Run Your Marketing Department Like Toyota’s Manufacturing Line

Before we go into Toyota, let’s chat about Henry Ford. He started it all. In 1913, Ford said, let’s stop just building cars over and over (or landing pages, or emails, or social media posts). Instead, Ford started what is called “flow production.” He looked at the steps that needed to be done to build a car. He set up those steps in a process sequence that made sense, and, soon enough, car manufacturing became automated.
Along came, Kiichiro Toyoda, he took Ford’s automation a step further. He made the system smart. He added machines that were right-sized for the volume of product needed. He put the machines in an order that made sense. He added quick steps, so the machines could make a smaller volume of product. Each machine was connected to the next. When one process was completed, it let the next machine know it was up next.
If you want to read more about the concept of lean manufacturing, visit If you want to read A LOT about Toyota's lean systems, there are two books, The Machine That Changed the World and Lean Thinking.
Did your mind go ding ding too?
Marketers, write down everything you need to produce to run marketing for your company well.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Look at your list, is there anything on your list that doesn’t need to be there? Are you creating content that doesn’t flow with your other marketing efforts? Scratch it off the list.
Now, look at your list again. Is there a flow that makes sense? For example, if your list says:
  1. Landing pages
  2. Video
  3. Social media posts
  4. Blogs
  5. Emails
What order makes sense?
You write blogs to get traffic to your site, that comes first. You create videos to complement blog posts, that comes second. You write landing pages to drive conversions, that comes third. You send out emails to stay connected to your subscribers (your best audience), so that comes fourth. You push out social media to reach the audience that is not quite engaged yet, so that comes fifth. Look at your list, how should your marketing tasks flow?
Now, let’s be a bit more like Toyota and make your systems smart.
Look at your new list and order. What can you automate? Let’s go back to my example. This is what our sample list looks like now:
  1. Blog
  2. Video
  3. Landing Page
  4. Email
  5. Social Media
Which of these tasks can be automated? Emails and social media can be 100% automated. Set up an automated RSS feed email to go out to your subscribers when a blog is published. Add your blogs to a social media automation platform like Meet Edgar (my favorite), Hootsuite, or Buffer.
Landing pages, blogs, and videos can be batched, creating a (sort of) automation. A manual automation? That’s not a thing. But, batching makes sense because you get in a flow and produce your content more efficiently.
You have taken two tasks off your to-do list and simplified the rest, so what’s next? You set up a mindful workflow to complete your other tasks.
What is a mindful workflow? That is setting up 1-week blocks in your calendar to focus on one task. For 1 week, you will batch write blog posts. For 1 week, you will develop email automation programs.


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