A diagram to show the two PDCA cycles. The first cycle is Plan, Do, Check and Act, while the second cycle is a sub-set of the "Do" part, containing Problem Finding, Display, Clear and Acknowledge. These are part of the kaizen method of quality control, and also is used in the Toyota Way. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most of us want to better ourselves as individuals and continually improve our marketing efforts. The Japanese call this continual improvement philosophy Kaizen. You may call it tweaking or fine-tuning. Call it what you will, staying in one place gets you nowhere and will result in stagnation.
The energy of a body in motion is called kinetic energy. This is as opposed to potential energy which is stored energy or energy in a dormant stage waiting to be released. If you're just waiting for something to happen in your marketing effort, chances are nothing is going to happen. Goals are reached by taking action.
Your actions will involve energy being put into use. Your exertion of energy will result in your internal energy being stimulated into more action and thought. Each success should fuel more inspiration while your shortfalls should prod you into figuring out why something didn't work like you expected.
Effort and quality are two essential components of kaizen. Most goals don't happen without exerting effort. Your efforts should be directed toward attaining quality results.
Trying to get everything done by yourself might work if you're dealing with things on a very small level, but when you are striving for grand results you need the help of others who are working toward the same ends. When kaizen is practiced in a corporate setting every level of a company becomes involved from upper and middle management, to sales and operations staff, and even to the customer. Input from every part of the business process is important to understanding how things work and what can be done to make them better.
In your marketing efforts you need feedback from everyone who is a stakeholder in what you are doing. Every part of your program needs to be on the same page to make sure there is a common goal. Develop a sense of kinship with your agents, sales staff, product suppliers--everyone who has a role in your production. If every member is like a part of the family your chances of success will be increased.
Total involvement of stakeholders is essential to kaizen. You, as well as all of them, need to be open to change when things aren't working. The key element to this involvement is communication. If everyone understands the whats and whys, then it is easier to build a winning team.
As with anything, the more we know about kaizen and how it can be applied to our marketing efforts, the better equipped we will be to put the process to more effective use. There are many books on the topic since it is a philosophy that is widely used in business as well as personal development. You don't have to become an kaizen expert, but a working knowledge will enhance your approach to marketing as a continually improving process.
We should strive for growth in everything we do and that includes our marketing efforts.
K as in Knight:
I'm not talking about men in armor, but Ciara Knight and her blog Defy the Dark.
And let's not forget Kahlanie who is the official A to Z anti-Challenge mascot. He has given us such a laugh at ourselves which is something we all need to keep things in proper perspective. Thank you Gary for keeping it real as in real fun.