Iron Man 3 debuts this Friday at the Movies. What marketing lessons can we learn and apply from this marketing juggernaut? What can we learn about differentiating our business in a crowded market from Tony Stark? How might we apply Iron Man’s marketing magic to our business development efforts? I thought it might be fun to share several lessons that can help you get the business results you want from your marketing efforts. After all, if it’s not fun and quirky, it’s just another superhero movie.
The first lesson we can learn from Iron Man 3 is that you must know how to segment your markets. Great marketing today requires a strong message to market match. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have anywhere near the budget that Disney does.” What you do have is a better understanding of who your customer is and what results they want from you when they buy your products and services. Judging by the email I’m getting from their many partners, I can tell you Disney is wasting no expense in leveraging their big data to see if we can somehow survive all their targeted marketing campaigns.
The second marketing lesson is tell the big story. No time for subtlety here, from the very first preview to their most recent social campaigns, you understand this is a huge story and it being told in huge, broad strokes. Does your marketing tell a story that leaves people waiting for your next product? How can you tell your story better? As marketing continues to evolve the ability to tell a great story becomes even more critical to stand out from the crowd. The Iron Man story has been around since the early 1960’s and the franchise continues to evolve to keep pace with the change of science to create a fantasy for kids of all ages. When you go see the movie, and you will because most of my readers work in emerging technologies and digital entertainment markets, take a quick peek around to see who else is wearing those 3D glasses. I’ll bet you find kids of all ages watching the movie.
The third marketing lesson is always create raving fans for your product or service. I was out yesterday shopping in preparation for this blog and found Iron Man 3 merchandise and tie-ins many of the stores and restaurants I was shopping in. From t-shirts that say “I am Iron Man” to work out books featuring Robert Downey Jr. The products range from toys for my kids, to a car for my wife, an ACURA. Last year at The Avengers ACURA Premier, my favorite car dealer let me check out the Acura S.H.E.I.L.D sedan, and sign up for a test drive of Tony Stark’s Acura NSX Roadster. I didn’t buy one, but my friend Rick Castle did. I did find several new clients at the movie. They created an incredible experience that had our community buzzing for several weeks after the events and they also got several high end car clients from this event. The lesson might be don’t be afraid to do event marketing when given a chance. Your customers are seeing thousands of marketing messages every day, you must work to separate yourself from the crowd. Consider including events into your marketing budget and I think, with a little creativity and planning, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.
The fourth marketing lesson is don’t be afraid to do sequels. If you have a great service, find new ways to share it with your customers. Allow your best customers and clients to help you develop future generations of the services you offer. Many of the best services I have developed over the years have come from clients suggesting what I should do next. Don’t be afraid to ask great questions of your clients when they begin sharing what they want next. The Iron Man Mark XLII concept came from understanding how technology continues changing, and what fans expect from a movie experience. How do you apply this lesson to your business? You must schedule regular time to talk with your best customers about their hopes and dreams. Be willing to do a quarterly meeting with clients off site to see how their needs are changing. I try to do this at least several times a year with clients and the time invested always creates great new products and services for my clients. For example, this year several clients suggested that I had spent significant time growing their businesses but they were considering what was next for their lives. Did I know anyone who might help them understand what options they might have? After several questions and further discussions we decided to start a coaching program for people who wanted to exit their business over the next several years. One of my clients always gave me their research on the subject and several introductions to their other business advisors and we launched a new line of business.
The final lesson is make your product or service marketing fun!! I’ve worked with many very serious people dealing with very stressful situations in their lives. From dealing with cancer to helping them decide what they want to do after being fired from their own business. Almost all my clients say I bring certain energy to a situation and part of that energy is I make working with my team fun. We take our work seriously, but not ourselves. So if you want a secret weapon against your competitors, my weapon of choice is humor followed by a good measure of fun. No matter how serious the matter, a little humor can go a long way to making your service unforgettable.
If you would like to learn more about my newest business venture, you can go to High Growth Business Report where this week we talk about “Does Your Life Need a Business Plan?” at http://tinyurl.com/c4wo7q6
Next week we start discussing how can you apply these marketing lessons to your business. See you at the movies.