Since Henry Ford first developed an integrated production process, global manufacturing has embraced LEAN principles to “maximize customer value while minimizing waste.”  If you have worked in a manufacturing environment for any length of time you have more than likely witnessed or been a part of a Kaizen event, and seen the before and after of the 5S practices to improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and pursue continuous improvement.  No doubt your Operations, Engineering, Project Management and Supply Chain organizations have greatly benefited from this activity.  Have you ever considered using these same principles with your Marketing Strategy and Content?  Here are some suggestions on how to 5S your marketing strategy.


SORT (Seiri)

The first step is to conduct a Content Marketing Audit.  Over the years, many organizations create content, but don’t necessarily review and audit it once it is completed.  It may have been created by multiple people, and the content may or may not still be relevant or applicable to the current marketplace.  Technology and tools may have changed which makes the materials outdated.  Sorting your content marketing and removing unnecessary items reduces the chance of these items becoming a distraction or negatively impacting your thought leadership.



Once you have completed the Content Marketing Audit, designate a central location where all your Marketing Content will be stored.  Whether on a SharePoint, shared drive or folder, this information needs to be communicated across all departments, so everyone knows where to find it.  Your teams need to be able to quickly and easily find the information, and be able to tell new hires where to go to find it. Having this information readily at your fingertips allows your organization to quickly add effectively demonstrate how you have solved a problem and how your have previously addressed a prospect's pain point.


SHINE (Seiso)

Developing marketing content can be very costly and time consuming.  Keeping that content clean and evergreen is very important.  Revisit the images and language you have previously used to check for errors, make necessary changes in content and language, or update it to a new or more recent project where you used the same methodology to achieve the same goal.  Maybe your organization changed or upgraded equipment or Engineering software to a new product or revision.  Does your content marketing reflect this new data?



Over time organizations change their logos, color schemes or style guides to present a new and fresh brand image.  However, there may still be Case Studies and White Papers that have the old logos and colors.  If you have invested the time and money in a new website, you should also invest the time and energy necessary to make sure that your marketing content is updated to reflect this new image.  Customers notice these things and make a note that there is not an attention to details in your marketing strategy, and it can prompt them to wonder about other areas of your organization.


SUSTAIN (Shitsuke)

Once you have taken these necessary steps to 5S your marketing strategy and content, don’t rest on your laurels.  Develop a schedule and a framework where you are reviewing these same steps on a quarterly basis.  Meet with your Business Development and Leadership team to review what has been completed and ask for their input on other ideas, content or suggestions on what other areas can be improved.  Getting input from other departments in the organization can greatly aid you with brainstorming on additional resources that sustain your thought leadership and fill the pipeline.


ATG specializes in helping primarily small to mid-sized contract manufacturers, plastic injection molders and sheet metal fabricators engage and retain the right new customers.  Contact us today to learn more about our services and subject matter expertise.

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