What a weak summer box office can teach us marketers
Even with plenty of monsters, angry apes, super heroes and ninja turtles, box office returns for the summer of 2014 were down approximately 15% from the previous year. Can this relatively weak (movies still made over $4 billion, after all) summer return tell us anything about marketing? We think there are actually three important points marketers can take away from this summer’s blockbuster bust.
- There is a saturation point. No one loves sitting down with a big bag of popcorn to watch plenty of action and special effects as much as the folks at Ext. That said, no one has time to see a different blockbuster each week. By spacing out your marketing efforts, you can have a greater impact than if you make a grand announcement or launch a new product every week.
- Originality still matters. The biggest film of 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy, which wasn’t a sequel and was packed with previously unknown characters. This was the first time a film with all new characters had “won the box office” since 2003’s Finding Nemo.* Although established marketing practices are always a great starting point, what’s often missed is the value of considering a new approach in your marketing efforts. And with the increased use of social media, there are plenty of new areas for the more traditionally minded marketer to consider.
- Managing the message is important. Just like a bad review on Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/) can kill an opening weekend and the long-term return of any movie, bad early reviews can damage the success of a marketing initiative. Test run any support materials you produce on as many people as possible. Get all your family and friends to take a look at your new website, blog article or brochure. Send your next email to a co-worker to ensure your point is getting across.
As many of the world’s best directors will tell you, quality is definitely more important than expediency, so make sure your efforts are hitting the mark!
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* Summer Review: Why August’s Record $1 Billion Haul Couldn’t Save The Summer, Shawn Robbins, September 02, 2014, http://www.boxoffice.com/latest-news/2014-08-28-summer-2014-review