Your Marketing Vision should define your Customerís Core Problem

Today's products and services reflect greater marketing segmentation. As you know, I use the Duct Tape Marketing Hourglass as The Pillar of the Lean Marketing House™ but there is no universal terminology, it is just convenient to stay with one message because even as you segment your list you still have to recognize the marketing process into stages such as Know, Like, Trust, Trial and Buy.

As you segment, each segment will include fewer customers. However, it should enable you to identify the individual stages more effectively or determine your material and information flow needed in each step. It will also allow you to define waste and create better value for your customer. In fact, this is basically the definition of Value Stream Mapping.

As a result of this exercise, you will change the shape of your Pillar. You should be able to shorten your cycle in some and as a result decrease your expenditure in the marketing process. Others, on the other hand, may be lengthened and a total different approach may have to be utilized. A good example of this may be in the pursuit of a governmental contract. The point to be taken is that there is nothing wrong with either situation, what is wrong is treating each segment the same.

The key ingredient to get started is developing the NEED statement for each marketing segment or Pillar. The statement should clearly define your CUSTOMER'S CORE PROBLEM and your ability to solve that problem. Defining this alone will provide clarity throughout the various stages in your marketing process. The NEED statement is a living document that will evolve as your product/service and the customer's use of it changes. Further development of this statement should include limits on cost and time to keep your Pillar within boundaries that you are able to manage.

The point of defining the Need Statement is to succeed at developing a manageable process. We want the resulting marketing phases (Know, Like, Trust..etc.) to meet our customer's needs, at the right time and at the right cost. It must do this in a way that maximizes our investment in the process. Marketing can be a complex and often risky process and in today's world it mandates speedy development. The Lean Marketing process is geared to provide a framework and specific tools for efficiently and predictably reaching goals.


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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