Marketing Poison

Making a product famous isn’t easy. It takes work. And lots of it. In my last letter, I talked about product fame being like a ladder with 1000 rungs. Each opportunity to promote your product is a rung that lifts your product, no matter how slightly, in the direction of fame. 

What causes some products to become famous while most fade? Here are three questions to consider:

  1. Is there truly an unsatisfied demand for your product? That trumps everything. No amount of marketing can get people to buy something they don’t want.
  2. Do you have the mechanics of marketing right? It’s shocking how little most marketers actually know about marketing. You can’t do proper accounting without knowing accounting concepts and processes, and the same goes for marketing. If you are not sure what I mean by the mechanics of marketing, you should order my Amazon bestselling, award winning, book: The CEO’s Guide to Marketing
  3. Is there anyone on your marketing team with a negative attitude? When it comes to marketing, negativity is poison in the well. And it only takes a few drops to make the water undrinkable. 

Let’s talk about the problem the third question brings up: people with negative attitudes. Negativity by its very nature can produce nothing good. It’s like a dead-end road. It leads nowhere. Positivity on the other hand is a road with unlimited possibilities. 

I had a friend who thought promoting himself by riding in small town parades was a waste of time. So that was it. No point in thinking about it. No point in doing them. No parades for him. Dead end.

I had another friend with a positive attitude. No opportunity to promote himself went to waste. He figured out that if he got near the front of the parade, he could get back in cue and go around again. People thought it was funny when they saw him twice. They would laugh and wave as he went by for the second time. 

My first friend’s career fizzled and he slipped quietly into anonymity. My second friend, the positive one who could see possibilities in even the smallest opportunities, went on to become a Governor. 

People who can tell you why something won’t work are a dime a dozen. People who can find the one reason that something can work are worth their weight in gold. 

I’ll share another quick story. Negativity lurks around every corner. All of us, no matter how positive we are, will succumb to it at times. 

I’m the least vindictive person you will ever meet. However, one former employee really got my goat. He came in on weekends to steal our database and started a competing company while still on our payroll. He had been somewhat of a charity case so I was livid. The thought of retribution began to consume me. I decided to file a lawsuit and make an example of him. Spending $50,000 to make him suffer seemed like a bargain. 

I called a business mentor of mine and told him of my frustration. He gave me some advice that saved me a lot of money and anguish. He said people like him bring so much s–t down on their own head that there’s really not much more you can do to harm them. After the call, I thought about how right he was. Every jackass I’ve ever known lives a life of turmoil. Their negative actions suck them down to a level of life that’s miserable and holds them there. And if you’re not careful, they will suck you right down with them. I got back on the phone, called the guy I was suing, told him I was dropping my lawsuit and wished him well. Years have gone by and I haven’t wasted a minute of time stewing over him.

On my desk is a rolodex with 365 positive sayings, one for each day of the year. I read one every morning as a reminder to stay positive.

Most new products fail, and the few that make it usually struggle in obscurity for years. Do you think a product has any chance of success if it’s managed by a person with a dour attitude? 

There is a reason hundreds of books have been written about the relationship between a positive mental attitude and success. There is also a reason not a single book has been written about the art of success through negative thinking. 

It’s hard to say what causes some people to have boundless optimism. Maybe it’s dopamine, maybe it’s genetics, or maybe it’s cultivated. Who knows? Whatever it is, people with a positive attitude are a big plus when it comes to making a product famous.

One last plea to order my book, The CEO’s Guide to Marketing. I really think you will find it helpful. We also produced a short explainer video about our agency you should take a look at. We have gotten great feedback on it.  

And if you’re ready to start your product on its ascent on the ladder of fame by working with a team of positive people who really understand the mechanics of marketing, complete this form or call us at 952-697-5269. 


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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