The Business of Hollywood: 5 Marketing Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Film Studios

Here are five Hollywood marketing tactics that you can leverage for your small business.

What marketing lessons can entrepreneurs learn from Hollywood?

More than you might think. “No other form of entertainment comes close to equaling the earning power of movies. One of the main reasons movies are so successful is that they’re sold to us so effectively. movie marketing is the art and science of convincing consumers to buy movie tickets.”

What’s behind the “convincing?” Good old-fashioned marketing strategy.

Here are five specific Hollywood marketing tactics that you can leverage for your small business or startup launch.

1. Seed (soft launch) your new website.

Did you know about your favorite blockbuster movie before the actual release date? Of course, and here’s why. Soft launch campaigns are effective – they represent promotional activities used to build momentum and anticipation for your new launch.

Soft launches can include various tactics, from social media marketing to viral campaigns. The idea of a soft launch is to build anticipation prior to the big day.

2. Use cross-platform marketing to encourage viral sharing.

Imagine if the studios stuck to broadcast to deliver their promotional campaigns. Boring right? Instead they use, TV, Radio, Outdoor, Print, Online, Social Media and so on to maximize their message. And even without a “blockbuster budget” – you can do the same.

Delivering your message across multiple platforms will reach and engage customers where they are and make sharing easier. Once you’ve soft launched your website don’t forget to maximize exposure on more platforms. For example, if you’re posting assets to Twitter, don’t forget to share related graphics and content on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

3. Leverage the power of WOM and referrals.

Have you heard about a new movie release via a friend, social media, an email, etc? If so, you’ve been on the receiving end of word of mouth (WOM) promotion. Powerful, isn’t it? Referral marketing is likely one of the most cost-effective ways to accomplish promotional goals, by rewarding users for sharing and engaging in content.

Does it work? You be the judge: In 2009, cloud file sharing service, Dropbox implemented a referral program to encourage users to tell friends about Dropbox. Inspired by Paypal’s Sign up Bonus program, the referral program permanently increased their signups by 60 percent. Dropbox estimated that their users had sent 2.8 million direct referral invites to their friends.


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