Most products fail. “But they shouldn’t fail because of marketing. The big wild card is the need people have for the product. That trumps everything,” says best-selling author Lonny Kocina, CEO of Media Relations Agency. “If a product works well, even bad marketing can’t kill it. But if people don’t need the product, the best marketing in the world isn’t going to save it.”
Kocina, author of “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing,” explains how to tell the difference. His book has been an Amazon best-seller since it was released in 2017 and was a 2018 Axiom Business Book Silver Award winner.
How marketers and PR people can avoid getting blamed when sales start to go south
Kocina says most attendees don’t know enough about marketing to understand whether it is responsible for a sales problem or whether it is accelerating a product’s natural lifecycle. “If a product doesn’t work, you’re going to find out faster when you’re using a good marketing process,” he explains. “So, when someone in the room tries to blame marketing for all the problems, you’d better have your facts in order.
“Does your team truthfully understand marketing? Were you on point with your messaging and your positioning? Did you use the promotional mix and schedule correctly? Did you cycle through it as you should? If you can say yes to all that, and the product didn’t work, then you can say it wasn’t your marketing.”
He admits that his message isn’t always well received. “Most people are embarrassed to admit that they don’t know this stuff,” he says. “I don’t care if I offend people in the audience. I’m tipping my hand and giving away secrets I’d rather keep. But I’m older now and I’m doing this to spare people some of the frustration I’ve had during my career.”
The six-step process designed to increase marketing results
In his fully illustrated book, which takes about 90 minutes to read, Kocina outlines a six-step process designed to dramatically increase your marketing results. “I call it Strategically Aimed Marketing, or SAM 6 for short. This process will assure creative people stay focused, on track and doing their best work.”
The SAM 6 steps are:
1. Gain competence in marketing concepts and principles
“Wouldn’t it be great if we all spoke the same marketing language? Dentists know bicuspids from incisors. Lawyers know affidavits from briefs. Architects know cornices from parapets. A competent marketer has a clear understanding of the broad concept of marketing as well as a working knowledge of specific marketing concepts and principles.”
2. Developing code sheets
“Code sheets are compiled into a Brand Playbook which helps direct and control your creative staff. They are a means of gathering and documenting important information about your company and the products it promotes.”
3. Select channels
“The promotional mix channels you choose to employ depend on many variables including your message, the market and your resources. On any given day, we are helping clients tell their stories through publicity, websites, social media and advertising, as well as providing support content for their personal sales team.”
4. Schedule calendar
“Your marketing calendar is a trusted guide to ensure you cycle through each product and its primary value points. Its purpose is to assure that you are delivering a constant and maximum flow of on-point promotional messages. You need to figure out which products and messages should get the most attention. Scheduling will keep your promotions organized and help with budgeting.”
5. Develop a control template
“Your control template provides the guidelines for your writers, designers and other creative staff to follow. It allows these imaginative professionals to create attention-getting content without losing sight of the marketing necessities”
6. Assemble your creative team
“You need to assemble the right people for the job, and then let these creative souls work their magic within the parameters you set. The composition of your creative team will depend on your calendar.”
It’s not rocket science
“The SAM 6 process is the seed and I can teach people how to make it grow. Marketing is dynamic. It’s complex. People love this simple process because it enables everyone to stay on point,” he says.
Kocina also says those who follow these steps will feel more empowered by their marketing. “SAM 6 brings a clarity and process to this tension-filled field. I’ve been CEO of Media Relations Agency for three decades. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients across the country. I get to see what’s behind the scenes. I can tell you, the companies that follow a logical process are the ones getting the most bang for their marketing dollars.”
To access free SAM 6 tools, go to Publicity.com.