Let us start this way. Leaning down is a necessity to stay healthy. Don’t we all agree to this? This theory is simple but applies to almost everything that we see, starting from human body to corporates. Every organization today agrees on a point that lean is an integrated part of the business processes. By all means we need to get rid of the wastes from the system to stay in the competition. There’s no dispute over it.
Lean has been perceived so far as applicable to manufacturing or services. Lean gives us tools and methodologies to eliminate wastes from the process and establish a seamless flow through the value chain. Again that’s correct. But, we are just not happy with this much. This generation wants more. Why don’t we apply lean in marketing, especially in the small businesses or in startups? Yes we can. The way the world is becoming competitive day by day we need to look at lean marketing absolutely seriously. Precisely the small businesses and startups who work on a tight budget and flow of cash, they can’t do without lean marketing.
At the top level there are two things, 1. Cash flow 2. Effective usage of marketing channels. The small businesses or startups probably need to shout louder to the target audience. They need to tell the world about their business but on the contrary they run on tight budget. And this simply means, while they need to make use of all marketing avenues they can’t afford to lose a penny on waste. Let us now see how we can align lean techniques in marketing.
The first is of course the customer and the voice of customer, as lean starts. While the buyers are our customers, we have other parameters also like the sales team and supply from production. The work will begin with identifying the right customer set, the target market. The marketing needs to be just what is needed in the current scenario based on how much we can produce and how much our sales team can sale. So the value chain we tie up all parameters. Complex, but we need to establish the seamless flow.
The second thing is pricing. Even though many organizations today follow the cost-plus pricing model eventually we are heading towards pay-only-for-what-you-use model. So it’s a mandate that we identify the values. Customer do not care how much we have spent on building the product, they will only pay how much it’s worth.
The third is identifying the right marketing channels for the business. Cost is one parameter. Outreach is the necessity. Along with the conventional marketing channels we now have choice of social media and mobile marketing. Apparently digital marketing is lower cost and if used properly can give high RoI. And this process is continuous. We need to keep on reviewing the solutions at balanced intervals because we can’t afford to spend a penny on something that is not producing result as expected.
Yes, in the course we need to define the waste. So don’t get confused when you see the wastes such as a lost customer, a sales lead that is not followed-up, a rejected quotation, a mail shot that does not get a response.
Now we say lean marketing is the future of marketing in business or startup. For our clients we work out the marketing plan based on 5P model, which we will discuss sometime in more detail.