Elevating and Repairing Marketing Constraints

A continuation of my articles on Using the Theory of Constraints with your Marketing HourGlass. We are concentrating on optimizing the Throughput of the Marketing Hourglass utilizing the Five Steps of Continuous Improvement: Steps 4 and 5.

Step 4. Elevate the system's constraint.

You may have found significant improvement in the preceding steps and another constraint may have actually developed at this time. This is the step that we have to add capacity to the constraint. It may be additional events, sales people or increased advertising.

Reviewing the Marketing Hourglass you may have found significant shortcomings in one of the phases. You may have never instituted a formal referral program, for example. You may not have a presence in Social Media.

Jumping into this step early in the process is very common. The newest and/or the latest technology may seem an easy fix. Looking to vendors for your fix is an easy alternative, but you may not find the core problems associated with the constraint if you did. There is a reason this is the fourth step, and you should make every effort to improve the constraint through the fist three steps before adding equipment, software, increased advertising, etc.

This may also be the area that "Tribal Knowledge" may limit your thinking. We defend what we have always done. Look at new and different ways to accomplish the constraint.

Step 5. If a constraint is broken, go back to Step 1. However, don't allow inertia to become a constraint.

You will always have a constraint. A fundamental concept of continuous improvement. As you correct one another will develop. As in Lean this is a fundamental concept of TOC.

Mot organizations have an unlimited number of things to improve. However, most of the time only a relative few will make a significant difference in your company's bottom line. If you are going to improve something , IMPROVE IT.

Why waste everyone's time? Changing the process without the data is cause for failure. You have heard it time and time again, JUST DO IT! We have been trained that way, action is accomplishment. However, the wrong action may accomplish little or drive you deeper into a hole. Without the data from the previous steps, you will not be able to make as effective and dramatic improvements that you desire. Seek 200% process improvements and cost reductions of half!

One of the sayings I have read about in TOC time and time again. Don't leave inertia become the constraint. Change should help your performance, not hinder it.


Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive coaching company providing no-nonsense direction in areas such as Lean Six Sigma Marketing and organized referral marketing. What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joe’s ability to combine his expertise with “out of the box” thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work...

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