The Interesting Similarities Between a Manufacturing Assembly Line and a Modern Marketing Process

Assembly line for manufacturing and the marketing process

Guest Expert: Grant Grigorian, CEO and Co-founder of Path to Scale

Listen to the Full Podcast HERE

Highlights:

  • Marketing metrics are strongly similar to metrics used for quantifying the efficiency and efficacy of an assembly line.
  • Learn about the analogy of efficiency and quantity for an assembly line as it applies to modern marketing processes for manufacturing marketing function.
  • Quality versus quantity balance and constraints.
  • Real life examples of how a marketing team has implemented the factory assembly line framework.
  • Challenge question –  Grant outlines how to get started tracking ROI – 3 things to get started with tracking ROI with  Marketo and salesforce.com.
  • Just like manufacturing spends time, money and resources on research and development, marketing should set aside time, money and resources to experiment, create and innovate as a separate function to the standard marketing production line.  Don’t mix the marketing R&D with the regular production line.  Develop a marketing ‘Skunk Works’ for your team.

Answers and discussion addressing these questions:

  1. Grant, marketing is seldom integrated into the fabric of a manufacturing company, but you have a really interesting perspective on the parallels between a modern marketing function and the factory assembly line.  Could you summarize your view on this interesting parallel?
  2. Specifically, what is the “product” of the marketing assembly line?
  3. The goal of an assembly line is achieving a highly efficient production process overlapped with high quality.  Is it possible for the marketing process to become more efficient with higher quality using the assembly line framework?
  4. Are you seeing this type of marketing function being used already?  Could you give a couple of real life examples?
  5. Why should manufacturing marketing leaders consider this type of approach if their existing marketing processes, teams and tools have been working well so far?

Challenge Question – submitted by John, a marketer for an Ohio manufacturing company.

  • My CMO is screaming for ROI numbers on our marketing spend.  We spend about $20 million a year on marketing, most of it going to trade shows and print ads and we don’t really know what it’s getting us.  What do I need to do to get started with measuring ROI for our marketing spend?  We use Marketo and salesforce.com.

Takeaways

  1. Think about the whole process from lead generation to closing the deal and moving the customer to an advocate and the zoom in to look at each activity of the marketing assembly line. Bring the engineering mindset of solving a problem to the marketing function.
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