It’s time to view marketing in a new light, to shed older, less efficient practices in favour of techniques with faster development cycles, better measurability and increased ROI. It’s time to embrace “lean” marketing, says Versio2 Managing Partner Stephan Burckhardt.
The trouble with marketing is that we either still don’t really know what it is or we don’t appreciate what it does for us. Some executives still feel that it’s merely an expense with only vague benefits. While this view may be true in part, a company’s lack of effective marketing can prove fatal. “Effective” is the key here. It’s safe to say that many companies with great technology and products could be doing far better if their offerings were reaching and connecting with a broader public.
Interestingly, while Switzerland ranks number one in the world in terms of patents per capita, its capitalisation of those bright ideas falls short and is at best average (Boston Consulting). A number of factors contribute to this, one of which is poor marketing. Technology and innovation alone are not enough and do not sell themselves.
On the other hand, even a relatively weak concept without a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)can succeed with strong marketing, especially since the advent of the internet. So even inBusiness-to-Business (B2B), marketing is gaining fresh importance as global competition increases and many industries suffer from over-capacity. It is therefore critical that new customer groups hear about your products quickly, risks are adequately managed, and existing markets and needs get are well served.
Many company owners have already embraced a “lean” methodology in organisational structure, development, and operations, and are now looking at lean marketing and sales. The benefits of faster cycle times, increased flexibility, shorter development cycles, measurability,and an iterative and more targeted approach are hard to ignore. They can all be applied to the sales and marketing process.
Stephan Burckhardt is author of the Executive Guide to Online Marketing – A Lean Business Perspective out soon from Versio2 (click to reserve your copy). He was CEO and owner of a CHF 12 million Swiss communications agency and worked as a consultant for financial, technology, healthcare and other clients in North America and Switzerland.
He was a TV journalist and PR consultant in Silicon Valley, group manager at Trimedia, Zurich, and member of senior management at Landis & Gyr. He sees a great future for inbound marketing and is excited to pioneer this promising methodology in Switzerland.