Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Proof that Marketing needs an engineering REMAKE! Only 25% of Marketers add measurable value.

This survey, while not perfect, highlights the need for a Marketing Revival.  We need to apply engineering and science to marketing, or this number (only 25% of Marketers add measurable value to organizations), will get worse and worse.  What exactly do I mean?

I mean this: imagine an engineer who "adds not measurable value to an organization".... while technically possible, it certainly ought to be quite rare!  Why?  Because an engineer KNOWS that what he works on does X for the company: creates a new product.  improves the quality of a product. etc...   And they know X numbers of product, or Y% of quality improvement.

Now, what about a marketer?  If you write a report, does it add value?  If you "make an ad" does it add value?  If you build a website, does it add value?  If you write Facebook posts, do they add value?  If you write a blog post, does it add value?  If you organize an event, does it add value?  If you manage a print ad, did it create value?  Did the brand you invented add value?  WOW.  If you say no to any of those... you are in trouble.  But the hard part is "how much value did you add?".

Here is the beginnings of how to measure Marketing Value:
  1. First, establish the fact that eyeballs have a value.  (call it $0.001 or something).
  2. Establish the fact that an Email or Like/Follow has a value (call it $0.10 or something).
  3. Establish the fact that an "engagement (comment, review, etc)" has a value (call it $0.25 or something).
  4. Establish the fact that a "sale" has a value.
  5. Establish the fact that market data (if used) and brand creation (if used) adds product value.. how much?  Call it 10%.
  6. Establish the fact that we CAN measure the above (except for #5).
  7. Now, focus on 1-4.. measure, and see if the values need adjustment.
    1. IF YOU DON'T DO WORK in 1-4... you are not adding measurable value.
    2. Go do 1-4.
  8. Meanwhile, consider #5... how can you measure that?  (I'm still thinking about it; but the answer lies somewhere in the "Price" of your products relative to competition).

Now, Marketers.  GET OUT THERE AND MEASURE!  Don't be a "no value added" employee.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Say "Yes Master" At Work: The Toyota Way, a Style of Learning on the Job

Perhaps we should be saying "Yes Master" at work more often!   It might make us better learners, better leaders, and a better functioning team.

"Yes Master" is derived from the idea of Sensei in the workplace model of The Toyota Way leadership model.  The Toyota Way is the title of a book and a management method based on a well known production system called Toyota Production System.  This book is a little dry in the writing, but contains some interesting insights into management practices at Toyota (and presumably in other Japanese companies).

The core idea of the Sensei in The Toyota Way is to match up a very experienced mentor to each and every employee (even the plant President).  This Sensei uses three phases of leadership to train you "on the job" at the Genba (work site).  The three phases might make one say "yes master" now and again.  The first phase is Cho: the practice principle.  Practice precisely the masters movements until you are proficient.  The next phase is Han: to work on your own only with occasional  oversight, but without variation from the Sensei's method.  Finally, the Ri phase: to become so proficient as to be automatic, allows the student to begin to practice Kaizen , or continuous improvement towards perfection.  This cycle might be repeated many times in many different places for the Toyota leader.  And it is very humbling.  In some cases the Sensei would have the student stand in a white circle only to observe for a full day and write many, many Kaizen observations.

Can I really mean to implement "Yes Master" in the workplace?  Yes.  Imagine the level of respect being shown, and the amount of pride both master and student can share in success.  Yes. Imagine the simplicity of organizational structures.  Yes. Imagine the clarity of roles.  Yes. Imagine the humbling experience this would be for so many "Type-A" leaders.  Remember, even the President and CEO needs a Sensei.

To think one needs not a Sensei is hubris of the highest level.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Engineers hate "Pre-launch" activity.

Never tell an engineer that you are doing "pre-launch" marketing.  You will get anger, pleading, and hatred in ways you cannot imagine.  Why is this?  Why do engineers hate "pre-release" marketing activities?  And why do marketers love it?

Engineers hate it for an obvious reason: "what if that feature doesn't work or live up to the hype?"  Fear of under-delivering is a healthy fear for your engineers, but it is also irrational.  If the product under-delivers, you've got bigger problems, usually, than the fact that you made bigger promises early.  My advice: deliver! Also commonly, engineers can't understand the need for pre-launch buzz and hype. 

Marketers want pre-launch buzz and hype.  Why?  Three simple (and one sad) reason.
1. Sad reason: because many don't know how to add much value in "pre-launch" phase.  It's sad because there is much that can be done: competitive analysis, pricing studies, etc.  Those are not the sexy parts of marketing however, so they get "not done", and pre-launch becomes the exciting focus.
2. Simple Reason: Economics.  Increase demand!  If you can get an early start on "creating unfulfilled demand" than when the product does launch, there will be a rush to buy and be proud you got one!
3. Simple Reason: Measure Demand.  If you do the buzz marketing, and get no buzz... you may have an issue (or need to tweak your marketing/positioning).
4. Simple Reason: Press.  Getting press involved early means getting 2 stories instead of just 1.  Without a pre-launch story, all you get (often) is the "launch" story.

Now get out there and "pre-launch" something!

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