Lean Marketing & Product Development

Lean Marketing and Product Development by Walter McIntyre

Lean principles apply to any process based operation. I cannot think of any process that does not have non-value added components in it that create the opportunity for waste production.  In fact, by definition, a non-value added component in a process is waste.

Content vs Context

Whether you are involved in a Six Sigma Project or just talking with friends we are bombarded with information that has two components.  These are content and context. One is raw information about the “what” and the other is supporting information about the “why”.

Here is an example. A young man from Philadelphia shot and killed another man about a year ago.  This is content. The fact that he did this, as a soldier, in a fire fight in Afghanistan is context.  Content, as mentioned above, gives you the raw information and context helps you interpret the content.

Basic Marketing

Marketing is one of those subjects that can be discussed at the “inch deep/mile wide” or “mile deep/inch wide” levels with reasonable efficacy. This will be one of the inch deep/mile wide versions.
In this post I am breaking marketing down into four questions that lead to action by you the marketer.

1. What are the target markets?
Look at what you are trying to sell and match that to the markets that have the greatest potential to produce customers. Using the shotgun or “if I build it they will come” approach is a waste of time and money. Instead target those markets where you could have a productive conversation about your product or service.

Requirements vs Delighters

Requirements are those service or product characteristics that the customer requires in order to satisfy their needs. When the business fails to meet these requirements, the customer will not be satisfied. The result is a lost business opportunity. The analysis of these requirements will eventually lead us to customer critical to quality (CTQ) issues.

On the other hand, delighters are those aspects of a product or service that delight the customer when present, but are not required. For example, hotel customers did not expect a free continental breakfast in the past. By providing customers with this service, some hotel chains were able to gain a competitive advantage.