Marketing in Film."You can't sell anything if you can't tell anything". Beth Comstock
It is apt that I begin my first blog of 2016 featuring a female marketeer, Beth Comstock who initially studied science, moved into television production and is now the new vice chair of business innovation at General Electric, USA.
More than her achievements, it is her take on marketing that excites me. Essentially a sale cannot occur without a story, and so here, the big global companies of the world are all banding to create stories for their products that potentially induce an emotion or a journey for the consumer so that the product is appealing and consequently sold. I have to add that right there, is the one advantageous aspect that filmmakers have, the ultimate storytellers, and yet, the concept of marketing in the filmmaking process is always thought about right at the end, and by then, it can be all a little too late.
The big studios have caught on to this and are now employing marketing producers in pre production. The marketing producer sits in all of the meetings and ascertains the vision and the direction of the film and from the onset devises a marketing strategy that begins at that point before the film is even created to the conclusion of the film and beyond. Consumers, or the potential audience of that film, is reached before the film is even released.
Just because the big studios are doing this, does not mean that indie filmmakers cannot do it. It is simple, at the onset of the film, whether it is a short or a feature, documentary, drama, comedy, animation, or any genre for that matter, a marketing producer must be employed at the beginning and a story devised surrounding the concept, theme, idea behind the film and a campaign formulated that can include social media, print, and events. Be creative, but as a marketeer there must be a story to tell the story. Just look at the marketing campaign of the 'Hunger Games' to understand how serious this business really is before the film is ever made. Local shop owners do the same when they lease out a shopfront, before the business has even opened, it is advertised for all to see. A filmmaker should not be any different.
I like the way FaceBook has a feature that indicates on their client's pages, how many people are actually talking about the page or the post. It is imperative that consumers have a product at the forefront of their thoughts for it to be a success and that is why a marketing campaign must begin for a film right at the beginning. The consumer or the audience needs to know about it, fed the story behind the story, in small unfolding doses, in any media that works, whether it is a virtual world, interactive website, vines, pics, it can be endless and thought provoking, ultimately leading to box office sales. I find it an enormous exciting challenge to do this, and something I am thinking about as I plunge into the development of some major projects ahead, no doubt there will be a lot of telling on my part. Stay tuned.