Just got done watching the movie Hitch starring my main man Will Smith.
Now, I'm a little too macho to admit that I was doing anything other than spending quality time with my wife, but I wanted to write a quick post to relay some marketing insights I picked up from a cursory, no-note taking viewing of a great romantic comedy. It's a couple years old, but if you have not seen it, you should give it a shot. (PS The protagonist, Hitch, tells his love interest's boss that he is a marketing consultant that dabbles in advertising and brand management.)
Here's 7 quick lessons we can take from the movie:
1) Hitch was an expert on human (specifically female) psychology and behavior. He knew why people acted certain ways, and what actions / words would elicit specific responses from other people. In marketing, we need to become experts on aspects of psychology to maximize the impact of our work.
2) Hitch studied each specific target. When a guy wanted to get with a particular woman, Hitch found out as much information as possible in order to help his client make a special connection.
3) Hitch tells the woman that one of his clients was courting, "It's not my job to deceive. I create opportunities." unfortunately, some businesses use deception in their marketing efforts. This is one of the reasons that people are naturally resistant to advertising (there are lots of reasons). Joel Bauer defines a salesperson as anyone who can convey to someone else the need to step into an opportunity. Marketing should present to an audience an opportunity to meet their needs, satisfy their desires, assuage their fears – to improve their lives. But do not deceive your potential customers.
4) Hitch also said that he helped women "get out of their own way" so that good guys could have a chance. If you have a valuable product, your marketing is part of the key to help people get out of their own way. If buying from you will really have a positive impact on your customer's life, shame on you for not overcoming their objections and their hesitation to step into a wonderful opportunity.
5) Hitch's business is all about helping people get something they really want. The foundation of his practice is one of the greatest needs that all people have: finding true love. There is also great demand for this. Your marketing should sell what people desperately want, and the bigger the demand for a product, the better your chances for success.
6) Hitch refused to work with a client that planned to use his services with the wrong intentions (Hitch helps people find love; the potential client wanted help getting the girl in bed with him). Lesson: you do not have to work with people who are going to misuse or abuse your product, service, or you. This is especially true for people in my field, like copywriters, consultants, and other independent contractors and freelancers. You can pick and choose which projects you want to work on. Do not waste your time with clients or projects that will drive you crazy.
7) Get a really sharp, memorable business card. Did see Hitch's? All black, heavy cardstock. Very eye-catching, even though the camera did not focus on it. Business cards are part of your marketing, too.
Do you see how there are lessons to be learned everywhere you look? Even in mushy chick-flicks!