If you’re a start-up business, one of the hardest things to accomplish is getting people to think and say the right things about you, even if they haven’t purchased your product yet You’ve got to get them thinking that they want your product more than their money. Media Relations Agency CEO Lonny Kocina gave some fantastic advice on this subject during his podcast interview with School for Start-Ups host Jim Beach.
We’ve been leading the product promotion and marketing industry for 30 years. We’re performance based, meaning we have to produce results or we don’t get paid. So, we have to know what we’re doing. To help others understand and implement our efficient way to market products, Lonny wrote “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing.” Whether you have one employee or 1000, it’s a good starting point.
I want to share a few highlights from his podcast interview to help you get started.
- Zero in on your primary value points and positioning. “Marketing is about teaching people, and the marketing plan is the syllabus,” Lonny said. Write down the top one, two or three reasons why they should buy from you rather than someone else. He also suggests writing a brand statement. “Take those reasons and write them down just as you want to overhear a customer say them to a friend in a coffee shop.”
- Get comfortable with the promotional mix. That consists of publicity, ads, social media and your website. Which of these will enable you to deliver your message where people will pay attention? “It’s not just once,” Lonny cautioned. “You’ve got to tell your message multiple times so your audience remembers it. For many today, you’ve got to find your way into their reality through their phones.”
- Concentrate your efforts on media coverage. “Media coverage is a wonderful way to get out your message, and the media need new story ideas every day. Pick up the phone and call your local paper. They are often interested in local people who are creating a new product or service. And if you are doing this media outreach yourself, it doesn’t cost you anything.”
- Include digital ads in your marketing plan. “The analytics will help you figure out who your best audience might be.”
Keep listening to this podcast to the very end, because some of Lonny’s best advice comes at the conclusion of the interview. He explained that one of the biggest mistakes new marketers make is not understanding the product life cycle. “A product is introduced, grows, matures and declines. Along this cycle, you’ve got to match your marketing to the innovators (those who thrive on trying new things) to the early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.”
Lonny describes this common mistake this way: “People have this new product and it really takes off. They’re convinced it will be the next great thing. Then sales start to fizzle and they can’t figure out why. What’s happening is that the innovators and early adopters are not brand loyal. They just love to try new stuff. It’s hard to make the jump between the early adopters and the early majority, who will be more brand loyal.”
Each pivot in your marketing, and each time you adjust your messaging and promotional channel, requires careful thought. We know how to navigate around the potential pitfalls and guide our clients through the marketing process so that they can build recognition for their products. If you’d like to discuss how this might be done with your product, perhaps starting in your local market, call us at 952-697-5269 or use the form below and we’ll get right back with you.