Lean + Marketing = Connected Customers

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting DIFFERENT results.  Process is doing the same thing over and over and achieving the SAME result.  As I think more and more about the insane habits that can sink a business, I keep coming back to this point:  a well-defined and in-control process tends to reliably produce the results we want and expect.

Recently, I was introduced to Joe Dager at Business 901.  Joe’s take on Lean and Six Sigma is unlike any I’d ever heard of before.  Joe maintains that Lean principles can be applied to marketing.  And, he’s not crazy.  Think about it – what one thing does your business need more than anything else?  Customers.  So, if there is a process for bringing in new and repeat customers, would you not give your left arm for it?  The process for attracting, growing, and maintaining your customer base may be as unique as your business, but what is fundamental is the methodology you use to develop what Seth Godin calls your TRIBE.  Joe’s Lean Marketing might just be your ticket.

As I think about how Lean thinking can shape marketing strategy, it is starting to make sense to me.  The “value stream” is the path that leads otherwise disconnected buyers to your company in such a way that they become willing, able, and eager to buy your products or services.  Rather than throwing advertising darts and hoping to hit a bullseye, Lean Marketing is a systems-view approach to bonding consumers to products.

As consumers, we follow a sub-conscious path to ultimately accept or reject products and services.  First, we have a need, whether it is known to us or not.  Secondly, we become aware of a product or service by some form of advertisement.  Thirdly, through the avenue of marketing, we begin to connect the dots between our needs and the product or service being presented to us.  Lean marketing tansforms those dots into solid lines – solid, connecting lines that ultimately lead us to purchase.  Finally, effective marketing does not end with the purchase.  The purchase is just the first date in what the producer hopes to be a long and lasting relationship with the consumer.

So, you see, it’s a process.  Since Lean attempts to reduce the time between the beginning and the end of a process, Lean Marketing seeks to shorten, simplify, and interconnect the methods, processes, and touch points between first contact and loyal customer.

If I understand the Business 901 principles, this is Lean Marketing.  Follow Joe Dager on Twitter.  He is a brilliant and charismatic guy with a passion to push the limits of conventional Lean thinking.

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