Drucker and Deming = Lean Marketing


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Peter Drucker moved management away from the the command and control theories of the past bringing the concept of setting objectives and allowing teams to work toward them to management practices.

In Lean Marketing practices, I advocated the use of Value Stream Mapping Process to identify:

  1. Customer’s Decision Making Path
  2. Sales and Marketing reaction to support that
  3. Identify the Resources needed
  4. Identify the People needed to deliver it

Once this is identified and organized you are well on your way in creating a great marketing system. Now, all you have do is put it into action. Granted a well-defined problem is half the work but how do you enact it and improve upon the process.

If you review the concept of the Lean Marketing House and the Value Stream Marketing Methodology that I discuss you will notice the Pillars of the house. They represent a particular value stream defined by a particular Customer Market. You could have one or fifty depending on your organization. Many people will relate this to a marketing funnel. This Value Stream is represented by three iterative spirals loops of Collaboration, Sales/Buying and Repeat/Upsell. These loops actually represent individual PDCA cycles.

From Wikpedia: A fundamental principle of the scientific method and PDCA is iteration—once a hypothesis is confirmed (or negated), executing the cycle again will extend the knowledge further. Repeating the PDCA cycle can bring us closer to the goal, usually a perfect operation and output

As the Customer/Prospect travels through their decision making process our marketing efforts are implemented in spirals of increasing knowledge of their process that converges on the ultimate goal – the correct solution for the customer. The spiral gets tighter as we progress. I like to think of it as an increase in cadence. Passing through from one spiral to the next is a result of the customer or better put our increase in knowledge about the customers problem and the match of our proposed solution. This handoff from one PDCA Cycle to the other is typically managed through a control point.

This entire Value Stream(VS) could be managed by one VS Team or it could be passed to another VS Team that manages only that cycle. It all depends on how you set up your organization. Viewing your Value Stream/Marketing Cycle in this manner creates endless opportunities for improvement. It is also much easier to handle the team concept of Sales and Marketing with a thought process of continuous improvement.

Deming said, “What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for individual competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis.”

P.S. These two giants Drucker and Deming practically existed on parallel paths. One seemed centered on bring improvement from the bottom to the top and the other on bringing improvement from the top down. I wonder if they ever met?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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