Waste #1: Failure to define marketing correctly and not identifying Marketing assets already in the business.

Waste #2: Failure to execute marketing inside before going outside!

Waste #3: Failure to build a marketing plan around the THREE WAYS TO GROW!

Waste #4: Failure to have a USP – Unique Selling Proposition

Waste #5: Failure to communicate and integrate the USP – on-going sales training

Waste #6: Failure to understand the Lifetime Value of a Customer

Waste #7: Failure to make advertising Direct Response

Waste #8: Failure to leverage relationships: Inside and outside the business

Waste #9 Failure to implement Direct Marketing

Waste #10: Failure to start marketing on the Web



Lean Marketing Follows the Lean Manufacturing Example

For many years, manufacturing companies have been working to get their employees trained in “lean” manufacturing techniques. These techniques primarily target areas of waste in a manufacturer’s operations, processes, equipment and labor. The objective is to eliminate waste and make the operations, processes, equipment and labor more efficient. By doing so, cash flow can improve because a company will be much better at delivering products to the customer when the customer wants it. No sooner, no later. There is less inventory on hand because the company has learned how to produce the right number of products and do so in a more efficient manner. Many times the cost of production, equipment and labor can be reduced to increase the bottom line for a company. Equipment is more efficient so a company’s return on equipment investment increases. The company wins and customers win with lean manufacturing.

This success in lean manufacturing is now moving into the area of “lean” office and “lean” healthcare. Other industries are adopting many of these “lean” techniques to lower costs and be more competitive in today’s world.

These same “lean” concepts can be applied to marketing. We are unique in introducing these “lean” techniques into the “top” line operations, processes, marketing resources (marketing equipment) and staff of a company. Our system seeks to eliminate waste and inefficiencies in all the marketing and sales or “top” line processes. Instead of “bottom” line cost savings, there are “top” line revenue increases which results in more profit or increased “bottom” line.

In other words – lean marketing and sales.

Business Owner Frustrations

The traditional definition of marketing has been the introduction of your company’s products and services to prospective customers. By reason of this definition, business owners have pursued the “traditional” avenues of marketing. These include: Advertising, hiring more salespeople, prospecting, direct mail, referral programs, web marketing and many more.

All of these traditional marketing methods can work – but many times they don’t (Don’t create a paying customer) and this leaves business owners frustrated. Sometimes they have invested thousands of dollars in these traditional methods only to find out they didn’t work or that in order to really work, they need to invest thousands more.

The business owners then go back to the providers of these traditional marketing methods and ask for accountability. The reply is usually something like this:

“Did the (marketing method) bring in more prospects?” “Yes, but they didn’t buy anything.” says the business owner. “Well, if they don’t become paying customers, we can’t control that – that is your responsibility” is the reply.

In other words traditional marketing method providers are not paid and do not concern themselves with what happens after a prospect is generated. Indeed there may be plenty of new prospects generated, but if they don’t become customers, it hasn’t helped the business owner! And, the frustration only grows.

Waste #1: Failure to define marketing correctly and not identifying Marketing assets already in the business.

The frustration grows partly because the definition of marketing is short-sided and inadequate. It is time for a new one. A new one for the 21st Century!

We have redefined marketing to be:

The introduction AND SELLING of your company’s products and services to PAST, PRESENT AND PROSPECTIVE customers by first optimizing and leveraging ALL of your company’s marketing assets.

With this new definition, marketing becomes concerned with what happens after a new prospect is contacted or inquires. If a business owner does not track and understand what is happening to a prospect immediately upon contact or inquiring, waste enters in.

There may be waste in that the right qualifying questions are not being asked, so salespeople spend time with the wrong prospects. Waste. It may be that whoever is answering the phone or greeting the prospect is not saying the right things. Waste. It may be that the prospect isn’t ready to buy right now but might be later. The company is not tracking this relationship and the prospect goes away. Waste.

Then, if a prospect does become a customer and is ignored or not included in the company marketing efforts in an on-going basis, then the customer will not buy as much as they could. Waste. And, if there is not good customer service and the customer leaves the company there is more waste. It is ten times as costly to get a new customer than to keep one.

To eliminate this waste required an acceptance of a new marketing definition.

Too many companies separate sales and marketing. Many times the two departments don’t even talk to each other. Waste. Selling is and always should be under the umbrella of marketing. Don’t separate the two. That creates waste.


