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Websands 4C’s of Lean Marketing

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I launched this idea as part of a talk at a Lean North East back in October. This also included historic footage of Lisa Simpson creating the Lean Start Up – but that is for another post and is subject to copyright (see the Duffless episode from Season 4).

The idea for the 4c’s is to suggest a framework to apply for the creation of marketing processes with any business.

Marketing by Campaign

The rationale around that in my experience few smaller businesses create a marketing process. They manage marketing by campaigns. This is fine. However, in the most part that is based around a business pushing a marketing message to a selected audience. It’s also worth considering…

These campaigns are rarely related to the activity of a targeted audience (the best ones are).

The overall approach is a series of one off’s driven by define business need rather related to a measured and understood customer wants (the best outcomes are always related to matching business needs to customer wants)

Each campaign is different, and is subject to different internal and external events. Overall measurement is subjective and measured in a different way.

Lean Marketing

The 4cs also helps move a mindset away from Lean methodologies simply being applied to software, after all it emerged from a smash up between Japanese processes commonly applied in manufacturing, such as Kaizen (continuous improvement), Kanban (which is actually fixed stock level control), and Just In Time (JIT) making sure that the right items appear at the time when they are needed.

So the four C’s….


Targeting the audience of your marketing message, and the behaviour change you want to influence (aka your marketing objective).

This sets your hypothesis


I recall Doug Richard’s referring to ‘marketing as code’ in one of his marketing themed school for start ups.

So which code relates to your target audience. This can be existing data, webpages or social media. Anything that needs help from a techie fits here.


Here is your core brief. What elements with your control are you going to change.

Here at Websand HQ we believe that time is a key factor in finding the sweet spot on marketing messages. The emotion involved in buying decisions make timing really important.

This can also be the basis for your A/B test so remember to test one change at a time wherever possible.


A lot of Lean methodology is considered to be common sense.

If it ain’t broken don’t try and fix it.

This is your measurement and consideration step.

If the results work, then look to apply the process consistently if that is relevant.

If not then make sure you document your learning for future reference, then (if relevant) pivot within the earlier process and repeat.

We are big believers in this stuff and at Websand we are helping ecommerce businesses to create, measure and learn the results from marketing processes for their businesses.

Hope this makes sense to you and is useful. Any questions or feedback please get in touch.