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6 digital marketing lessons from Star Wars

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Marketing inspiration comes from many sources. In this case, we look to the famed characters of Star Wars to help us on our way.

Let’s review a few pithy quotes from the likes of Han Solo, Princess Leia and the great and wise Yoda, and see how they might apply to digital marketing.

Lesson from Han Solo

“Punch it!”

Take your content to the next level, make it relevant and continually review and refine. In other words, punch it up.

“Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.””

Though most organizations are in it for the profit, the goal of many digital marketing campaigns is to establish credibility and to build an online rapport. This is especially true for considered purchase items. So … focus on educating and helping first, and selling second.

“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” 

If your agency is growing nicely, now is the time to invest in new ideas, technologies and resources to continue that growth. Don’t get cocky and think that your agency can continue to sell and market the same way you did a few years ago (or more).

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” 

Old school thinking may not appeal to your progressively younger buyers. Innovate and stay ahead of the curve. That said, we never want to use an email “blaster” mentality. Always follow opt-in best practices.

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.” 

Email marketing to a list of thousands of prospects is a giant leap from a modest list of a few hundred. Keep this in mind when creating new, aggressive email marketing initiatives.

“Great shot kid, that was one in a million.” 

Any given campaign can prove to be a home run. But consistent, educational campaigns should be the goal for any agency or broker.

“Laugh it up, Fuzz Ball.” 

It’s great to have fun with your marketing initiatives, but many B2B businesses should err on the side of professionalism through educational and relevant content. Explaining the origin of Foosball or the best recipe for New England clam chowder is unlikely to be the best way to engage your audience.

Lessons from Yoda

“Patience you must have, my young Padawan.” 

Marketing, including email marketing, takes time and patience. Execute, measure, refine … repeat. There is no substitute for an experienced email marketing professional. Don’t trust your email marketing to a novice or treat it as a part-time job to be completed by a salesperson, producer or account manager when and if they have time.

“Mmm. Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing.” 

Though it must be very embarrassing to lose a planet, forgetting to include a working call-to-action link can be embarrassing, too. Double-check all of your links before launching campaigns.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean you should continue doing it in the future. Sometimes you need to step back and assess marketing initiatives, even if they’ve been successful in prior years and for many years.

(Image: AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Lessons from Luke Skywalker

“It’s not impossible. I used to shoot womprats with my T16 back home.” 

Laser-like focus can be invaluable for marketing campaigns. Defining a target market, determining a buyer persona, creating a prospect scorecard and ensuring that your company has a robust prospect list are all crucial to effective and efficient marketing.

Whether you’re targeting womprats or executives, make sure you have the data and methodology in place when embarking on your next campaign.

“I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you.”

Are some of your marketing initiatives going so poorly that they need to be rescued? How are you determining which plans need to be rescued versus those that need to be jettisoned? Marketing initiatives should be reviewed on a regular basis and culled when they are beyond rescue.

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” 

My father founded this insurance agency, so I’m going to run the company marketing the same way. As companies transition from fathers to sons and daughters, there are important elements to keep, and many to throw away.

When it comes to marketing, look at what has produced recent ROI, and look at innovative approaches for future ROI. A simple example might be the website your father (Jedi or otherwise) created 10 years ago. It might have been great then, but the time has come and gone to create a new website.

(Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Lessons from Darth Vader 

“The force is strong with this one.”

Once you earn a positive digital reputation, the “force” will be strong with your company and can remain strong with high-quality content and consistent communication.

“It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”

Though ruling the galaxy may be beyond the scope of your business, you can dramatically increase your book of business with innovative marketing initiatives, cutting edge tools and the talent to execute them. Considering outsourcing certain marketing initiatives to compliment any missing in house staffing or skills. Outsourcing can be a more effective solution than internal staffing for many organizations, especially smaller family run businesses.

(Image: Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)

Lessons from Princess Leia 

“Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” 

Though marketing can often be daunting for many companies, particularly to small businesses, it’s not as hopeless as it might initially seem. And there usually isn’t just one silver bullet that will solve a problem, but rather many options which can provide successful outcomes.

When initiatives are going poorly, start with the basics such as: market, profile, persona, delivery options, etc. For example, you can use A/B email testing to determine how to best optimize messaging and calls to action.

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”

Just because your budget is small doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. For example, leverage less expensive tools and platforms to expand reach.

Use LinkedIn long-form publishing as opposed to paid press releases. Cross pollinate your digital content by using free or inexpensive social media platforms. Small businesses and startups can use sweat equity when they have insufficient capital available.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” 

This one seems obvious. If you don’t have a good feeling about your marketing campaign or initiative, think outside the box (or “poke the box”) and try something new. How about whiteboard videos, or a social media-based referral program, infographics for digital content, on demand webinars, a new app, or podcasts.

There are so many tools and technologies available today, there is something for companies both small and large.

(Image: Harrison Ford, as Han Solo of “Star Wars” chats with Carrie Fisher Nov. 13, 1978 during a break in the filming of the CBS-TV special “The Star Wars Holiday.” AP Photo/George Brich )

Lessons from Obi-Wan

“Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” 

If at first you don’t succeed, measure, refine (or overhaul), and execute. Repeat!

Marketing inspiration can be gleaned from both traditional and innovative sources. Businesses need to embrace innovative marketing ideas and new technologies.

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