Time to put Six Sigma into use

Author: Habibullah Siddiqui | Categories: B2B Online Excellence, Revenue Generation

In the First Part of the Series, we talked about challenges marketers face in marketing operations and the importance of Six Sigma, and how it can help you in fixing the loopholes in given period by making milestones.

In this part, we shall guide you through a seamless implementation of the Six Sigma methodology:

B2B Marketing, Effective Marketing

1. Define 

The World-Class organization is continuously bathed in a stream of integrated data.
            - Y.S. Chang, George Labovitz, and Victor Rosansky

The role of marketing is to create predictable streams of revenue growth by enabling the organization to profitably identify and secure new customers, and to constantly grow the value of these customers. Therefore, a key ingredient in this step is for marketing teams to establish goals and deliverables designed to achieve the outcomes. This will require most organizations to broaden the role of marketing beyond sales support and/or marketing communications. To fully realize these outcomes, marketing will need to have a more strategic approach. As a result, various marketing functions will need to be integrated to create a comprehensive and integrated workflow. This integrated process then to be mapped. Once these elements are completed, new metrics that tie marketing to the business outcomes must be defined and standardized across the marketing organization for the purpose of providing insights into performance and facilitating strategic decisions. Typically, it will become apparent that new analytical and process-oriented skills will be needed among the marketing personnel.

2. Measure

The World-Class organization is continuously bathed in a stream of integrated data.
-Y.S. Chang, George Labovitz, and Victor Rosansky    

There is no escaping the fact that to be successful in measurement marketing will need data. Without data, performance cannot be measured and improvements cannot be made.

The first step in measuring and improving performance is to determine what data exists, where that data is, what data is needed, and how to obtain the data. Customer purchase activity, MQL, SAL, marketing program results and conversion rates, actual costs for programs and people, lead quality data and lead cost, win/loss ratios are examples of some of the data that will be needed. Once the metrics are defined, the team should use the data to establish a baseline of past expense and performance.

3. Analyze

Simply measuring performance will not make it improve. Performance improvement results from deriving insight through the analysis of the data. By analyzing the data and understanding what it means, marketing can determine the degree of impact it is having on the organization, and redesign processes that will improve performance. Creating a dashboard of key business initiatives can help process the data and make it easier to visualize both the impact and opportunities for improvement. Analyzing marketing performance and processes has impact beyond the marketing organization. The analysis may yield information that will impact sales, product development, customer service, accounting, and IT. Marketing exists as a component within the overall company organizational system and changes to this part of the system can serve as a catalyst for changes to another part of the business system. Analysis leads right into the improve step.

4. Improve

The chief purpose of applying Six Sigma to marketing is to determine how to improve performance and processes. Data analysis should result in valuable insights that generate possibilities for improvement. These possibilities for improvement can include enhancements in tools, systems, processes, and skills. A performance-driven marketing organization welcomes opportunities for improvement. Even though change is disruptive, developing new ways to approach the market enable the marketing organization to play a more strategic role than before.

"You can't just ask customers what they want
and then try to give that to them. By the time
you get it built, they'll want something new."
  - Steve Jobs

5. Benefits 

Marketing operations helps an organization get a clear direction and ensures that people become responsible for documentation and implementation of the knowledge gained through process improvement. Regardless of whether your company establishes this role, it is imperative that the team establish and document the processes and ensures that people adhere to these. Everyone in the team needs to be formally trained on the processes and performance metrics. The entire team must understand how the processes enable marketing to demonstrate its value and improve overall performance.

Hope you enjoyed reading the blog. In the Third Part of the Series, we'll have you covered with benefits of Six Sigma for Marketing Operations.

Stay Tuned!