2014 Marketing Trends for Films, Churches and Businesses

Mary Poppins and BertMarketing is the simplest activity for a production company, church, and business to increase its fan base, followers, and consumers. It’s also the slowest area developed and is the least funded. This discrepancy will cause most organizations to avoid driving growth through the latest marketing trends.

Numerous consulting firms and corporations have generated a list of digital marketing trends for 2014, yet few organizations will focus on these areas of impact. Independent filmmakers, churches and businesses will see their followers shrink in 2014 if they don’t support the trends that drive connections.

The top three trends in 2014 that will drive fans, followers and consumers are:

1. Content Marketing (Drives Information – No prerequisite)
2. Social Media Engagement (Drives Relationship – #1 Must be in place)
3. Targeting and Personalization (Drives Sales – #1 and #2 Must be in place)

We are in a knowledge-driven society, so there’s no surprise that an organization’s followers demand content when they want it. Nor are we surprised by the need for relationship before a person will trust the brand being exploited for commercial success. Regardless of the organization, these new trends in marketing are powerful when used properly.

1. CONTENT MARKETING: Everyone needs information to succeed at his or her endeavor. We all need to gain the right knowledge at the right time and it doesn’t matter if we’re trying to hunt down the latest conservative film, find a church that can provide hands on applications for life, or capture the latest techniques to drive business.

We need the information when we need it and it’s prudent for those who offer a product or service to get it to us on demand. This is the first step in building the 2014 version of brand loyalty. Without it in place, filmmakers will find a shrinking audience, churches will see a decline in attendance, and businesses will think the economy is swinging downward when it’s only shifting to those who provide what’s needed.

All independent filmmakers, churches and businesses have websites, but few keep it updated with the latest content. Fans want to read about the stars in their films, the behind the scenes stories, and how to help promote the films they support. Church attenders want to understand how to apply what is taught to their everyday life, not from a theological viewpoint or one of theory, but with real life examples that work. Consumers desire to learn about the business and what it stands for and supports, before they hand over their hard earned dollars to just any company.

2. SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT: People desire a relationship with those they follow whether or not it’s a filmmaker, preacher, or business. This isn’t a personal relationship, although it feels personal to most, but rather a relationship designed to impact the life of the fan, follower, and consumer. Today, there are a lot of choices fighting for our attention and the one that will always win is based on having some form of relationship with us.

Since social media platforms come and go, with another cycle beginning soon, a new cost structure will soon be attached. Facebook has now made it so your blast of information will only be received by a percentage of the people liking your page unless you pay a fee to make sure they all get it. For instance, if you have 500,000 fans you can expect that 10% will receive your automated notice unless you pay a fee that guarantees everyone receives it.

Filmmakers will have to budget social media dollars into building their fan base in 2014 and have something worth presenting to get the notice read, especially since information is a prerequisite for social media. Churches will have to follow suit, but with self-help information that supports their service’s message for the week. Businesses will have to determine what ancillary or supplemental products can be used as freebies to enhance the buying relationships.

3. TARGET AND PERSONALIZATION: For a fan, follower, or consumer to “buy” the product or service being “sold”, he or she requires the right information (Content Marketing), a relationship (Social Media Engagement), and a personal acknowledgement (Target and Personalization) that they are a fan, follower or consumer.

We all want to matter to someone, especially to those who matter to us. Fans need filmmakers just as much as filmmakers need fans. This paradigm behooves filmmakers to find little ways to stay connected. Filmmaker Ron Howard just released mugs, based on his film production doodles, on Amazon for a charity and as a relationship builder for fans – They get his personal drawings.

I’ve always wondered how powerful a church could be if the pastor took personal time with each of his attending families. A congregation of 300 people would only require one dinner at some family’s home every other week for three years to personally impact each family. Mega churches could do the same, but instead of the head pastor making the rounds, the staff pastors and other key leaders would each need to participate.

Businesses can learn a thing or two from Disney 23. It’s an elite fan club that delivers highly personalized gifts and opportunities. As a member, I received an invitation to a free private showing of “Saving Mr. Banks.” I also was given a backstage pass to meet all the performers after attending the touring version of the Mary Poppins Broadway musical. After the show I had a lengthy, honest conversation with Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Gavin Lee (Bert).

2014 is all about passing on information, building relationships and personalizing the “sales” experience whether you’re sharing a product or service. If your organization plans to succeed this year, you’ll need to make sure those three processes are a part of your marketing plan.

Copyright © 2014 by CJ Powers


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