Hollywood marketing is perhaps the best contemporary example of product promotion. They strategically build up excitement for the movie premiere, and done correctly, guarantee that a movie will be successful before it is even released. While blockbuster movies have can afford to dump cash into advertising, many of their strategies can still be applied successfully on a much smaller scale and should be integrated into any marketer’s toolkit such as brochure, postcard & flyer printing. Without further ado, here are 5 marketing lessons we can learn from Hollywood about launching a product.
1. Know your Audience
Hollywood tailors its movies to the people it expects to come see them. This may sound obvious, but take a moment and look at the trailer for a children’s movie. Ask yourself what features of the trailer are designed to draw the eye of a child (or more importantly, their parents). Now repeat this process for a summer blockbuster.
These trailers are designed in such a way to create excitement for their specific audience, and this is a lesson that you need to apply to your product. Who are your intended customers? If you don’t have a clear answer to that right now, take some time and develop one. If you are marketing your product to people in their twenties, a successful campaign will look very different than a campaign intended for customers in their sixties.
In addition to this, it will be worth your time to study the effectiveness of your advertisements on that group. Sit down with a handful of people in your target audience and ask them what features of your product they would like to see emphasised. After you do this, run marketing material that emphasises those aspects past a different group of the same demographic. If you want to get particularly useful data, be sure to show them an advertisement that emphasises none of the features your first group indicated as being important. This will allow you to isolate how effective those aspects are in converting potential customers.
Doing these will help you to understand your audience and what makes them tick, allowing you to design the rest of your campaign.
2. Get the Word Out Early
Teaser trailers are a staple of any modern movie marketing plan. The first Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer was released on Oct 22, more than a full half a year before it hit the big screen. By highlighting only the most visually striking scenes, the teaser manages to show us just enough to hook our imagination without giving away any major plot details about the film. For another excellent example of the teaser, consider JJ Abrams’ teaser for his upcoming Star Wars film. Everything in the trailer, from the Starfighter chase scenes, to the classic lightsabre activation, to the familiar shape of the Millennium Falcon’s is aimed squarely at unleashing the inner fan boys in us.
But teasers can be used outside of the context of films too. Take Samsung’s teaser for the launch of their Samsung Galaxy S3 for instance. In a teaser website, Samsung created a countdown timer with a visually striking background symbolising their “Galaxy” brand. The brilliance in countdown timers is that it triggers the inherent curiosity in people and builds anticipation for that one moment in time. It gives your audience something firm they can grab onto, without spoiling the anticipation for the product’s release.
3. Bring in the Big Names
Ask yourself, how many movies have you gone to because they had an actor or actress whose work you really enjoy? Oftentimes the difference between a hit movie and a film bust comes down to the actors and actresses who star in the movie, and it boils down to recognition. This tactic is so effective that movie-goers will often end up watching a movie at the theatre without prior knowledge of any plot details simply because “Leonardo DiCaprio is starring in it”. It’s not difficult to see how this can be adapted into your marketing campaigns. While it’s not likely you’ll be able to find a celebrity to write for you, simply getting an expert in the field to write a quick review or endorsement is enough to boost awareness, trust and authority. When an expert in the field lends his name to your product or service, he is putting his reputation on the line, and an authority figure willing to put his reputation on the line for a product or service is a good way to boost your product’s credibility in the eyes of your customer.
4. Always Be Within Sight
Hollywood marketing is never satisfied with just one channel. A film’s campaign takes advantage of every channel it can – be it online trailers, television advertisements, web and print media, posters in every nook and cranny, and sometimes even more creative viral marketing campaigns. This ensures the movie’s release date is always fresh on people’s minds.
Successful marketing campaigns can work on two levels. While many campaigns are designed to make you buy immediately, a more subtle and sometimes more effective form of advertising is through the use of awareness campaigns or remarketing. Facebook ads and Google Adwords are both excellent online advertising platforms that offer remarketing and allow you to target leads that have visited your site before and are potentially interested.
While it may be illegal in Singapore to stick advertisements anywhere you please, print media such as flyers, brochures and postcards are still highly effective ways to keep your brand in view. Many marketers make the mistake of only distributing and printing flyers and brochures once, without realising that many potential customers can take months before making a purchase decision, and delivering advertising materials to the same audience over time can really help to keep your product and services in mind. Click here for distribution tips for flyers and click here for some creative ideas about using postcards as an advertising medium.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Lastly, set realistic goals for your marketing campaign. Not all Hollywood movies are marketed as academy-award winning classics, because not all movies will achieve that. Setting realistic goals will help you with planning actionable steps to reach those goals without demoralising yourself.