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					 Business901   Product Marketing   Lean Marketing




Mirror Marketing
               By Business901
         Business901          Product Marketing     Lean Marketing




Does your marketing mirror your customers buying process?

  1. Do you understand your customers buying process?
  2. Does your marketing mirror that process?
  3. If you did, would your marketing be more effective?
  4. Do you have specific marketing messages that your customer
     receives at critical points in that process?
          Business901                  Product Marketing                 Lean Marketing


I always wondered, even before I started applying Lean Marketing Principles , why the
marketing process rarely considered what stages a customer went through to buy their product
or service. Customer usually have a fairly regimented way they conduct business and a very
structured purchasing pattern. Most will even tell you and the fact of the matter is, that your
sales people already probably know it.

Document that process, even create a sales
funnel or hour glass on this process. As you
go through it step by step, pick critical
points and review what you type of
marketing materials you would like them to
have in their hand as they reach those
points. Maybe even think about reaching
them just right before they reach a critical
point.

If you do this, it will create an entire
different way of looking at your marketing.
From the customers point of view! Not that
novel is it?
           Business901                   Product Marketing                 Lean Marketing


This is a decision tree that I acquired from the Free Management Library
many years ago. I recommend them as a very viable source of
information. The first requirement we had was to formulate the decision
process of the customer. Many will not have this formal of a process but
it is a process and a documented one, so lets start with this Ten-step
approach..

     1.    Identify the key facts.
     2.    Identify and analyze the major stakeholders.
     3.    Identify the underlying driving factors.
     4.    Identify/Prioritize operating values and ethical principles.
     5.    Decide who should be involved in making the decision.
     6.    Determine & evaluate all viable alternatives.
     7.    Test preferred alternative with a worst-case scenario
     8.    Add a preventive component
     9.    Decide and build a short and long term action plan
     10.   Use decision making checklist.

Now, the key to this is putting your product and service next to these
   steps and see if you could influence any of these decision with good
   marketing materials. Can you?
Business901               Product Marketing                 Lean Marketing


          The next requirement from a Lean Marketing perspective or any other
          perspective for that matter is to understand the meaning and to define it in
          a useable manner. Listed are just a few of the perceptions outlined:

               1.  The perceived seriousness may determine the call to action.
               2.  Who values what outcomes. They may differ through out the
                   company.
               3. Understand the underlying symptoms, much like a doctor would.
               4. What are the up-front parameters, your customers need met.
                   Good solutions can often get thrown out early because they are
                   perceived to costly or to complicated in the early stages.
               5. You must determine that your solution satisfies the needs of key
                   decision makers. Maybe as importantly, know who needs you
                   may not satisfy.
               6. What are the possible outcomes with your product or services
                   and with others. Is yours really the best solution?
               7. What is the worst possible scenario with your product. It may be
                   better than the best possible outcomes product. People fear the
                   worst.
               8. Preventing the worst case may win the battle.
               9. Even at that provide a parachute and describe it.
               10. When the plan is created for purchasing, are you
                   part of it? Can you help create it. Can you write
                   the plan and spec your product in?
Business901     Product Marketing                  Lean Marketing


              This step. I would relate to creating a Future State Value
              Stream. You are now going to start thinking about the
              marketing materials to use or create for this process.
              1. The more your product/service has demonstrate that it
                   is the best solution or you are perceived as the expert
                   in the area will determine how quickly you flow
                   through the process.
              2. Do you have proof that your product will provide the
                   desired outcomes.
              3. What will change in your customers life if you provide
                   this? Or what improvement in his processes will
                   happen.
              4. How relevant is your product to the desired outcomes.
                   Does he understand it to be an effective and easy
                   solution?
              5. List the decision makers or in a general sense the
                   typical decision makers. Review how these people are
                   used to receiving and the type of material they would
                   want. More importantly is thee different DM involved
                   that need different material than others. This is not the
                   time to hand out the tri-fold.
Business901        Product Marketing                 Lean Marketing


              5.    Understand you competition and all the alternatives that
                    may be available. If you are not the strongest outcome
                    be realistic, you can still get the job.
              6.    Develop worse case scenarios not only for
                    product/service but others. Maybe, if you can provide the
                    best evaluation or test of the product that may be better
                    than the perceived value.
              7.    There is a chance for something bad to happen on any
                    purchase. What preemptive steps can you provide your
                    customer to minimize his risk. What provisions are
                    already build into the product/service that will minimize
                    the risk.
              8.    Your customer has a strategy to make the best purchase.
                    Do you have a better strategy in place? Take his
                    purchasing criteria and match your marketing with
                    answers.
              9.    Create your checklist and rate your strong areas and
                    your weak areas. Rate your self against your competition
                    even. You are more than likely not the best in every
                    category. It is important to know that so that you can hit
                    a few high notes when the opportunity is there.
               Business901                     Product Marketing                    Lean Marketing



                                                             Effective marketing must first start with the
                                                             understanding the customer’s buying process
                                                             and putting a proactive plan and process in
                                                             place to meet those criteria.

                                                             We have went through a ten step process the
                                                             customer may take to reach a decision to
                                                             purchase. We have analyzed all the steps;
                                                             typical stakeholders involved, comparison with
                                                             competitors, worse case scenarios, planned
                                                             alternatives, etc. Now, is the time for action.




Since the buying process is defined by the customer, it should not seem anymore
that it is subjective, it is pretty objective at this point. Look at each of the individual
steps and determine a solid reaction to that process. For instance, one of the
features of your product may be testing the solution in their environment. Having a
case study, testimonial in place may accelerate the solution or even prevent a full
test having to be conducted. Having a comparison sheet or an unbiased guide for
them to use during the selection process. A good example of that is some webinar
providers have a tool to determine the travel savings by attending the
webinar. Having an excel spreadsheet for the customer’s process may work
perfectly.
        Business901                    Product Marketing      Lean Marketing



There numerous ideas and suggestions that can be
made but the secret is having the information as part of
a process. That way you can use your time on improving
the process and with the customer. When you dash off
to create just the right thing, how many times does it
not quite fulfill the bill or you find out that the 12-page
document had something that just did not quite work
right. Even more common, it takes you down a path that
you had to create more material for the remaining
steps.

Marketing is not an event - it is a process, and a
mindset. A consistently high quality marketing effort
cannot be produced by a faulty process. You must have
products or services in place to meet your customer
expectations. Look at each step and mirror your
customer’s process and be able to pick your marketing
reaction as quickly as you could turn a faucet. Wash
your hands of a sloppy process and give the customer
exactly what he wants, when he wants it and how he
wants it. Balancing the process will soon become as
easy as adjusting the water for the right temperature.
But to do so, make sure you look in the mirror each step
of the way.
               Joseph T. Dager
                Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

      Ph: 260-438-0411       Fax: 260-818-2022
         Email: jtdager@business901.com
      Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com
              Twitter: @business901

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posted:5/30/2010
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Description: An overview of an alternative way of building your marketing funnel - based on customer needs?
Joseph Dager Joseph Dager Owner http://www.business901.com
About Business901 is a progressive coaching company providing direction in areas such as Lean Six Sigma marketing and organized referral marketing. Joe provides practical information and immediately applicable direction that profoundly impacts the success of small and mid-sized businesses. His experience includes numerous start-ups, several turnarounds in variety of industries to include manufacturing, retail, and professional services to include marketing.