In case you’ve been on a desert island the past month, you’ve probably noticed that Star Wars, The Force Awakens opened up in theaters this week. And even if you were on that island, you probably found a bottle with a note in it letting you know that the movie starts this weekend.
For some it’s bordering on absurd. For others, it’s building them into a feverish frenzy. Regardless of where you stand on it, it’s amazing. And I’m not talking about the movie (I am excited to see it), but I’m talking about the marketing team behind the newest Star Wars film.
I wish I could remember where I read it (so that I could give proper credit), but I saw a story this week that the marketing budget for the film is not as big as it was for Jurassic World, the spin-off of Jurassic Park that toppled the box office earlier this year. How is that possible? It’s everywhere!
The Star Wars Marketing is Everywhere
You see it on pretty much every other news story, magazine ads to TV spots. And we’re not just talking about the movie trailers. We’re talking about just about every other commercial that you see on TV this week has some sort of marketing tie in with The Force Awakens.
Duracell, Jeep Cherokee, Walmart, Target, Dodge, Campbell’s Soup, Lego and even Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (among countless others). The tie ins are everywhere and I don’t think we will stop seeing them anytime soon as this movie is bound to top the box office for the foreseeable future.
It’s been carefully planned by the new owners of the Lucasfilm franchise for the last three years. They knew they wanted to build up anticipation for the film, but they also knew that they didn’t want to over saturate the marketing so that everyone was tired of seeing the message (not sure if they were successful with that last part). They knew that they had to walk a fine line between excitement and sickness as they have a 4 billion dollar investment that they have to recoup (the amount that Disney paid for the Star Wars franchise).
If You Build It…
My point is, this may be one of the only films that doesn’t actually have to market itself as everyone else will do it for them. The fans, the toy companies, the Mac and Cheese people. But that doesn’t translate to every other business on the planet. It’s like the quote from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”. Nope! They won’t!
I meet with people all of the time who have great ideas. They’ve put those ideas down on paper. They’ve built those paper ideas into a business. They’ve invested countless hours and dollars into building a dream. But once they get there, they forget to market that idea.
I’m not sure where marketing became a bad word. I know where Internet marketing became a bad word (with all of the scammers out there), but none the less, it’s all about getting your message out there. You have a new product, a new service, a new message that you need to spread to the masses.
Especially when it comes to the Internet. People still believe that once they build a website that the search engines will find them and push them to the top securing them Internet riches without having to do much. This may have been the case 10 years ago (except for the internet riches part), but it’s not anymore.
With all of the competition out there, it’s no longer just enough to put up a website. It’s needs to be crafted correctly, it needs to be optimized, it needs to be marketed. If you just put a new website out there and leave it to sit, you may see one sale in 3 months, two sales in 6-9 months, and three or four sales in a year. Notice how I said MAY? Chances are, this may not happen at all.
Let People Know Who You Are And What You Have
And that’s where people get stuck. They put all of this time into coming up with a product, service or idea, but never tell anyone about it (and I’m not talking about Grandma and Uncle Fred). They forget the most important thing about having this service or product. You have to stand up on the rooftops and yell at the top of your lungs about what you have to offer.
It’s the easiest part as well. You’ve done all the heavy lifting to get it to this point. You’ve wiped the sweat and tears from your face on a daily basis getting the business started. Now all you need to do is find the right marketing message to let people know about you.
You can do this yourself or you can hire a company to do it for you (I would suggest the latter, but I’m biased as I own an online marketing firm). The pros of doing it yourself are that it’s much cheaper. The cons are that you probably don’t know exactly what you’re doing or it could be much more effective if you hired a professional.
Marketing your business online also doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as seeing Chewbacca at every turn. It can be as simple as placing an ad in the right place at exactly the right time when a specific person is looking for it (and yes, we can do that now days). It can be as cheap as a couple of hundred dollars to help spread the word (you don’t have to purchase a $10,000 billboard). And it’s vital to your business. You can invest some money into telling people about this wonderful service/product or you can sit and watch it die.
What this teaches us is that marketing for the new Star Wars film is not a typical scenario. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for those marketing folks to see everyone else do it for them. I’m not saying they didn’t work hard on the marketing message, I’m saying they are probably having a blast with this and I hope that they do. There aren’t going to be too many opportunities like this one.
Even though Star Wars is a very recognizable product and will be seen by people around the world, they still have to market their product. You see this happen all of the time if you watch movies. You may be browsing through Netflix one day and see a new movie with one of your favorite movie stars on there and think “Wow. I didn’t even hear about that movie.” That’s because they didn’t market it effectively (or at all). The same thing applies to your business. Do you want to be recognizable, or do you want to be the “I never even heard of that before” business.
I think about this every time I see one of those “The Force Awakens” commercials. It amazes me how many people are marketing that movie for Disney and each of those companies paid Disney to use that music, characters, or images. So not only is everyone promoting their movie for them but Disney is making millions of dollars on top of this. They are getting PAID so that people can promote their product for them.
The rest of us could only be so lucky.
Mike Mancini is the founder of Mancini Digital, an Online Marketing firm specializing in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Mike has more than 12 years of experience and sold his last venture (an online t-shirt) company back in 2013. Mike has sold products online to more than 100 countries around the world. To get in touch with Mike and his team, call (952) 250-4016 today.