By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
First, four discussion framing points:
1. Customers ALWAYS have a choice. That choice may be to do nothing at all, but it's a choice.
2. Your value is whatever your customer perceives it to be.
3. Your customer's perception changes based on mood and time.
4. Your customers will surprise you - in both good and bad ways.
Example: How I rank movies. As a 50+ college-educated professional, "affluent" female, I'm generally not the target demographic of movie makers, since - as one article about movie marketing noted - we're "discriminating." Yes, we get all hung up on things like plot...unless we don't. More about in a second.
Here's how I decide what to see and when:
The 1s: I'll pay full evening price. ($10.00) Typically, this is a night out with my friends and includes cocktails and dinner. It's an experience, not just a movie.
The 2s: I'll pay matinee price. ($7.00) My friend Janet and I play hooky (usually on Fridays and on a whim), have margaritas with lunch...and then go to what I call " comic book" movies (Angelina Jolie shooting people from impossible angles, big things going BOOM!, aliens drooling, mutants mutating, vampires killing werewolves, werewolves killing vampires, Hugh Jackman killing vampires, etc. Oh, who are we kidding? If Jackman simply takes off his shirt, we're there. And, we're still talking about The 300. Who needs plots? I've got popcorn and a break from reality.)
The 3s: I'll wait until it's out on DVD at Red Box. ($1.00) Pretty much anything that begins "Stephen King's" or "Starring Matthew McConaughey"...(I like looking at Matt, but his movies are typically very light-weight.)
The 4s: I'll wait until the DVD is at the library. (free) However, there is a qualifier to this. The Albuquerque Library system is terrific. I've recently seen The Dark Knight, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, and Sex and The City, along with several other "big" movies. S&TC would always have been a 4; but I simply didn't get around to seeing Dark Knight or Miss Pettigrew (both normally 1s) when they were in theaters.
Wild Card #1: Hulu. Maybe I'll just wait and see if the movie (or television show) pops up there.
Wild Card #2: I actually bought and paid full-price for the DVD of Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig, the minute it was available. (Three guesses why and the first two don't count.) I also own The Terminator (which I think is one of the best, most romantic movies ever made...and things go boom too!)
So,I basically blow the whole "target demographic" to hell. (Did I mention I also often like movies where things go boom? And, I still get all teary-eyed the end of Armageddon. I saw it twice in the theater and about five times more over the years.) I'm supposed to only want to see weepy, "interesting" "arty" fluffy chick-type flicks. I should rush to see anything with Sarah Jessica Parker or subtitles and thrill to stories of doomed love (preferably in period costume.) Uh, not so much. See "2" and Hugh Jackman note. Most of the "art" films are 4s; particularly since the local library has so many of them.
The movie rankings depend on my mood and the time I have that day. I paid full evening price for both (sniffle) Wall-E and (sniffle-sniffle) Atonement. I LOVE afternoon matinees watching some utterly ridiculous movie, as long it's totally and completely ridiculous. (Wanted is quite possibly the dumbest movie ever made...and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although the whole rat and peanut butter thing was pretty far-fetched, even within the movie's context. The mental image of James McAvoy tying teensy-tiny bombs on thousands of rats...just how long did that take???..;-0)
Yet another example of why this "marketing stuff" is hard work. Now, I'm going to go check out the movie listings for this afternoon. Maybe it's time for a matinee!
P.S. Here's the trailer for F&F 4. Note the almost total lack of dialogue. This is a "2." Can't wait to see Vin back in action!