my favorite books that resides on that shelf, What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services by Anthony Ulwick, CEO of Strategyn, INC.
In the Jobs to Be Done space, I assume from my research that Anthony is the originator of the thought, but Clayton Christensen has helped popularized the concept. On this theory though, I am staying with Ulwick’s work and have used it numerous times. It works! Below is my rendition of it.
Tony Ulwick says, “”Success in innovation doesn’t come from understanding the customer. It comes from a deep understanding of the job the customer is trying to get done.”
They simply don’t exist. I see people building Persona after Persona targeting that Ideal Customer. The problem that exists is that ideal customers are few and far between. In a recent blog post, A Persona Board deserves a Place at the Table, I described creating User Personas from your existing customers and then grouping them into quadrants based on product/market fit or relationships. The purpose of this is not so much to learn about customers as it is to learn about yourself and your core capabilities.
A fun exercise once you have created customer (user) personas, is to segment them according to how they fit in the quadrants mentioned in the above post. Then start asking these questions and others you may think of….
- Which customers buy from you because they dislike the relationship they have with your competitor?
- Which customers buy from you because they like the relationship they have with you?
Product/Service (I will only use Product going forward) Customers:
- Which customers buy from you because you have a better value proposition (price/function) than your competitor?
- Which prospects buy from your competitor because they like the relationship they have with your competitor?
- Which prospects buy from your competitor because they dislike the relationship they have with you?
- Which prospects buy from your competitor because your competitor has a better value proposition (price/function) than you?
Marketing is in the business of creating customers. If we want to create a customer, we must take a divergent view versus a convergent view. Most marketing schemes, funnels and all that stuff are great at telling you how to manipulate a customer through the process to create a buyer, but few of them tell you how to create targeted prospects. A simple process is to use existing Customer Personas and create Prospect/Competitor Personas based on Relationship or Product groups.
When we look at the existing differences, we start identifying key points that we can address to gain access to others. In the Lean world, we call these opportunities gaps. We identify these gaps, and create different scenarios on how to close the existing gaps. We seek to understand why prospects may or may not move towards a target.
When viewing this from a structural tension metaphor, we will notice resistance as we try to coerce the customer towards the new target or condition. See my blog post, A New Approach to Lean with Robert Fritz.. We will oscillate between these two positions unless we can find common agreement of purpose. I like using the Theory of Constraints Evaporating Cloud (How to See the Other Side of a Conversation) as the way to resolve the difference. If we can find an overall purpose that will become a shared understanding – it resolves the conflict, it creates an opportunity for us to give an opportunity for prospects to move from one particular state to a different (closer to our thinking) state. It is the shared understanding that must exist to create the change in state.