The Game of Marketing - from EA Sports!

posted Jun 21, 2011, 3:07 PM by Steve N Bradford
Anyone who thinks marketing is just a case of internet work is soo missing the most fun aspects of it.  I will admit, I spend a lot of time thinking about it and trying to work on it.  Marketing myself as a film maker, marketing my films, marketing my marketing skills.  All of that stuff (and meta-stuff).  In fact, this whole website is a testament to the fact that I have decided to take it a little bit seriously.

Anybody can hang around and make films (and they can be awesome) and just show them off to a few people and have a great time doing it.  And then you can post about it on facebook and a few more people will see it.  And then on your twitter feed, where a couple more people will watch.  Then make a blog post with screen shots to get people interested and have a few more views.  Oh, and don't forget to let your YouTube subscribers know, and your old friends who still use MySpace because they are kinda lame and never moved from Live Journal to blogging (its not THAT big of a jump, lets not kid ourselves).  But that was a ton of work sitting alone in a room in front of a softly glowing screen while old daft punk plays in your iTunes because you never bothered to take it out of your playlist.

This is the WORST part of marketing.  Its sooo boring.  Its the work part that you hope to one day have an unpaid intern for (they will also know more about FacebitterSpace than you could hope to know, what the heck is this 'Groups' business all about?).

The BEST part of marketing involves drinking.  Good old fashioned talking to people and throwing back alcoholic beverages, turns out you seem cooler with booze, and that same strategy that you use to pick up the hot redhead that you have no business talking to is the same one you use to make some new friends for your films.

Last night I was pulling double duty.  I was doing marketing for the Capitol Fringe Festival show I am in 'Tales of Courage and Poultry' and taking the chance to meet the people behind a lot of the other fringe shows that will be going on as well.  Thats right, I was networking.  How very 'DC' of me.  But these are the people I know I want to be involved with and want to see my work.

So what exactly did this entail?  Well giving away stuff.  We had postcards (that look like the image to the left) with all show dates and pertinent information on the reverse to hand out.  So right into the midst of any interesting conversation I would go hang out for a bit, talk to everyone there and give them a copy of the postcard and a little bit of information about the show.  Now, here is what is important.  Don't just go and give people your card and then ditch them.  That makes you a jackass.  I didn't just give away my card, I made a ton of new friends and used the postcards as a vehicle to do it.  Even if they think you are just doing it to not be a jackass, they will probably be glad that you respect them enough to treat them as people and not just targets for handing out promotional materials.  Giving out ten postcards to people who don't care sucks.  Giving one out to someone who you made connect with you and your work, totally worth snubbing the other nine.

But more importantly for you film people out there, I then also gave the directors, actors, and marketing directors that I met MY business card for GuyLoki Films.  The actors its obvious, gotta have talent right?  And nothing wrong with finding some new people at the bar for my next film, at least I know they will enjoy drinking after the shoot is over.  But why do I want the directors and marketing people?  Well because they DON'T do film.

Thats right, they are not going to be in anything I make, they are not going to become my crew.  But they have a show and its going to need promotion.  They are going through the exact same thing I am right now.  They have content, they are proud of it, they need to get it out there.  And what better way then putting together a short video with them?  This is a win win situation.  They are going to get an edge on their promotions that most of the other theater companies probably won't.  I am going to have a new business contact who is hopefully going to be pleased with my work and start paying attention to the rest of the work I am doing and sharing it with their friends.  "Hey check out what that guy who made our promo video just made".  So hopefully, I get to bolster my resume, hone my skills, AND make some friends in the creative world.  More than that, I start to branch out to people who are not just in the film world.

Best part though.... I did it all while drinking.