Marketing Strategy
What Marketers Can Learn From Watching Classic Movies?

What Marketers Can Learn From Watching Classic Movies?

October 28, 2020
3 min read

Cinema acts as an effective resource for visual learners because it enables them to comprehend ideas without the obstacles that hinder learning.

It is said that nearly 65% of most audiences are visual learners. As a marketer or B2B business owner, it is extremely important to take advantage of visual communications to accommodate this portion of society.

Believe it or not, there are many movies that have a lot to teach us about the world of business and the essential traits needed in order to become a successful marketer. Next time you sit down with your family with a bucket of popcorn to watch a movie, think of all the insights and important concepts you can learn from the film.

Here are 5 classic movies that will spark nostalgia and feed your creative marketing mind.

1. Joy

Jennifer Lawrence stars in this comedy-drama film that focuses on the struggles and successes of a female innovator. Based on the true story of Joy Mangano, Lawrence inspires us with her determination, creativity and adaptability as a female entrepreneur.

Joy’s ability to sell 18,000 Miracle Mops while wearing typical clothes, using minimal makeup, and possessing no sales experience shows us that authenticity is key.  As a mother and homeowner, Joy used this handy product herself to clean up after her kids. This allowed her to perfect the mop, understand its benefits, and sell the product to her audiences genuinely on a live QVC broadcast.

This particular scene is a prime example of the fact that customers value realness. Who are you? What drives you? The best way to be authentic with your audience is to take some time to apply your core values, goals and beliefs to the heart of your business approach.

2. Wonder

Wonder is a coming of age film told primarily from the perspective of 10-year old Auggie Pullman with facial differences who struggles in everyday life with his condition. In the movie, the changing points of view allow the viewers to get a glimpse of the thoughts and moods of each character.

Being authentic comes with the caveat that you must exhibit empathy and intuition in order to make it work. Wonder’s main message is “when given the choice to be right or kind, choose kind.”

In the marketing field, we often forget to be empathetic and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Inside a company, empathy helps with management and collaboration by helping to understand the other person’s perspective. You can learn to be more empathetic by asking questions, examining your biases, getting feedback and taking steps outside of your comfort zone.

3. The Pursuit of Happiness

Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a man who struggles with homelessness and unemployment while striving to provide for his wife and son. Despite his difficult circumstances, Gardner exemplified an enormous amount of grit. He never gave up and saw every day as a new opportunity to persevere.

Due to bad luck before an interview, Gardner shows up to a big corporate office in an old sweatshirt that is covered in paint. His persistence, wit and communication skills were what set him apart from the others, even in his unappealing physical state.

Grit does not guarantee success for an entrepreneur. However, it does ensure that they can motivate themselves to continue progressing, despite any difficult setbacks. Grit in the workplace will help employees develop new skills and learn new roles. This is a powerful skill that marketers can use to develop a growth mindset which is an essential part of any successful career.

4. The Truman Show

The Truman show is a 1998 psychological science fiction film about a man named Truman Burbank whose life is part of a live large TV set but doesn’t know that he is living his life on camera. The show has built a brand surrounding Truman’s life and makes millions off of the products used on set. Even though everyone in Truman’s life are actors, he is real, which draws the majority of the show’s audience. Truman only begins to discover the truth through his observations, questions and curiosity.

This movie serves as a fantastic example of how big data is controlling consumers’ lives, similar to Truman, in an online world where content is constantly being orchestrated. As marketers, we need to value our customer’s privacy and keep their trust. Transparency helps increase engagement and consumer vulnerability. Marketers are only now beginning to realize that people do not want to connect with brands – they want to connect with something human.

5. Forrest Gump

Tom Hanks stars as Forrest Gump in a romantic comedy-drama film about a slow-witted, kind-hearted man who experiences defining historical events in 20th century America. He plays an essential role as a storyteller in the face of history.

Storytelling allows companies to share their values and experiences with their clients. This helps with  relationship building which is essential in order to create trust, show modesty and network.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a content marketing plan could help your business, reach out to us here.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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