06 Mar Frozen Fractals All Around: What a Popular Movie Can Teach Us About Word-of-mouth Marketing
The weather this winter has been awful. Cold, snowy, icy – it just stinks. But one thing has kept many a child warm during these nasty months, and it’s most likely still playing at your local Cineplex.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since November – and really, who could blame you, with all of the storms we’ve had on the East Coast – you’ve probably heard of the movie Frozen. If you’ve got a child in pre-school, like I do, you’ve likely seen it, maybe more than once. You’ve certainly come across the toys and heard the songs (Adele Dazeem!). It’s absolutely everywhere.
How did something that started out as a simple, animated take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen become such a cultural phenomenon?
For our family, it was a case of good, old fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. We didn’t succumb to the Frozen frenzy until several weeks after the film had already gone past the $100 million mark. We were finally driven to see it based simply on the fact that everyone in my daughter’s circle – classmates, friends, and our own fellow parents — were raving about it (yes, even the ones with boys). Eventually, we had to experience it for ourselves.
We went, we enjoyed it, we told others about it. Rinse, dry, repeat.
See, when we think of marketing, we mainly think of things like social media, advertising, or public relations. And these are proven, effective means of communicating (as was apparent during my recent visit to Disney World, where giant posters of Frozen characters loomed from many a signpost in the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios).
But often the most successful means of reaching new customers is through references – having someone else speak on your behalf and convince prospective buyers that something is worth checking out. That’s why many companies make significant investments in customer management solely for marketing purposes. They make it a point to connect with customers in order to see if they might be interested in helping to market the company through a number of different ways – quotes in press releases and on websites, interviews, and, of course, full-fledged case studies.
If you’re not actively involving your customers in your marketing efforts, you really should be, because the approach can provide multiple benefits, including:
- Validation, which can help a prospect “see” how a particular product or service might be put into use in their own company
- Better media coverage, as the press often want to speak with a customer for stories they may write about your company
- Stronger press releases, as customer quotes can make releases read less like sales pieces and more like full-fledged news stories
- Word-of-mouth, which can help you gain more mindshare as customers tell partners, analysts, and other third-parties about how wonderful your products and services are
So, you see, Anna, Elsa, and all the rest of those characters actually have some lessons to teach well beyond the sisterly bond that’s explored in the film. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go order the Blu-Ray on Amazon…