Recently, I had the pleasure of doing a guest post on the Lean Blog. The Lean Blog is authored by Mark Graban, a Senior Fellow at the Lean Enterprise Institute and author of the book, Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Satisfaction winner of a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award. Mark went on a un-wired vacation for a few weeks and left his blog in the hands of a few Lean Bloggers. I was honored to be one of them and if you did not see the post, here is an excerpt of it:
Most people think about the marketing process as a function of lead generation and follow-up. They envision the marketing funnel which creates an excellent visual image of collecting prospects and narrowing the field till you produce a customer at the bottom. This image is often times a fair reflection of your marketing budget. You spend most of your money reaching out to the masses. It is an expensive proposition and seldom produces measurable results. However, you can’t just cap the funnel because you never know where your next lead or sale will come from.
The job of marketing is to increase prospects, create better odds in obtaining a customer, and increase the number and dollars per customer. I believe marketing is also responsible for decreasing the dollars in obtaining a customer. I think these five parts can be best served through Lean and more specifically using a Marketing Kanban.
If you introduce Lean into marketing it will not take too long before you are creating a Value Stream Map of the process. Most marketing people do not look at marketing as a process so it may take a seasoned mapper to facilitate. Without drilling down too far in the process you can gather numbers of prospects in each segment and the conversion rates as they proceed through your value stream. Typically to accomplish this you must use only one marketing channel at a time or segment your list by a category. When first mapping the process, use the best defined channel so that you do not fight the process. The Value Stream Map created will be the outline for your Kanban.
It continues on and ends with this paragraph:
Don’t think of Kanban as a planning tool; 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 may result in an increase in sales and decrease in expenses. That’s marketing!
Then entire post can be read on the Lean Blog.
Mark was a guest on my podcast last year and it resulted in two posts on entirely different subjects.
A Lean Experts Guide to Blogging and Twitter
Mark Graban of the Lean Blog discusses Lean Healthcare