Listeners learn why it’s useful to compare marketing with classroom teaching

WFN1 Chairman and CEO Michael Yorba sits down with business leaders, industry titans, and entrepreneurial influencers to discover what makes them (and their businesses) tick. When he invited Media Relations Agency CEO Lonny Kocina back to his popular show, CEO Money, he was especially excited to dig deeper into Lonny’s best-seller, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing.” Yorba confirmed he uses this award-winning book daily. 

The discussion first turned to the definition of the word brand. “Brand is one of the most misused terms in marketing today, which is alarming considering how important the term is,” Lonny commented. He explained that brand is not a synonym for product. Rather, it is the definition consumers hold in their minds about a product. “Marketing is a lot like teaching,” he continued, comparing a target audience to a room full of students who aren’t paying close attention. 

Lonny has taught college-level marketing and felt comfortable making the comparison. You must create a syllabus about what you want to teach them. Sometimes it will be about your company. Other times, it will be about a specific product or service. “All the while, you’re trying to create a favorable definition in their minds about your company and products that is more important to them than their money. That’s a high bar to get over, so you’ve got a lot of teaching to do.” 

Exclaiming, “I’m really enthused with this book,” Yorba then asked Lonny to turn to page 41 and explain how creating code sheets can create a pathway to a better marketing experience. Lonny commented that the code sheets are a way to avoid getting tangled up in “razzle dazzle” terms that may derail a campaign. 

The code sheets codify the company’s mission, vision, products, markets, primary message themes and position to be encoded in the message. Once leadership agrees on what each code sheet says, the sheets are shared with the creative team to keep all promotions – from the website to advertising – on point. 

Yorba also admitted to going crazy over page 140, the Schedule Calendar. Lonny gave an excellent example of how to use this concept. Say you have five products, two submarkets per product that need to speak to slightly differently, and three messages per product. When you start scheduling each product, each submarket and each message point using all the different promotional mix channels, you may wonder how many times you’ll have to reach out to each market.

“Most clients quickly realize they don’t have near the money to invest into everything they need to do,” Lonny told Yorba. “Scheduling becomes a lesson in prioritizing.” 

Lonny wrapped up the conversation by circling back to the definition of brand. “If everyone knows about your product, go ahead and call it a brand. But don’t call it a brand until people know about it … people don’t fully understand how much work is ahead of them to educate their markets.” 

At 236 pages and fully illustrated, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing” provides both an easy-to-understand overview of marketing and a six-step implementation process applicable to any business in any industry.

Numerous business professionals have read this book then asked to work with us because of our expertise. We’re happy to talk with you about the options, ranging from a fully integrated marketing campaign to one that’s focused on just one area such as digital or content work. Call us at 952-697-5269 or complete this form to learn more.


Written by Robin Miller

Robin will coordinate the writing for your newsletters, social media posts, website, blogs, newsletters and press releases. “I like interviewing clients and spokespeople, hearing their stories, getting to know their personalities and listening to how they phrase their thoughts,” she says. “It’s fun to transform what I’ve learned from those conversations into media-grade content.” Robin enjoys shaping content to ensure that the message will be clearly received. “When someone understands the relevance of what they’re writing and can position it properly for their audience, their work tends to be more convincing and on point. I’m fortunate to have a very diverse background, which gives me a good perspective whenever we bring on a new client.” An IABC- and Mercury-award winner, Robin says her practical experience in the health sciences has proven particularly beneficial as she interprets clients’ scientific information for mainstream media. “But it’s no longer sufficient to write well,” she cautions. “As marketers, we must now comply with the intricacies of digital marketing. That involves a whole set of rules, which are constantly evolving.”

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