Because of the inadequate definition of marketing that has prevailed, business owners think of marketing assets as only their advertising or the accumulation of new prospects and new customers. This is a very short-sided view of marketing assets – a waste.

You can find a list of marketing assets on our website, blog, and in other articles we have written. These include past customers, current customers, salespeople, the company’s advertising, referral programs, current sales and marketing processes, location, reputation, time in business, relationships with other businesses, etc. It is very important for business owners to “see” all of these as marketing assets. Not just those that create new prospects.

If a business owner will begin “look” at marketing in a different way – accepting the new definition, then they will begin to eliminate the wastes that occur under the traditional definition and find new sales and profits waiting for them.

Waste #2: Failure to execute marketing inside before going outside!

The traditional definition of marketing as discussed has forced business owners to always be looking OUTSIDE their business for growth.

What I mean by “outside” is working with traditional marketing resources for the generation of new prospective customers. This means going outside to find new prospects with advertising, tradeshows, web marketing, direct mail, salespeople prospecting, etc.

Because of this tendency to focus on MORE PROSPECTS with marketing, waste begins to creep “inside” the company.

The minute a prospect is introduced or inquires about a company’s products or services, they become “inside” the company. Now the real marketing should take over. This is where “hidden” new sources of cash, sales and profits can be found.

These prospects are having conversations, sales pitches, etc. directed at them by people, staff inside the company. The prospects have entered the sales process inside the company.

Every business in the world has the same sales process:

Prospect created ——-qualified——-presented——-closed.

There could be tremendous sources of “waste” along this process. It could be that the wrong prospects are being created in the first place. Waste. It could be that the prospect is not being qualified. Waste. It could be that the presentation made (either on-line or off-line, in person, on the phone, in an ad, etc. is not being done well.) Waste. It may mean the prospects are not being closed as well as they could be. Waste. It could mean that after they are closed, there is no on-going process of marketing. Waste.

It is everything that happens to a prospect AFTER being introduced that contains the hidden sources of new sales. It is what’s happening “inside” the company that is as or more important than what is going on “outside” to generate more customers.

This approach to marketing is more “non-traditional.” Most of our clients started out thinking the answers for more sales were in the creation of more prospects. But, soon, the system helped them uncover serious areas of waste and it was discovered that more sales and profits WITHOUT SPENDING MORE MONEY TO CREATE NEW PROSPECTS could be had FIRST by fixing and eliminating areas of waste. (Core Four Steps) Then, more resources could be devoted to generating more prospects because systems were in place to make certain there was no waste in the managing of the new prospect’s experience. So, all resources devoted to the creation of new prospects (Big Four) were maximized, leveraged to their fullest, creating maximum profit opportunities.

Doesn’t that make more sense?

Waste #3: Failure to build a marketing plan around the THREE WAYS TO GROW!

Every time I ask a business owner for a description or written copy of a marketing plan, the plan ALWAYS focuses on getting more prospective customers. This is to be done by advertising, web marketing, tradeshows, direct mail, telemarketing, salespeople, etc.

In other words, all plans are made under the traditional definition of marketing i.e. the introduction of a company’s products and services to prospective customers.

As indicated already, this definition is limited and incorrect.

There are three ways to grow sales and profits for any company. They are:

1. Increase the number of prospective customers contacted or inquiring
2. Increase the conversion rate of prospective customers to buying customers
3. Increase the value of worth of each customer

The marketing plans found at most companies deal only with number one – more prospects.

All marketing plans in the 21st century should revolve around ALL THREE!

If not, there is potential for tremendous waste. And, that is exactly what we find.

All business owners should hold their “marketing”departments and Vice-Presidents to the metrics or measuring of all three ways to grow. This way, assets become optimized. Waste is eliminated. The three ways to grow makes certain that all possible sources of cash and new sales are being considered.
Business owners should receive a weekly report from marketing that gives an accounting of marketing’s performance in all three areas. The conversion rate doesn’t only apply to salespeople closing sales. It applies to web click through and conversion rate, direct mail response rates, telemarketing response rates, etc. In other words, there might be several “conversion” rates in a company’s marketing process.

The “value” or “worth” of each customer is increased by doing more upselling on the front-end and more “back-end” selling after a prospect becomes a customer. Step number three in our system specifically focuses on increasing customer value.

The three numbers of prospect contact rate, conversion rate and value level are the three numbers a business owner should have a daily accounting for and should insist that the marketing department plan around all three ways to grow.