Speed may be the Biggest Determent

The company that gets to the customer first, the company that releases the product first, the company that slides in and closes the sale while you are still waiting to get the final specifications, all demonstrate how important speed is to your marketing success.

Speed is much, much more than the ability to run your customer through your marketing cycle. it is an integral part of building a marketing system that responds to customers needs. Having built in trigger points to help you identify your customers readiness to proceed to the next stage in your Marketing Hourglass is imperative. I discussed handing the baton off in an earlier post and how many times that gets dropped from one stage to the next. It is similar to an athlete starting the season off and building his “speed” back up. Or a student taking the same test after summer break and scoring lower. These things happen because of the lack of activity during the non -value added time that you have identified in your Value Stream Mapping Process. The lack of speed in your marketing process equates to the lack of engagement that you have with your customer. This can be one of the most effective uses of social media and a good content marketing strategy. The engagement of your customer is driven by the needs they identify with your product. Here are some examples of items that may help in decreasing that non-value added time.Skeleton hourglass.jpg

1. Attempting to late or to early to move a customer to the next stage.

2. Not building upon the previous stage by starting with different content. You effectively lose the momentum that was built by the earlier stage.

3. Reinforce the previous stage. Creating the linkages between stages is extremely important. It is a great time for a warm-up.

4. Make sure the customer is on the right airplane. You have been there, even if it is embarrassing when the stewardess says this plane is headed to Detroit, and you are not going there: you are getting off. If a customer is not ready for this stage give him a graceful exit and provide them an opportunity to get off, or you may lose him forever.

5. Make a better offer. Each stage should create a better offer than the previous. You have a more qualified customer at this stage so treat them that way.

6. Create interactive platforms or trials that the customer can use or interact with to solve some of their problems. This happens quite frequently in the construction business when someone leases a bulldozer to a contractor or online with free down-loadable software.

7. A superior call to action, an offer that cannot be refused to go the next stage.

Even with these improvements, without a marketing system in place to monitor results and improve upon them, you will fall behind. Speed is not automation. Automation can be a component of developing speed but don’t mistake the use of automation. People even in the online society we have created still want conversation and personal connection surrounding the product. Especially, in a regards to a  service they may purchase. They want a live body behind the curtain or in our case the Marketing Hourglass.

P.S. People mistake Lean for being just about waste. It is more about speed.

Related Information:

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