From a Fast Company article on Universal (the movie company) having a good year:
Never was this more on display than over the summer, when the studio’s digital play—a combination of meme-inspired Snapchat geofilters; Periscoped red carpet premieres; and a VR stunt that let fans observe the feeding of an apatosaurus—helped Jurassic World, Fast & Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2, Minions, and Straight Outta Compton become the season’s biggest hits, pushing Universal into record-breaking history: It is the first studio to cross the $2.11 billion mark in domestic grosses in one year. And it’s mid-September.
Michael Moses, Universal’s copresident of worldwide marketing, attributes the studio’s strong digital presence to its “transmedia” approach to marketing, meaning that there is no church-state divide between traditional and digital media anymore—they are one and the same. He and his copresident, Josh Goldstine, work closely with Neil to craft campaigns. “There’s not a lot of competition or fiefdoms or ‘That’s mine and you can’t use it,'” Moses tells me one recent morning on the Universal lot in Burbank, California. “It’s required education. We just had a meeting three weeks ago where Doug led all the creatives and all the staff through, ‘Here’s what a Snapchat Story is. Here’s the ad unit and it goes like this, instead of like this,'” using his hands to indicate vertical rather than horizontal.
Two things to pull from that:
- $2.11 billion in domestic grosses in one year before October 1 — and they’re the first studio to do that.
- “There’s not a lot of competition or fiefdoms.”
Pretty much every place I’ve ever worked is silo’ed to the hilt in terms of “This makes money, so we’ll focus there!” or “We own this process and you don’t!” It’s all complete bullshit. It doesn’t matter if Department-A is supposed to focus on this, and Department-B is supposed to focus on that. At some point, this and that will overlap — because business needs change fast, and nothing happens in a vacuum — and when that moment comes, you’ll be flat-footed if you have walls up everywhere.
You see this in marketing a lot. Here’s the thing:
- Social media changed a lot of what “the traditional marketing funnel” looked like
- New consumers want more around “stories” and less around “being told things”
- Old-school marketing executives don’t really understand those things
- They want to talk about “power branding!” and hang on until retirement
- So they concocted a narrative around “Social has no ROI!” to make it seem like a “nice-to-have” instead of a “need-to-have”
- Their CEOs are wondering why growth isn’t higher and engagement/relationships aren’t developing
- They’re throwing back “We had a ton of impressions, though!”
- This is why most CMOs last 48 months and you can build a billion-dollar company without one, honestly
Just give up your need to have control over everything and give up your divisions and alignments around “I care about this because traditionally it’s driven more money into my department.” Realize everything is the same. The goals are the same: revenue, growth, engagement, connection with consumers, telling your story. It doesn’t matter if it happens with a 10-second disappearing ad or a “power branding” move during the Grammys. It’s all the same. Get over yourself.