Marke ng with Lean Book Series
Understanding the value that you create with the customer is the star ng point and
will determine the rest of the structure.
Below the roof of the house lays the substructure of a ﬁve‐step Lean process. Lean
is a system focused on and driven by customers. Op mizing value from their eyes
and in an eﬃcient manner takes your processes to a level not experienced before.
The company is supported by several value streams.
Each value stream represents a product (service)/market.
Each Value Stream is supported by
the pillars. These Pillars represent
the Customer’s Journey. It does not
ma er how many pillars you have,
just that each customer journey is
depicted. They may represent; di‐
rect sales, web sales, dealer sales or
may concentrate on other channels
that make more sense.
In a typical customer group, I have deﬁned
three stages or cycles of working with a cus‐
tomer: collabora on, sales/buying and repeat/
upsell. There is nothing to say that there can‐
not be one stage or 12 stages. These stages
were simple created for clarity and explana on
of the process. The nomenclature within each
cycle depicts what might be happening during
that decision process.
You may have one team handling the en re journey or diﬀerent teams working
on each sec on. You may have other groups working horizontally and ver cal‐
ly. It is what makes sense for you and more importantly your customers.
Overview of People:
1. The Value Stream Manager (VSM) represents the product/service markets and
2. The Sales and Marke ng Team (Team) is a cross‐func onal group whose number
and exper se are derived from the decision‐making path of the customer. This
Team does the sales, providing content, technical func ons, trials, tes ng, etc.
3. The Team Coordinator (TC) maintains the integrity of the processes through
coaching and predeﬁned control points.
Using a Kanban board for this process will help
you iden fy where the process is not working
or where the bo leneck is occurring. Each seg‐
ment or swim lane may have a single or mul ‐
ple teams working on it. It really just depends
on how you structure it. Don‘t think of Kanban
as a planning tool; think about it as an execu‐
on tool. Improving your marke ng process
does not have to cons tute wholesale changes
nor increased spending.
Inventory for sales and marke ng is prospects! As you think about what stops
your marke ng from being eﬀec ve it is about trying to appeal to the masses and
as a result losing eﬀec veness both in me and money. Work in process is waste‐
ful. It is wasteful in your personal life when not managed well, it is bad in manu‐
facturing, it is bad from a sales and marke ng perspec ve. Quit marke ng at the
top of your funnel. Instead learn how to manage your Work in Process!
The beneﬁts of Kanban can become a driver for crea ng a culture of con nuous
process improvement. It also allows for other crea ve ideas for visual manage‐
ment of budgets, conversion rates, me spent, ac vi es and more.
It doesn’t necessarily ma er which tools the organiza ons use, but which tools
are eﬀec ve with the customer or the par cular value stream segment, repre‐
sented by the pillars. The number and depth of blocks will diﬀer with each or‐
ganiza on. What is important is that they are all considered and that the foun‐
da on is strong enough to support the pillars. Below the founda on is a sub‐
structure of A3 problem solving that will be the prac ce that is implemented
throughout the founda on. This allows us constant feedback and will alert us
if the founda on starts to weaken.