14-07-28 Marketing

    Marketing, fundamentally, is about perception, it’s about getting people’s attention and keeping it. It’s also about crafting that perception, getting people to not only keep looking and buy, but also for them to think about the product in a deliberate, crafted way. In that way, it’s very similar to making a movie, which, if done well, takes the audience on an emotional journey that starts where they’re at and ends where I take them.

    This morning, I had no idea where to start. Then, I had a scheduled talk with Earl Newton, the same Earl who suggested I launch, at least pre-sales, on July 23rd. Since I really have no idea where to begin, I’m open to suggestions from anyone, which in no way belittles my opinion of Earl’s opinion. In fact, I was surprised at just how good his thoughts are.

    The first thing he noted was that while the website is slick, it could be made better, crafted to focus people’s attention and get them excited, and looking where we want them to look. It included the size of the product icons in the store to the order of the quotes, going from most prestigious to least. This is not a qualitative rating of my opinion of the people who said great things, but a recognition that more people care about the opinion of famous people than they care about the opinion of my non-famous friends.

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    And then came the date. The release date. Yes, it’s an idea I’d been toying with, but which got solidarity when Earl mentioned it. Rather than calling the 07/23 release a loss, I call it a soft-launch. That means there is another, more important date, which will be the full-launch. At that point, all the media work that I will have done will come out, creating buzz, creating an echo-chamber where no matter where anyone goes, they’re hearing about ALGORITHM. All blogs I can reach, all magazines, anything that can relate to the movie in any way.

    As I type this, I’m also thinking of pushing the date back to include the launch of the Blu-ray. Of course, the movie will remain for sale and will hopefully generate the money I need to pay for Blu-ray duplication. But, that means a lot of work and I’m not sure I’ll have time for it.

    Basically, this time, these next few days are for brainstorming. Ideally, this work would have been done earlier, but, like I said, I’ve been too busy with other aspects of the movie.

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    Back to the topic.

    There are a thousand ways that ALGORITHM can be marketed. I have to focus on the ones that don’t cost any money. I have to find the top blogs in any field that relates to the movie. I have to find the ideal writer at that blog and read their stuff and then send a specific email to them, giving them the exact information that entices them to cover the movie. A part of that includes an embargo request that they not release the press before our target date.

    That email has to not only contain the enticing information, but it also has to have enough content that they can basically read the article, do a modicum of research and then write the article. It needs to be about 15 minutes of work for the blogger. It has to be easy money for them to write and post it on their site.

    The key to keep in mind during all this is that the blogger has to write a certain number of posts a day in order to stay relevant. Those posts make money based on the number of hits they get. The faster they can write it, the sooner they can move on to the next post. If I give them great content that people click on, then I get the free promotion, they get the money they want and the writing credentials they need for their career.

    If it works, and I’m sure it will because I have to make it work, then ALGORITHM will get the press it needs and we’ll get the sales I need to be able to afford to make the next movie.

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    Before I end this post, I think my rapid, off-handed rejection of the distributor’s proposal was stupid. I regret it. I would have made a different choice if I had it again. But I don’t. I did write a second email explaining that, while ALGORITHM isn’t the right project, perhaps a future project might work.

    Whatever. That’s the past. Now, back into marketing mode.