Adventures in Drip Marketing and the 4 Quadrants

The Avengers turned out to be a huge blockbuster of a hit. It earned 700 million its opening weekend beating the final in the Harry Potter series. I watched the Avengers, a while after the craziness of opening weekend in New Zealand. It was a 9 p.m. movie, jam-packed. I sat next to a mom and her two kids. I of course went to see Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johanson’s characters. The five of us are almost a perfect cross section of the four quadrants: men over 25, men under 25, women over 25, women under 25.

I did think it was a good movie. Not as awesome as the Hunger Games, which had a very compelling plot, but pretty good.

So why did it gross 205 million in it’s opening weekend beating the final Harry Potter film? It hit the billion dollar mark just as quickly as Avatar did and is now one of only 11 movies to have made over one billion dollars in sales.

So just what was it that created such a success?

There’s many reasons, including when it debuted and what other movies it competed against, and product placement, but I think there are two big reasons:

  • Quadrant Crossover
  • Drip content marketing

Quadrant Crossover

As I was referring to earlier, movies are categorized into one of 4 quadrants: men over 25, men under 25, women over 25, women under 25. Movies that can “cross over” and appeal to more than one quadrant generally does much better. In this uncertain economy, film studios are actually demanding scripts that will have “cross over” appeal.

The Avengers hit all 4 quadrants. Men over 25 and under 25 because of the action sequences and the comic books, nostalgia and accompanying products from all the individual movies that led up to the Avengers. Women under 25 and over 25 because of the strong female character (black widow, played by Scarlett Johanson) as well as the “hot guy” factor.

Drip Content Marketing

I am using this concept loosely. It’s generally used in web marketing.

Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time.

From “Iron Man 1”, Marvel/Disney has been hinting about the Avengers. Again, note the lead up. It took them 5 years of cross promoting through 5 different movies…giving hints to their audiences. Of course you cannot forget the app, mix of traditional and new marketing methods and the final marketing blitz that shaped the overwhelming success of the Avengers.

So what the Avenger marketing success mean to you and your business?

Here are some tips to bring Avenger marketing power to your business.

  • Plan your marketing strategy and make sure that you’re are foremost in your potential clients’ minds.
  • Remember that good marketing takes time, a strategy and patience.
  • Even though you’re targeting one market, remember to plan for “crossover” or other market appeal.
  • Give teasers, hints and messages of “things to come” to generate buzz and interest.

Feel free to comment on how the Avengers has affected your marketing!

First published in 2012 © Lakshmi Gosyne