Step 6: Marketing Channels

Step 6: What were the different marketing channels the customer participated in? (Think Up – Branding)

marketing channels

This is where we collect the standard work or our activities and outputs on this card. I have created 6 groups and 21 different categories. Please create your own and use this only as a guideline. The hardest part of this is the discipline to do it. Since this is only a workshop, capture all of your marketing collateral used for this value stream. If you are only using one client for this entire exercise, try to capture all of the marketing collateral you used to capture him throughout the entire funnel (Empower, Engage, Explore)

The activities are defined as the actions that are needed to implement your program. Or, activities are what you do with the resources to achieve your desired outcomes. Outputs are the tangible, and direct products or results of our activities. They will lead to desired outcomes—benefits for prospects, customers, partners or the participants. Depending on the volume of outputs and activities that you have will determine whether you separate the outputs and activities in a typical outcome-based program.

In marketing, outputs are the marketing channels that we use. I use an approach that categories twenty-one activities into six groups. With a client, I will do an assessment of his existing structures. Often, I will create a seventh group extracting the Sales and Business Components into a separate group. Note, that these are not sacred and you may choose to have less or more. These are just a starting point versus giving you a blank page. Don’t get too specific, the number of activities should be determined by what you can effectively manage. What I mean is that there is a clear definition between the groups, but there should be a group of actual to-dos for example within the activities. Each activity should not be a basic task.

Marketing Channels

  1. PR
    1. Public Relations (PR)
    2. Unconventional PR
  1. Referral
    1. Viral Marketing
    2. Affiliate Programs
    3. Existing Platforms (Amazon, Google, etc.)
  1. Advertising
    1. Social and Display Ads
    2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM – PPC)
    3. Offline Ads
  1. Social Media
    1. Content Marketing
    2. Email Marketing
    3. Engineering as Marketing
    4. Target Market Blogs
    5. Community Building
  1. Web
    1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    2. Social Media Optimization
    3. Website
  1. In-Person
    1. Sales
    2. Trade Shows
    3. Offline Events
    4. Speaking Engagements
    5. Business Development (Partnering)

Once we have determined our activities/channels, we gather our existing information, our marketing collateral that supports these activities. This is collateral can be website links, PDFs, links to our email accounts, etc. We want to collect and cataloged all existing and current marketing efforts.

What you should experience is struggle in how you handle a few of the outputs. Outputs are generally bigger than activities, and a loose but good definition of them could be that dreaded word…campaigns. Switching to the correct wording of experiments, we will list our current experiments. Group any collateral underneath them that is needed to carry out the experiment.  I do not get too deep into this part of the program at the outset.

You might use a separate Trello board to catalog these and even the Inputs (Resources) on a separate board if you would like. I may go even as far as having 21 separate columns on the board. I will also store in Google Drive or Dropbox the marketing collateral. What I want to do is to be able to create a basic system that is categorized that I can link to when distributing and use the material within the Funnel (Empower, Engage, Explore). Using a system like Trello allows me to capture comments without changing documents for instance.

I find most organizations/people want to start quantifying these activities. However, most have neither had existing metrics or cataloged them correctly to obtain a data set without a high degree of variability. There may be just too many what-ifs to account for. However, focusing our measurements at this point will be a distraction. If there are present measures, it is useful to note them. Once we determine our measurements within the actual funnel (Empower, Engage, Explore), we can come back and address the necessary and proper measurements.

These activities/outputs should not be a collection of changes you hope to produce, but they do help us evaluate our implementation. At this point, we are documenting what we do. We are listing our standard work said in Lean terms.

This is another area that I use the Vision Deployment Matrix that was introduced on Day 2 – Levels of Perspective. Also, a review of the Lean Scale-Up book is recommended before determining your inputs. Both are worth revisiting.

When reviewing the inputs, there are notes on each individual card to help with completing them. Remember, to do this exercise for the individual Marketing Segment, Value Stream or Persona that you are working on at this moment or on this board.

Video Overview:

A good book on this subject is Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth (though it primarily deals with Start-Ups): My interview and a link to the podcast with the author of Traction:

Marketing Channel PDF:

Marketing Channel Excel:

Beginning: Funnel of Opportunity Introduction

Previous Page:  Step 5: Sales/Marketing Activities – 3 E’s        Next Page:  Step 7: Resources/Investments