Marketing Tips Learned From Watching TV


In case you need one more excuse to binge-watch some television, I’ve got exactly that for you here. There are a lot of great marketing lessons that can be learned from TV, even if you’re in a completely different industry. The key to learning them is truly paying attention and not just scrolling through your phone while the TV buzzes in the background. No matter what industry you’re in, these lessons apply to you. Let me explain.

Lesson 1: “It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you don’t know how to promote it.”

Can you name the famous character that said this? Well, that would be Mrs. Rose Nyland on The Golden Girls. In season 4 of the classic 1980s sitcom, the girls find themselves manning Sophia and her new (and temporary) husband Max’s pizza knish stand on the boardwalk. They have a great product, the stand looks awesome, and yet there is no one buying their food. After a few hours of waiting, Rose states this amazingly smart line and marketers everywhere say “OMG yes!” (Ok maybe it was just me, but still the point holds true.)

If you don’t know how to reach your ideal clientele with your product or service, the latter can be the most amazingly offering ever but you will still find yourself frustrated, broke, and working ridiculous hours. Do research into your market, craft a client persona and begin creating messaging that directly speaks to them. Forget anyone else!

Lesson 2: Know your value and demand it or walk away.

This tip comes from the next decade of television. The Friends cast made history when the six stars famously banded together in their contract negotiations and demanded they all get paid the same, or no one would re-sign. Bold? Yes. But here’s how they ended up making $1 million each per episode. Can you imagine getting a check like that for a week of work?

What made this work, and not as risky as it may seem, is that the stars new their value. They had done their research and knew the ratings they pulled in, how that translated to advertising revenue during the show’s commercial breaks, and what all of that meant to the studio. In other words, the chemistry they created as a team translated to big bucks on the studio’s bottom line.

If your prospect isn’t willing to pay your rates, asks for numerous cost reductions during negotiation and nickels and dimes everything they can, this is not the client for you! Don’t just walk, run away. (And politely refer them to someone else who may be a better fit.) These behaviors during contract negotiations are indicative of what they will be like a client. Your ideal client is the one who doesn’t need to nickel and dime because they believe in the VALUE you provide, not what you or your products cost.

Now go catch up on both shows and come talk to me when you’re ready to refine your marketing strategy to hit your target clientele.

D. Channing Muller
Principal at DCM Communications

Channing has more than 10 years experience in the marketing and communications field, specializing in advertising, copy writing and reporting, editing, event management, and brand marketing. Beyond the marketing world, her experience in the events industry has taken her from Miami to New Orleans, Toronto, Chicago, and Washington D.C., where she currently resides, and to attend and report on special events. Follow Channing on Twitter or Instagram for an inside look.

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