Tuesday, February 14


In my quest to see all the Oscar nominated movies before the awards show, I finally caught "Money Ball" on demand over the weekend.  Both actors are nominated (Brad Pitt and Johan Hill) and its also nominated for Best Picture.

I'm not a big sports person, although I do tend to like sports movies.  Particularly when it's about underdogs and the American spirit.  But this was not the typical sports film since it didn't really focus on any of the players, but instead on the strategy of winning.  So there were a lot of parallels in marketing which I couldn't help but analyze.

Sure, there's the whole budget thing.  Doing more for less, competing with the big guys with small resources, etc.  But there's more to the story than just that ...

Through his innovative thinking and aggressive approach, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) taught me:

1 - Know your assets.  In his case, know the strengths of your players and play on them.  In marketing, it's important to know your brand's assets and how to play them in the marketplace.

2 - Challenge old assumptions.  "What has always worked" may not work anymore, especially when it's really not working anymore.  Don't take assumptions for granted, look hard at each and every one of them.

3 - Push hard on entrenched thinking.  Thinking that's been entrenched for years is likely to be old-school, particularly with the economic slide we have faced and with the revolution in digital marketing and social media.  The old conventions may not apply and past thinking may keep you in the past.  Push past it.

But he also taught me:

4 - Know when the game is up.  When your new thinking stops working, it's time to shift again.

5 - "Enjoy the show."  Life is a journey.  If you focus too much on the end end end result, you're missing the real stuff which is the ride along the way.  Some of my best marketing moments in my career are when the brand was on the way up.  It was fun!

6 - Others will follow.  When you are on to something good, your competitors will search and reapply.  None of us can own a methodology or a market for very long, so be prepared for when others follow you and perhaps do it even better.

It was interesting to me when Billy Beane did not take the money at the end.  He was so fixated on attaining his original goal, that in the end (in some ways) he lost.  At least he lost on the big prize.  Which begs the question for any good marketer .... what's your goal?  Set out a goal for your brand (or your small business) and then you'll know what success looks like in the end.

Did you see the movie?  What's your experience?

Jim Joseph
Author of The Experience Effect
And also Author of the NEW The Experience Effect for Small Business

PS - Join us for live tweets about the marketing during the 2012 Academy Awards - Sunday February 26th at 6:00EST - on Twitter at #OscarExp

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