Escape marketing’s hubris trap!

Hang around the people you have authority over long enough and you are bound to experience feelings of excessive pride and self-confidence. Step outside of that circle and it seems rude when people don’t hang on your every word. Understanding hubris is a good lesson for marketers.

Most of us have an over-inflated view of our company and the products we offer. The lopsided view comes from living in a constant company echo chamber where we all tell each other how wonderful we are. The truth is, people aren’t as in love with our products as we think they should be. I call that the “hubris trap” of marketing.

Our agency is keenly aware of the hubris trap because of our extensive contact with the media. There are rules to follow if you want the media to do a story about a product, and the number-one rule is you’d better have an interesting hook when you call. Reporters couldn’t give a rip how great you think your product is and how much you think their audience should know about it. If we called them with a self-serving pitch about how great our client’s product is, they would never take our call again.

Making hundreds of calls to the media every day for over 30 years has been like living under the guidance of strict parents: It has shaped who we’ve become, even when we are away from them. The media gives us zero choice but to come up with clever ideas that lead to enticing product stories consumers love. What we’ve learned from our extensive work with the media has forged our company culture. It permeates our work whether building a client’s website or writing their social media posts. That’s what made us keenly aware of the hubris trap and also keeps our clients out of it.

If you have a project coming up this month that you need help with, we’d love it if you would give us a try. Our unique agency culture will help you create marketing that produces more leads and sales. That’s what we are all about. You can reach us at 952-697-5269 or schedule a time to talk.

P.S. I don’t want to overstate the idea of hook. We’re not some loosy goosy agency throwing Hail Mary passes. Marketing is a two-sided coin: clever and serious. My book, The CEO’s Guide to Marketing, is proof of our serious side. It’s a straightforward, no-nonsense book that explains marketing and the marketing process. Even though our agency is highly creative, we are masters at process. The book has been an Amazon bestseller since it came out more than a year ago. It’s not a fad book and it’s not 1001 clever ideas. It’s a step-by-step guide to the basics of marketing.

The subtitle of the book is, The book every marketer should read before their boss does. That’s because I’m telling on marketers. I want CEOs to know their marketing team knows a lot less about marketing than they let on. My not-so-subtle suggestion to them is read the book so they don’t get caught flat-footed when the boss comes down with a copy in their hand. You can buy it on Amazon here.

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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