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Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
Are you marketing ready? Plan your marketing strategy early…

Are you marketing ready? Plan your marketing strategy early…

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by February 6, 2015 Film PR

You probably heard or read many times that you should plan and implement your marketing strategy as early as possible. And while the fact itself is undoubted, the question is do you know why? What are the implications of not being marketing ready??

Think of your film project as a puzzle consisting of many different pieces. At the beginning you unwrap the puzzle box and take out all the pieces. Then you examine them carefully planning the strategy to arrange your pieces into one picture. Marketing is just as important piece of your puzzle as any other. If you do not plan it from a start, chances are you will never be able to see the whole picture. If you do not make yourself marketing ready at the beginning of your film journey it is definitely going to cost you more money and more time than if it had been planned. But it may also cost your project a failure.

If you don’t plan your audience…

If you don’t know who your audience is at the beginning how do you know what kind of movie you want to make? Audience and film are inseparable, like Ying and Yang. How will you know what does your audience like in films? How do they think? What film tricks to use in order to secure interest in your film? Audience building is a long process, it takes time and money. If you don’t start at the beginning the chances are you will not be able to built it enough to interest distributors and profit once your film is in sales outlets. You will need a lot of money to fix the mistake of not planning the audience strategy.

If you don’t plan your promotional campaign…

There are some cases of spectacular film brand high jack (like Searching For Sugarman for example) but in most cases you will need to work really hard on your film’s promotion. If you don’t plan your promo campaign before the shoot how will you know what promotional options are at your range?

If you don’t plan your art work…

Every film needs an artwork. Chances are that you’re not going to have a Hollywood superstar and team of graphic designers on board so you will need to base your art work on the shots you take on set. If you don’t plan it before the shoot you may find yourself with unsuited pictures that you will not be able to use in your campaign for many different reasons. And if you don’t think about the art work before going on set how would you know what shots to take once you’re there? Learn about printing requirements and formats before you go. Remember that your art work is not only a poster – your art work is a branded graphic design that you will use on social media and adverts. That means vertical and horizontal layouts and many different resolutions, etc…Plan it well to assure highest possible artwork quality.

If you don’t plan your time…

If you don’t spend the time on planning your marketing strategy you may be sure that you will need to spend much more time trying to fix all the problems that will appear during entire process of bringing film to life, and delivering it to the audience. You’re not saving time here. You’re wasting time if you don’t plan your strategy at the start.

If you don’t plan your money…

The most severe consequence for most. Ideally, your marketing budget should oscillate around 10% of the total production costs to make it effective (yes, yes, we know it’s a lot :). If you don’t plan ahead how would you know how much money do you have (and need) for production and how much for marketing. If you don’t allocate and plan your marketing budget at all (and you are thinking seriously about your film’s success) you will wind up paying much more than if you planned it at the beginning. You may for example exceed the production budget but this doesn’t change the fact that your film will need marketing. You’ll have to spend the money anyway. Many media outlets are keen on negations if you start early enough. If you leave it to the last minute it is them who play financial cards and not you. If you plan your budget and timing well you may catch early bird festival submissions. If you know what part of the project can be done in house and where will you need other creators’ help (for example with graphic design or translations) by planning your marketing budget you are giving yourself time to find the best financial – creative solution. We can go on but we are sure the point is taken already :)

Pretty much every piece of you film puzzle is affected if you don’t plan your marketing early enough. So if you’re starting your project from scratch – start if from good marketing and production planning. And be marketing ready!

If you need help with planning your marketing strategy check our film marketing strategy template – a mini book from FMB.

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