November 11, 2013

Content Marketing Lessons We Learned from Marlon Brando

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Redefine your relationship with your audience by taking a cue from “The Godfather” — become a method marketer.

Marlon Brando redefined what it meant to be a successful actor with his unique style of performing known as method acting. Method acting is a technique where actors put themselves in the shoes of the character they are portraying in film, TV or on stage. The actor virtually becomes the character in their day-to-day life in an attempt to make their performance as life-like and authentic as possible.

So, what does this Brando-style of acting have to do with marketing?

If you want to be successful in reaching your audience, you need to adopt what we call method marketing — understanding your target market so well that you can basically see the world from their eyes.

Now you might be thinking — Okay, this all sounds great, but I’m a busy person and “becoming” an urban millennial who only eats vegan and has a collection of 25+ American Apparel T-shirts sounds a little much, don’t you think? Maybe, maybe not. But just in case, we have some alternatives that will help you become a better method marketer.

  1. Communicate with the front lines. Making time for a couple of phone conversations or meetings with those who interact with your customers on a daily basis is a great way to better understand consumer behaviors and purchase decisions. This could be in-store sales associates, customer service representatives, sales reps or even hotline call takers. Having these conversations regularly helps you stay in tune with your customers’ attitudes and behaviors.
  2. Don’t advertise on social media, engage. You can track click-thru rates on Facebook ads all day long, but how much does that really tell you about your customer? By keeping your social media pages active and engaging with your audience on a personal level, you go from being a brand to a friend.
  3. Talk to them. Ultimately, if you REALLY want to know your audience, you need to spend some time with them. Just a day or even an hour spent surrounding yourself with these groups will help you to understand them better. Walk a tradeshow floor with the distributors instead of only hanging out at the exhibitor booth. Visit a convention or event that a high number of your target audience often attends. Discuss your product or service one-on-one with these people to understand what they want and what your company can do to help them (but don’t be a salesman).
  4. If all else fails, ask a professional. Sometimes time is too short and departments are too small to focus on this type of in-depth marketing research, and that’s where professionals come in. At madison/miles media we are happy to help you understand your target audience and come up with custom solutions to help you optimally reach them.

If you’re ready to redefine your relationship with your audience and reach out to them in the most effective ways possible, it’s time to take a cue from one of the most successful actors of all time. It’s time to become a method marketer.

Ready… Set… Action!

Mario Medina

Mario is the Creative Director of madison/miles media. He has a wife, two kids, a dog, a fish (but it might be dead — hard to tell) and an unhealthy obsession with Batman.