Digital Film Marketing: more than marketing

Film Industry Marketing free admissionRecently I have had the pleasure of speaking at Digital Film Marketing 2, a one-day seminar organised by FOCAL for Swiss Film Industry Professionals. Not only speaking, but contributing to a better understanding of the digital landscape by answering many questions during the whole day. If you know where I come from, it will not surprise you that I loved it.

There were many interesting discussions and, to my great pleasure, a growing awareness of the lack of knowledge a major part of the film industry has had in digital matters. (And strategy.) One day wasn’t enough time, but it was a solid beginning of a great conversation and much-needed mind-shift. Above all: a common mind-shift… much needed, too, it seems: the few attendees who have a great affinity to both cinema and the social web expressed “a sense of relief” after the seminar because they would feel “less alone”.

Why did I entitle my presentation “Digital Film Marketing: more than marketing”? Because my three key messages were the following:

  • When it comes to content, digital has radically transformed chronology and geography.
  • The social web: communications happens everywhere… and it is two-ways.
  • Don’t think of “film” as your product – think of the service you are providing.

Does this sound marketing to you? It does have a huge impact on marketing (amongst other areas), of course. Especially since it deems the current one-film-focus approach in film marketing inefficient and unsustainable. But it goes further than marketing: it shakes the business model of the whole industry. Which is where strategy comes into play.

There is no more business as usual. Producers, distributors and exhibitors have to be able to answer questions about their strategy. They need to start thinking about what they really have to offer to their main stakeholders. (Well, first, they have to be able to name their main stakeholders, of course.) And then justify what value are they offering. In comparison to their competitors, but also compared to alternative ways of doing business. Not in terms of films, but as a company. A company within the landscape transformed by digitalisation.

PS: Since the two other speakers, Felicitas from Cinewil and Gustavo from Kublé, focused on hands-on experience and social media respectively, my mission was to communicate the overall picture. Which I have (cf. my slides [in German] above).

Top picture by Canadian Film Centre

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