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How To Implement Kanban In Your Marketing

What is Kanban?

Kanban is an inventory control system well known for its application in lean production and Just In Time manufacturing. It is a visual story board and has been applied to areas beyond manufacturing.

Kanban is a visual way to manage tasks and workflows, which utilizes a kanban board with columns and cards. The cards represent tasks, and the columns organize those tasks by their progress or current stage in development.

Kanban—which is the Japanese word for “billboard”—was developed by Toyota in the 1940s. It was originally a scheduling system to execute just-in-time manufacturing. It was designed to improve efficiency by limiting supplies and resources to what was needed for the immediate task. Today, kanban has expanded to all industries, most notably software development.

Teams enjoy using this system due to its ease of use, visual interface and ability to instantly see what everyone is working on. It also provides visibility into task progress, and whether a specific task is holding up the project.

Source: https://www.projectmanager.com/kanban

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Can you implement Kanban in your marketing?

The reality is this has already been done.

Inbound Marketing with platforms like HubSpot allows you to implement Kanban in your marketing.



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The visual above from HubSpot shows the flow of the customer buying journey.

To more accurately reflect  the modern buyers journey a  flywheel is used.

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The core principles of Kanban are:

  • Visualize Work
  • Work In Progress
  • Flow
  • Continuous Improvement

Learn More About Inbound Marketing


A Deals Dashboard allows you to visualize work, work in progress, flow and focus on wins and losses to implement continuous improvement on your sales and marketing efforts.

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Predictive Lead Scoring addresses Work In Progress by focusing on those leads that are further along in the buyers journey. This allows resources to be focused on those leads that are likely to close and avoid chasing after leads that are not ready to buy.

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Learn More About Predictive Lead Scoring

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Continuous Improvement can be achieved by looking at page performance and aligning with overall business goals for lead generation.



Implementing Kanban in your marketing allows you to more effectively manage resources and get more leads and close them.

Every good plan starts with a SWOT analysis.

SWOT analysis is a business analysis process that ensures that objectives for a project are clearly defined and that all factors related to the project are properly identified.

The SWOT analysis process involves four areas: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Both internal and external components are considered when doing SWOT Analysis, as they both have the potential to impact the success of a project or venture.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

The following is a brief summary of SWOT Analysis components:

  1. Strengths
    Strengths in SWOT analysis are the attributes within an organization that are considered to be necessary for the ultimate success of a project. Strengths are resources and capabilities that can be used for competitive advantage. Examples of strengths that are often cited include:


    • Strong brand names
    • Good reputation
    • Cost advantages of proprietary know-how
  2. Weaknesses
    The factors within the SWOT analysis formula that could prevent successful results within a project are Weaknesses. Weaknesses include factors such as an abundance of rivalry between departments, a weak internal communication system, lack of funding and an inadequate amount of materials. Weaknesses can derail a project before it even begins. Other Weaknesses include:


    • Weak brand name
    • Poor reputation
    • Ineffective and high cost structure
  3. Opportunities
    Opportunities are classified as external elements that might be helpful in achieving the goals set for the project. These factors could involve vendors who wish to work with the company to help achieve success, the positive perception of the company by the general public, and market conditions that could make the project desirable to the segment of the market. Additional Opportunities include:


    • Arrival of new technology
    • Unfulfilled customer needs
    • Taking business courses (training)
  4. Threats
    These external factors could gravely affect the success of the project or business venture. The possible threats that are critical to any SWOT analysis include a negative public image, no ready-made market for the final product and the lack of vendors who are able to supply raw materials for the project. Some other threats include:


    • Trend changes
    • New regulations
    • New substitute products

Source: https://www.notredameonline.com/resources/business-administration/what-is-swot-analysis/


Once you have identified your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, developing an effective marketing plan becomes much easier. Here is a FREE SWOT PowerPoint Template. If you need some more help on your content marketing strategy, check out this article from HubSpot. 

A Content Audit will allow you to determine what existing content you can use as part of your plan and what new content needs to be developed. 

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Source: HubSpot


SEMrush defines essential steps for a content audit.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through 5 essential steps on how to audit your content:

  • Step 1: Define Your Goals and Metrics
  • Step 2: Take An Inventory of Your Content
  • Step 3: Collect and Analyze Data
  • Step 4: Draw Up An Action Plan
  • Step 5: Adjust Your Content Marketing Strategy

We like using Screaming Frog to quickly catalog website content in easily editable spreadsheets. This allows you to add columns for each step in the buyers journey.  You will quickly see where you are top heavy and where you are light in content. Once you have completed the content audit you can visually see where improvements need to be made.


  • Visualize Work

  • Work In Progress

  • Flow

  • Continuous Improvement

If you are looking for some templates to create your own Kanban Boards check out these resources from Kanban Tool.


The Kanban Tool service provides user-friendly online Kanban boards, as well as an on-premise version, that can help your business grow.
Start now by creating your first board - keep track of your tasks and projects in one place.


You may want to look at Marketing For Manufacturers.


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