Never a Shortage of Supply: Marketing Advice


Share on LinkedIn

Many organizations procrastinate on their marketing efforts. They already have another job or working on a sufficient number of bids. When they finally reach out for marketing assistance, what they are looking for is sales. They often seek a social media strategist because it seems free and with something “clever” an army of followers will appear. On the more traditional side, people start out marketing creating brochures, advertisements and other marketing collateral. Neither will work without limiting your view on what marketing can accomplish. The secret is effective marketing needs to become part of the way you do business; it is not an event.

An example of this type of thinking in the new wave of “innovation” symbolized so well with the success of the Lean StartupTM concept. Lean Startup is a strong buzzword these days along with Service Design and Design Thinking. They are becoming an integral part in successful companies today. You can see how I view the three (SDCA-PDCA-EDCA) together in the Lean Scale-up.  I am perceived at times as anti-Lean Startup because I am unwilling to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I believe strongly that we must grow from our core. Nothing wrong with innovation, but it is only a percentage of what you do. We have to create a mix in our marketing and our businesses; SDCA ____%, PDCA ____%, EDCA ____%.

This mix has to be balanced along with time, money, and skill with people affecting all three. If you don’t, people/organizations will grab that next “silver bullet” for marketing, thinking that is the answer. The question you might want to ask, what percentage of these resources are you willing to risk on upcoming contracts? Can you take a 25% hit if the new idea does not work? This is why you reduce the risk by creating a certain % of standard work. Also, you should dedicate a % to PDCA and a % to EDCA. This way we learn by doing with little risk and still have upside potential.

I like to delay the starting “new” marketing ideas initially in an engagement. I need to categorize and develop the idea and practice of standard work. If I don’t, the tendency is to jump into EDCA (Lean Startup) and try to create a silver bullet. Standard Work consists of understanding the basic Lean principles and an understanding of value, the product/services you offer and the markets you serve. From that, we can grow through PDCA by addressing either an improvement on a market or a product/service. Doing it this way, we build a culture of continuous improvement so that the organization is ready for innovation. EDCA is the third leg of the journey. I would recommend starting there only if you have no core value proposition and are at risk of closing if something dramatic does not happen.

As you can see, I talk little about marketing tools and material. What tools and strategies you use are all dependent on what the market tells us. I would encourage to experiment with many and standardize a few. Trials should be small and directed so that mistakes are early and at a minimal cost. I try to look at things through an appreciate inquiry lens, using SOAR more than SWOT. This way we expand on the positive versus trying to find waste. Waste becomes what disappears, or we stop using. We only have so much time. 

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.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here