Why Wall Street Doesn’t Know @#$% About Marketing.
Disney recently released a new prequel in the Star Wars franchise entitled Solo, about that Millenium Falcon-flying, Han Solo.
It, ahem, “underperformed” at the box office and looks like it may end up being a loser when all the fancy Hollywood accounting is said and done.
In this article, a Wall Street “analyst” said the reason for the failure wasn’t weakness in the franchise (defending his bullish rating on Disney, no doubt), but rather “poor marketing.”
And he wasn’t talking generally. He got specific, implying that the movie would have done better if the Han Solo character appeared sooner in the trailer.
Look, he may be right.
But is a few seconds the reason why the film will finish in the red?
But good marketing, even GREAT marketing, can’t make the difference between a failure and a success. It only takes something that already works and makes it better.
Because what’s the most important “P” in the 4 Ps of Marketing?
The best marketing is in the creation of your product.
And it’s not even about having a GREAT product.
While we all want to create great things, we also all know that sometimes things that aren’t “great,” sell anyway.
Great product isn’t about quality . . . it’s about product that people want to see/use/consume.
And there’s a difference.
You have to create something that people want, then make it great . . . and then market the @#$% out of it.
So in this case, the failure of the film wasn’t the # of seconds it took for the character to appear in a trailer. Heck no. Because we’re all smart enough to know that the #1 reason people buy tickets is word of mouth. No one is showing a trailer when recommending the show to friends.
The reason this prequel didn’t work in my opinion? It’s the product itself. No one wants Han Solo without Harrison Ford. And the movie just wasn’t good enough to make people want to see it and recommend it. (And yeah, the title is an issue too – because if you’re not a Star Wars person – or even if you are – “Solo” can mean “single” and just take you a second to figure out that they’re trying to make you think of a character.)
The takeaway for us?
First, Wall Street should stick to analyzing algorithms and p/e ratios.
Second, for commercial success, you need to create something that people want to see, both in the idea and the execution. Think about the audience first, and your desires second.
Of course, like Hamilton and the iPhone, the biggest successes occur when you create something an audience wants, without them even knowing they want it.