Strategy is not a natural tendency of the highly creative people who work in agencies. In my opinion, nothing will kill your chances of achieving product fame faster than putting creative people on the job before your strategy is determined.
To compound this problem, strategy hinges on an academic knowledge of marketing concepts. Let me give you an example of academic knowledge and strategy that is critical to product fame but has nothing whatsoever to do with creativity.
I’ll use an image of two hands to explain the relationship between messages and channels. One hand represents 5 facets to consider when determining your message, and the other hand represents 5 main promotional mix channels.
Each of the ten fingers in this simple illustration is rich with marketing concepts. Take “market” for instance. Two concepts that are important to figuring out market segmentation are segmentation variables and segmentation strategies. Some of the segmentation variables are: demographics, psychographics, geographics, benefits sought, and usage rate. Four segmentation strategies are: undifferentiated, concentrated, multi segmented, and micro segmented. Being fluent in the language of marketing is the key to good strategy.
It may sound silly but hold your hands out in front of you and imagine your left hand as your well thought-out message and your right hand as the promotional mix channels you will deliver your message through. Now interlace the fingers of your two hands. The bond you feel between your hands is a metaphor for what it feels like when you reach out to customers with the right message and reach them in the right ways.
I guarantee I could bore you to tears writing about the minutiae of marketing concepts. And if I wanted to really get you into the weeds, I’d have you take the marketing accreditation test developed by ProThink from our agency’s best-selling book, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing.” The test was difficult for me and I wrote the book.
So, here’s something for you to think about. Most agencies are highly creative – we know that. But how about strategy? Do they have the academic understanding it takes to develop a strategy that will deliver the notoriety your product needs and deserves? In other words, do they understand how to make your product famous? Here’s a hint. We ran an ad challenging marketers to take a basic ten-question, multiple choice marketing quiz online. Of the 670 people who took us up on our challenge, the average score was 7 wrong out of 10. That is statistically the same as guessing.
An easy way to test an agency’s knowledge of marketing is to look at the 31 key marketing concepts I list in the back of “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing.” Then pick a couple and casually ask if they could help you understand them. For example, you could tell them you are unsure about positioning and see what they have to say. Or ask them how they would define the term brand or give you advice on selecting a market segmentation strategy. It will almost certainly be an awkward moment for you when you realize they really don’t know what they are talking about.
For a product, and oftentimes the whole company, marketing can be the difference between life or death. High sales solve all problems. The only problem that can’t be overcome in business is the lack of sales. Low sales are a death spiral. Maybe our agency attitude is old-school but we are hell bent on making our clients money.
I could not care less if my drive for sales is offensive to some. Our clients make products that make people’s lives better and nothing could make me happier than their success.
If you are looking for a smart, experienced agency that loves improving your marketing ROI, we are the agency for you. You can contact us using this form or just pick up the phone and give us a call. 952-695-5269. And don’t just trust the first person you talk to. Ask them to introduce you to some of the team members who would work on a project like yours. Pick their brains a little by asking about similar work they have done. And ask them how successful we would be promoting a product like yours. Ask them if they think we can help make your product famous.