There are four classic key areas most marketers focus on when it comes to marketing anything – “The 4 P’s” – price, place (distribution), product, and promotion.
Distribution is a critical component for any business, including film or entertainment properties. Over the years, I have enjoyed researching and learning about successful distribution strategies for brands (people, service and product) and movies.
Distribution strategy is about being where the customers can consume or buy your product. Many filmmakers dream of seeing their film on the big screen nationally and internationally (in a variety of languages). This could be called pinnacle of success for a filmmaker, which is extremely difficult in our times for indie cinema and very rare. With that being said, there are some critical things to consider, improving your chances in this arena for your work. The reality is that your movie may never get global distribution, but that hasn’t stopped some filmmakers to create their own formula for success. So, it shouldn’t stop you either.
How to improve your chances for distribution deals:
- Have a marketable movie package (we already know this, but your idea of a marketable movie may not be so) – the movie goer, investor, producer, and distributor really wants to know if your movie is worth seeing
- Research and learn about success stories in distribution and use them to inspire you
- Market test your film (many distributors and influencers do this, but it can also be done prior if that component is already built into the budget) – this information can be very valuable to your case
- Make your film attractive in a variety ways (the marketing plan is critical)
- Take a look at the telematics industry (the next multi-billion dollar sector)with direct distribution to vehicles, smartphones, and on-line (check out http://www.chill.com)
- Establish a Marketing Matrix that includes a well-thought out plan of ways that strategic partners can benefit from your vision
- Create a Brand Attribute Matrix for your film to attract key product placement opportunities which will also help to promote your film for national distribution (key: global brands are adverse to risk, “Is your film safe for the brand?”)
- Have an incredible soundtrack (we are finding there is strong interest in the music, prior to the film). Research “O Brother Where Art Thou”. The soundtrack was produced by a Houston music producer and it did very well and was a big push to the film.
- Reach out to influencers of distribution early (conventional wisdom says don’t do this, but having those relations will help you build your case for the property)
- Seek out opportunities to screen your movie with those influencers for accurate feedback to help you refine your film (listen to their advice and implement)
- Have a plan to produce your film in a variety of languages
- Use talent and relationships from other nations or affinity groups
- Be collaborative and open in the process of building your team and network
- Think strategy: What has not been done that should be done?
Brief case study (music industry): An indie music producer friend, Billy Dorsey (www.BillyDorsey.com) explained to me recently how an album he produced and received a Grammy for sold 500,000 copies internationally in 32 weeks digitally (2013). On a budget of $150,000 to produce, the album has generated over $5,000,000 (that is a lot of profit). His next album “Marathon” is being released in Spanish and he is now producing soundtracks to expand his business options on the distribution for his work and to aid filmmakers. That is distribution strategy at work and very smart. He is currently ramping up for his global tour and gaining incredible leverage for his album now.
About Marketing Dynamics
Marketing Dynamics was founded by Andy Valadez, graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Marketing, and Tulane University (Applied Business Certificate), and former United States Marine (serving during Desert Storm/Shield). Andy is an entrepreneur who enjoys advising his clients on how to capitalize on their opportunities by adopting best practices and principles in marketing with a focus on strategy and tactical implementation. Marketing Dynamics serves these key sectors: technology, broadcast, film, music, publishing, motorsports, and start-ups. To learn more visit: www.TeamMarketingDynamics.com