After revisiting a few of my Marvel favourites, I had the delight of eagerly watching Avengers: Endgame over the weekend. It absolutely did not disappoint (don't worry I've spared you any spoilers). 11 years and 21 films in the making, this marked the end of a remarkable era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now for those not into the film empire Marvel and Disney have built, it is worth taking note of their tremendous success; with Endgame surpassing all previous box office records ($1.2bn in its opening run!).
It goes without saying that a huge amount of their success is predicated on the quality of their product (the 21 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). In isolation however, you could argue that some of the Marvel films are no better than other blockbuster hits.
What is extraordinary, as the directors of Endgame (The Russo brothers) point out in the quote below, is that the audience for Marvel films keeps growing. This means that when creating content, they have to keep in mind that there are people who could be coming into their productions with a completely fresh perspective, whilst also fulfilling the expectations of their loyal following.
These two characteristics are synonymous with successful B2B organisations:
- In that you will compete for market share with firms offering similar service lines;
- And that more often that not, you will be looking to grow your client base.
Whilst Marvel's product offering is led by big-ticket productions, they have captivated their audience's attention by consistently delivering content attuned to their viewer's needs and expectations. Whether this is the latest trailer, an interview with one of the actors, or their teams speaking and being available to meet with fans at Comic-Con, each interaction serves as a value-add touchpoint very similar to nurturing your contacts through a sales cycle.
You may meet with your clients once a year, quarter, or month, but you still need a medium to remain front-of-mind between being physically in a meeting room with your project stakeholders. Picking up the phone and going to events are equally viable channels through which to exert your expert opinions, however each are not a scalable resource.
What Marvel and Disney have done effectively, is to activate their online channels with regular content which can be picked up on demand. Furthermore, to get all of their stars (of which there are a lot) to disseminate content to all of their networks and followings. Executed at scale, this becomes a powerful medium for engaging audiences and shaping their purchasing decisions.
"The audience keeps growing for these films. So what that tells us is that people are seeing these movies who haven’t seen the previous ones. So it’s important that we are speaking to an audience that is perhaps seeing these stories for the first time. “That being said, there’s certainly an interconnected story being told.