Six Sigma Marketing Stagnation

February 21, 2008

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We made a mistake at work today. It was painful. I do not like pain and neither do my team members.

Sales mistakes are binary. The phone number you are dialing is right or wrong. You either make the sale or you do not.

Marketing mistakes are probabilistic. Do an e-mail marketing campaign of any size and you’ll make a mistake, hitting a current customer with an aggressive acquisition offer. Draw 3MM unique visitors to your Web site and a few of them are guaranteed to be looking for something off-the-wall. The bigger your success, the more mistakes you make.

You can manage down the size of that email list. If you manage down Web traffic to nothing but direct load, you won’t have any strays. You won’t feel pain, but you won’t do much business either. Doing nothing is pain-free. Six sigma marketing stagnation.

Guys, thanks for stretching enough to make a mistake. But let’s not do that same one again. Ever. Really.

But don’t confuse “don’t make that mistake ever again” with “don’t make any mistakes.” One route leads to continual improvement, the other leads to stagnation. Gimme a couple sigmas and let’s roll the dice.

Thought for the day: Do consultants from Hell bear the mark of 666 sigma?

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