plan do check adjust lead nurturingPlan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) is a classic kaizen, meaning continuous improvement, principle perfectly applicable to digital marketing. Processes within each component of digital marketing can be broken down into individual PDCA loops, worked on by an inbound marketing team and improved on a continuing basis.

Want to see PDCA in action? Check out a real client example:

Lead Nurturing Campaign – 3D Dental Imaging

A dental equipment manufacturer wants to attract new customers for its 3D imaging systems. They want to target Dentists who have never used any form of dental imaging or who have used 2D imaging and convince them to contact the manufacturer for a demonstration of 3D. We will nurture them slowly with general education about the benefits of 3D to both their practice and patients. In a sequence of Lead Nurturing emails, we will gradually introduce them to the product line, testimonials, demonstration videos and a calculator to show the economic benefits. At each stage, we will offer them something new and helpful, but also give them an opportunity to immediately reach out to a sales person.


  1. Identify and describe customer persona(s) through discussions with sales team and interviews with current customers.
  2. Identify and create content for each persona and each part of the sales funnel (top, middle and bottom) create a content map.
  3. Create a digital asset list and identify existing content that can be repurposed or updated to fill the content map; identify content that will need to be created from scratch.


  1. Create an initial offer campaign, usually an email to a targeted list of opted-in subscribers or a PPC campaign that invites dentists to download the content identified as a top-of-the-funnel offer.
  2. Create several follow-up emails with invitations to download or view each of the sequential content pieces in your content map for the campaign. These should be spaced at intervals to cover the normal sales cycle, for example four emails (one per week) to cover a one-month sales cycle.
  3. Create landing pages to capture the leads from each Lead Nurturing email. A/B split test the landing pages to find the highest conversion rates.
  4. Create call-to-action graphics to also capture leads from website pages, blogs and social networks. A/B split test the calls-to-action to find the highest conversion rates.
  5. Launch the campaign and begin to monitor results.


  1. Monitor website traffic, inbound leads, form conversions on the landing pages, clicks from emails, individual landing page conversion rates, A/B tests and any other KPI identified in the planning stages.
  2. Create monthly score cards that track KPI’s and compare the measured results to projected numbers, highlight wins and losses and assess overall trends.


  1. Identify campaigns that are and are not performing well versus expectations.
  2. Pin-point components of each campaign — emails, landing pages, calls-to-action and the content itself — to find good and bad performers.
  3. Analyze the root cause of each poorly performing component. For example, was the step from one Lead Nurturing email to the next too aggressive in terms of branding and sales pitch?
  4. Adjust the campaign with revised content and/or workflow to improve results and “double down” on messages and content that are performing well. This is done on an ongoing basis, nominally every two weeks.

By executing a Lead Nurturing campaign in a structured, repeatable way, we can make the entire inbound marketing process more efficient and amenable to further analysis for purposes of continuous improvement. By monitoring results via score cards and by holding periodic kaizens, we can grow sales revenues while achieving positive ROI for our marketing budget.

Learn more about PDCA, inbound marketing and kaizen in our latest free eBook, “Lean Digital Marketing.”