Revisiting the 7 Steps to Improve Your Marketing


Share on LinkedIn

Revisiting the 7 Steps to Improve Your Marketing 0

Last week I wrote a blog post, 7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Marketing  and promised to update this past thinking into a more updated version. However, I fell short of my promise, Wednesday already and I am not ready to jump all the way to current state. This blog post forced me to reflect on the path my sales and marketing efforts have taken over the years. In fact, I came across a few more versions of mine.

One of the most popular outlines that I used was a takeoff on what I have called The 7 step Lean Process of Marketing to Toyota. It was derived from the original Toyota Supplier hierarchy depicted by Liker and Meier in The Toyota Way Fieldbook. This process encouraged me to first look at the customer’s decision path and understanding the role my product or service would play.  So, instead of me creating a funnel to push my marketing process onto my customer, I would understand and support my customer’s needs.

At first glance this may seem a little more than some grandiose plan that is only derived from a consultant’s pen. However, when viewing the Toyota Supplier hierarchy, it starts making a great deal of sense. 

An excerpt from the Blog, The Value Problem with Lean in Sales and Marketing:

This 7 step hierarchy is where I first saw the opportunity to apply Lean to sales and marketing. If I was marketing to Toyota (The 7 step Lean Process of Marketing to Toyota), I would be seeking to climb the supply chain as a vendor. I have written a great deal on this but what it comes down to is improving my value proposition with my customer and the marketplace. At a micro-level the value proposition is nothing more than a promise that I make in every sales conversation.

The conversation may start with check (CAP-Do) described in my post, Looking and Listening first is not all that Bad of an Idea, Eventually it just turns into PDCA or Kaizen with the customer. It is this knowledge building exercise, this learning cycle that sales people need to be trained in. This PDCA cycle is what creates the pull. Our customer becomes our Sensei.

It continues on…

The pull in Lean at the macro-level is knowledge and understanding of the markets our customers participate in. It is not enough to listen to the voice of the customer or even voice of market. It is the ability to co-create value through PDCA or continuous improvement with the customer. At the micro level it is the conversation. It is building that understanding on what the customer needs (Sales and Service Planning with PDCA). At the Macro or Micro levels, you are not looking to deliver latent knowledge, what you’re doing is looking to develop knowledge, and that new developed knowledge, that new learned knowledge, from the act of PDCA is really the pull. This is the highest level a vendor can achieve with Toyota according to Dr. Liker.

Picture derived from The Toyota Way Fieldbook.

My work derived to understand customer’s or markets and the value proposition that I must offer in relation to how the customer used my product/service. My 7 steps if I was Marketing to Toyota then was very simple and depicted in the picture above.

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