Marketing is the combination of art and science used to determine which products or services a customer will buy, and then crafting a message to make them more appealing.
There is a veritable library of information available on marketing, so this term focuses on the impact continuous improvement efforts can have on marketing efforts.
Lean impacts marketing in two main ways. The first is to make the marketing operations more effective. Lean has migrated to the office, and has been proven to have a tremendous impact on administrative processes.
The second main impact is in what a marketing team can promise to the company’s customers. The more effective an operations team is, the easier it is to sell a product.
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Marketing teams require a tremendous amount of creativity to operate at a high level. While the creative process can be difficult to standardize, the supporting processes are often ripe for improvement.
In any marketing team, there are numerous processes that can be standardized, from new product selection, to voice of the customer efforts, to developing and tracking collateral materials (fliers and ads and such). As those processes get better, marketing team members spend less of their time tracking down problems and more time coming up with ideas on how to sell more product. (See the article on the Lean office to learn more about how continuous improvement efforts change an operation.)
As mentioned in the overview section, the second main way that Lean improves marketing is by enabling more value-laden promises. If the market generally delivers products in 5 days, and your Lean operation can product with a 3-day lead time, that’s a competitive advantage. If your team seldom produces poor quality, that’s an advantage. If costs are low, pricing can be more aggressive when needed, allowing more creative promotions.