In the spotlight: Lonny Kocina, Chief Executive Officer, Media Relations Agency
Imagine asking your accounting staff the difference between a balance sheet and an income statement, and finding out you stumped them. Now, ask your marketing team the difference between the marketing mix and the promotional mix.
“It’s a basic question but surprisingly most marketers don’t know the answer,” says Lonny Kocina, CEO of performance-based marketing agency Media Relations Agency. “Someone in your company should know about marketing or you’re going to get bamboozled.”
Based on his agency’s 30 years of helping companies of all sizes to successfully market their products, Kocina notes that, “Most people in marketing, from the top on down, know a lot less about marketing than they let on. Many don’t even know the basics of marketing. It’s unfortunate how much money is being wasted and sales missed over something that is relatively easy to solve.”
He adds, “Marketing is about the shortest, fastest, least expensive and most direct route to a lead, a sale and a brand. You can maybe ring another 20 percent in sales out of your current customers, but that’s offset by the hole in your customer bucket. Real growth comes from new business development and you’ve entrusted a good share of that to a marketing team that can’t define a basic marketing term. Not good.”
In his new book, The CEO’s Guide to Marketing, 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 six steps are fully illustrated in the book. Kocina explains why each is needed, and gives examples, all in easy-to-read detail. The SAM 6 steps are:
1. Gain competence in marketing terms
“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 terms.”
2. Develop 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.”
Kocina acknowledges that a lot of work goes into implementing each of these steps, but CEOs who understand the basics by reading this book will have more assurance that their marketing is being done with utmost professionalism.
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.”
Those who might benefit most from SAM 6 include:
- Marketing managers, who will discover how to get their whole team to work together efficiently. They’ll learn how to produce the most effective content, with the fewest rewrites and redesigns. They’ll also discover where to share it to get the best return on their investment. “With SAM 6, marketing will be fun again.”
- CEOs, who will appreciate this academic-based process. When you understand SAM 6 you can quickly determine what types of marketing your company needs and what it doesn’t. You can also use SAM 6 to assess the competence of your marketing team.
- Industry professionals such as graphic designers, writers and web designers, who will discover marketing secrets that will put them miles ahead of their peers. “SAM 6 will help them use their talents to create content that gets results. It can add rocket fuel to their marketing career.”
Kocina predicts that following these six steps will bring order and clarity to your marketing. “It will lead to more leads, higher sales and a stronger brand.”
Lonny Kocina is a visionary who is passionate about marketing. He believes that to be a truly great agency, our professional advice and deliverables must be based on a solid marketing foundation. He has made it his mission to ensure that everyone on our team knows and understands the basic marketing concepts and the SAM 6 process.