Bad News

Dear CEO,

Your marketing team knows a lot less about marketing than they let on. Most don’t even know basic marketing concepts. Just ask your “marketing expert” the difference between the Marketing Mix and the Promotional Mix. Ten to one they won’t get it right. Here’s what they should tell you: 

The Marketing Mix consists of the four Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place (distribution) and Promotion. It divides everything in marketing into four categories.

The Promotional Mix categorizes the 5 ways you can deliver your message.

  1.   Media Coverage
  2.   Website
  3.   Social Media
  4.   Advertising
  5.   Personal Selling

Or ask them to describe the word brand. Most simply use the word brand as a synonym for product and won’t be able to accurately describe it. Here’s what you should be hearing from them;

The word brand denotes the definition people hold in their mind of a company and its products. That definition is created in two ways; by what you tell people and by what they experience. 

Asking a marketing expert to answer simple questions like these should be insulting—like asking your CPA if they know the difference between a balance sheet and an income statement. That’s not going to be your problem with most marketers though. It’s going to be that you stumped them. 

Not knowing marketing terms leads to a much bigger problem, and that’s not having a process. Sticking with the CPA analogy, do you think your accounting team would be following a good process if they didn’t know basic accounting terms? Of Course not. 

So, how much is your marketing expert’s lack of basic marketing knowledge costing you? Hard to say. But you can bet it’s costing you. 

Here’s the fix. It’s an easy one. 

It’s a book called The CEO’s Guide to Marketing. The subtitle is The book every marketer should read before their boss does. It’s the most practical marketing book ever written. I know because I wrote it.

You need to buy a copy for yourself first. Then buy copies for your marketing staff and make them read and reread it until they can teach it. 

You can only wring so much money out of existing customers. Real growth comes from adding new customers and that’s done with marketing. 

I was in a CEO peer group called Vistage for about 15 years. I know how CEOs feel about marketers. They don’t understand how they think. Their attitude is it’s best to just slide their food under the door. As the CEO, you shouldn’t do that. You don’t have to be a marketing expert but you have to know how to pick one, or train one. My book will do that for you.  



Written by Lonny Kocina

Lonny 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. Lonny pioneered the concept of our nationally trademarked Pay Per Interview Publicity® business model which enables clients to purchase publicity by the story. “It’s a familiar concept. If you pay for a pizza, you get a pizza; if pay for a car, you get a car; and with us, if you pay for media coverage, you get media coverage,” he explains. “Clients come to us because they are tired of paying hourly retainers and getting little tangible return.” When the Internet was in its infancy, Lonny also had the business foresight to quickly reserve portal web addresses such as publicity, media relations and checkerboard, and advised clients to do the same. Nearly 30 years since launching this agency, Lonny’s still finds great joy thinking about, talking about and writing about product promotion. He thrives on expanding our ability to help clients tell their stories to the masses.

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