Marketing Plans

Marketing plans (which lead to media plans) are highly overlooked as an important part of achieving your company’s marketing goals each year. Many companies just “wing it”, “do what feels right” or “don’t have time” to plan out their strategy and steps to achieve the sales goals they have. I’ve seen this happen too many times and I’d like to salute 2 companies that have done it right latley.

1. The movie 300.

This movie is going to become a case study for reaching the highly coveted 18-24 demographic and giving this incredibly gory movie a huge 70 million dollar opening weekend. About 3 months ago I got a message on myspace along with everyone else saying that some movie 300 had sponsored the site and paid for the storage so we could all upload 300 photos each on myspace. People had been complaining about wanting to host more photos there, and this took care of their need instantly. It also introduced them to the movie for the first time and increased its awareness instantly. I didn’t know what this 300 was and no one else did either. But, they had a fully decked out profile linked from the message and not only did people preview clips and the movie there, they signed up as friends to the tune of 2 million people. 

2. FX Premier of The Riches Show.

I’ve been hearing about The Riches for a while now, because I am a fan of Eddie Izzard’s work, but I am well aware that he’s not a household name in the USA and I wondered if people would find out about this show and if they’d like it. First off, the premier is tonight, and its great. So, no problems with the show itself. How would they get the word out though? Especially in the younger demographic, and somewhat cost efficiently since FX isn’t known for crazy big budget spending. Here’s what I’ve run across, I’m sure there’s more, but its a good diversified media plan, good creative execution, good concept for the creative and commercials and I hope it works:

1. Preview the premier online at MSN, Yahoo and AOL. This is a big deal. Previewing Heroes this year made a huge difference in that comic-book-like show’s initial awareness and cutting through the clutter to prove it really was a good show when there were so many new shows to choose from at that time.

2. A Riches Profile with previews/commericals/promos on Youtube. AND home page prime $$ ad space for their promo on Monday, they day of the Premier. No full episodes here, because of upload limits and probably copyright & legal stuff.

3. Monster.com banner ads – Get Rich – On a site where people’s sole motivation is money, perfect. I am sure they’ve got banners all over FX.com, Fox sites and other media I haven’t run across yet. Typically these banners get below .5% ctr though, so I wonder how successful they were at getting people to click?

4. Radio ads –  I assume a national buy, or possibly top 10 DMAs? Yes, some cool people aren’t always on the internet. Plus it seems they used the exact voice overs from the TV spots for the radio, saving $$ on creative is smart. Also, just leading up to the premier in the last few days was enough, you don’t need weeks and weeks, just strategic buys.

5. Press Blast – a TV reviewer in every newspaper in every city has gotten to see the first couple of episodes and the reviews seem to be about 80% good and 20% iffy.

6. The View appearance daytime TV (I hope there are more appearances for Minnie & Eddie in coming weeks to keep the ball rolling)

7. Sweepstakes contest to see the premier live from FX.com (generating email signups for relationship marketing)

8. Promos on TV – FX & I assume FOX also. 

9. No perezhilton sponsorship like with Dirt, but then again, Eddie’s shows aim for a little more educated demo, I wonder if they did any ads in The Economist?

10. They do have a tricked out skinned MySpace page, which looks nice (psychadellic), but I’m not sure how they were driving traffic there because I never saw any sponsored promotions on MySpace or banners or emails of them seeking out people with the demographic that they were targeting. So, that could have been better… and now that they’re there, they should send out weekly bulletins to the “friends” about a preview of the next upcoming show. Best on Monday at about noon, when people would be likley to read and remember to watch that evening. But then again, they need more than 187 friends (with nielsen boxes – joking) to make an impact.

11. And a very flash heavy microsite for the show, with everything from wallpapers and downloadable stuff to quizzes about how suburban you are. I like the concept and execution of the creative, I’m not wild about all the flash and the non-full size window it defaults to. (in a popup of all things, you loose pop-up-blocking people there)  It runs slow on my 3MB per min DSL, how do dial up people view it?

What they didn’t do:

1. Google ad words/Yahoo text ads – people don’t really search for TV shows on Google and the content and site targeted network are not efficient anyway.

2. Outdoor media – at least not in Chicago. This is pricey though, and hard to prove results. For some reason I always see cartoon network and HBO buying this.

3. Other network TV buys – they might have had some, but I didn’t see them on free tv, and they’re expensive and hard to prove direct results from. Nothing gobbles up a media budget faster than network TV spots in prime time. It would have been nice to have seen them on the Super Bowl, but that was a lot of clams.

4. Print – They may have in NY & LA, but I wouldn’t know though…since I don’t read newspapers. I didn’t see anything in TIME either, but I did hear they got a PR blurb in People, which is nice.

So now that I’ve over analyzed their media buy, I have to get back to analyzing my own. I hope they have a good premier night and get some good ratings.

UPDATE: Looks like things went well for the premier’s ratings, this was just sent out in the daily email from the media insider:

Rich Start for FX’s The Riches:
The debut of new FX drama The Riches was off and running on Monday, with 3.8 million viewers and 2.5 million adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. Comparably, that more than doubled the recent time period average, with the second biggest delivery among adults 18-49 historically (behind The Shield) for any series premiere

Yay for team FX, Good Job 🙂

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