Better Processes Start With Plan-Do-Check-Act
PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) is an iterative, four-stage approach for continually improving processes, and for resolving problems. It involves systematically testing possible solutions, assessing the results, and implementing the ones that have shown to work.
We can take advantage of this process in marketing to not only launch, but continuously improve the products and services we are putting out into the world.
Identify the problem, collect relevant data, and understand the problem’s root cause, develop hypotheses about what the issues may be, and decide which one to test.
In marketing, it may not be so much a problem, but a product or service we want to create or promote. We need to do market research to determine viability, define audiences, understand the cost and explore marketing channels. This will allow us to theorize about what we can achieve with a product/service.
Develop and implement a solution; decide upon a measurement to gauge its effectiveness, test the potential solution, and measure the results.
All those things we were researching in the ‘Plan’ phase, now is when we put them into action. We roll out the marketing plan behind our product/service based on what we determined was the best approach, to the target audience via the defined marketing channels.
Confirm the results through before-and-after data comparison. Study the result, measure effectiveness, and decide whether the hypothesis is supported or not.
As we do, or don’t, begin to gain conversions for the marketing plan we’ve implemented, we can determine if the results we expected are exceeding expectations or falling short.
Document the results, inform others about process changes, and make recommendations for the future PDCA cycles. If the solution was successful, stay the course. If not, tackle the next problem and repeat the PDCA cycle again to improve the results.
If you think your marketing is perfect, you’re probably wrong. Nothing is ever perfect. Things can be great, but there is always room to grow and improve. This process can help you stay on course, not allow egos to take control, and provide your clients a better result. Give it a try!