As you might expect, I get Google Alerts on the term Lean Marketing. Given that we have been focused on the application of business process management to marketing/sales for over 10 years, we have an interest in what others have to say on the topic. While we believe you can effectively apply Lean Thinking to marketing and sales (you can read more), and we offer a workshop entitled Lean Marketing/Sales, we have not really seen much from others using the phrase Lean Marketing, until recently.
In the last month or so we are seeing more posts using this term and with a disturbing definition. As those who have read our papers, including the ones linked above, you know that Lean Thinking is about removing waste from a process, or eliminating wasteful processes all together. Unfortunately, we are seeing the term “lean” applied to the concept of limited budget. A limited budget may be a lean budget by one definition of the word lean. But when applied to the concept of becoming effectively Lean as in Lean Thinking, just because you have a limited budget does not suggest that the waste has been removed, only that the amount of spending has been reduced.
Less is not Lean, it is just less.