The whats, whys of successful marketing

Lee's Summit JournalMay 23, 2014 

Building successful brands (hopefully your brand) used to be about creating a message which would endure for years. Those days are over. In today’s hectic, ever changing world, brands can become irrelevant if we don’t continually revitalize the message, in order to facilitate their evolution so they reflect the ever-changing consumer attitudes, desires and lifestyles. So, here are a few things we all need to keep in mind to ensure both public and private marketing success moving down the road.

1. Your marketing communications need to focus on “consumer wish fulfillment” not “advertiser wish fulfillment.” Maybe that’s why 2-out-of-3 consumers state that advertising today has very little if any, relevance to them and what’s important in their lives.

2. The pace of change is changing so staying relevant is the main challenge facing businesses today. If you don’t like change you’ll like irrelevance even less. Just because it worked before doesn’t mean it will work today or tomorrow.

3. Seventy-five percent of all consumer decision making takes place on the subjective emotional level. So your marketing and advertising messaging must touch them emotionally if you hope to inspire and attract them.

4. Be a leader in your category. Your marketing should focus on how you can redefine the category as opposed to simply being satisfied with trying to be the best at being the same (within the category). Remember, pandering is the opposite of leadership.

5. Unfortunately market leaders will not stay leaders if they’re not in tune with the changing consumer mindset. Research helps keep you ahead of the competition by analyzing and interpreting the forces shaping consumer behavior by providing an understanding of what really matters to the consumer. Not what we think should matter (to them) or what we’d like for them to care about.

By watching changes in consumer behavior over time, we can anticipate and forecast their changing needs, wants and desires as they relate to a city, a business, a product or a service. That’s why research has been the cornerstone for all of our marketing communications components.

That’s why Lee’s Summit should take great pride in the fact that we’ve been named by North Star Community and Destination Strategies “a benchmark community for marketing implementation and success in the nation, with the highest scores ever recorded…”

Why? Because author Seth Gordin hit the nail on the head when he said, “If you wait until there is another case study in your industry, you will be too late.”

Fortunately, thanks to everyone, we crossed the finish line first.

Yours Truly,


James McKenna is the branding manager for the City of Lee’s Summit. Reach him at

Lee's Summit Journal is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service