DMAIC for marketing

The DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyse-Implement-Control) improvement model can usefully be applied to always-on marketing to give a more structured ‘test-learn-refine’ approach to support data-driven marketing. DMAIC is potentially helpful to marketers since it gives an established standard improvement process that has been widely used in Six Sigma projects and people working in other parts of the business, e.g. IT and project management, may be familiar. It is also fairly well known amongst adherents of agile and lean marketing techniques. Here is a classic summary of DMAIC stages.

This visual shows my recommendations of how DMAIC can be applied to all aspects of marketing / digital marketing, not only to AB testing or media. It covers 5 success drivers for modern marketing covered in this simple explanation of digital marketing. This visual gives a checklist of different always-on marketing activities to optimize.

Truscott (2003) also has a useful elaboration to these 8 stages of implementing a Six Sigma project:

1. Identify the project.

2. Define the project.

3. Measure current process performance.

4. Analyse current process.

5. Develop the improvements, pilot and verify.

6. Implement the changes, achieve breakthroughs in performance.

7. Control at new level; institutionalise to hold the gains.

8. Communicate new knowledge gained; transfer solution to similar areas.

Truscott, W. (2003) Six Sigma. Continual Improvement for Businesses. Butterworth Heinemann. Oxford, UK.


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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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