Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Marketing Guide
It probably feels like you’ve read every marketing text under the sun. Right about now, it’s pretty tempting to throw out the books and turn on the TV!
However, that doesn’t mean the learning is over yet. There is plenty of great marketing wisdom you can learn from some of your favorite movies. In fact, you can even use the classic film Ghostbusters as a guide to revolutionizing your marketing!
Creating a Niche
In the world of marketing, there’s a phrase that we use quite often: “finding a niche.” However, the phrase is something of a lie, as the most innovative companies don’t find a niche. They create a new niche altogether!
This is a major lesson that we can learn from Ghostbusters. When doctors Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler learned to detect and contain ghosts, the latter thought of it as merely an opportunity for scientific discovery. It was Peter Venkman who saw the potential: “we are on the threshold of establishing the indispensable defense science of the next decade…the franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams.”
Notice the phrasing: “establishing” and not “finding.” Rather than try to shoehorn their talent and their creations into someone else’s sandbox, the Ghostbusters created their own sandbox and redefined the market. If you want to truly innovate with both your product and how you market it, then this is a model worth emulating.
The Tools and the Talent
Part of what makes the wisdom of Ghostbusters so persuasive is its simplicity. Take Winston, for instance, after the team has apparently defeated Gozer, he joyfully exclaims “We had the tools, we had the talent!” In this line, Winston is describing the formula for their success, and it really is that simple.
Whether they are established businesses or burgeoning startups, most companies also have the tools and the talent. Why, then, do they not all succeed? In most cases, those in charge of a company don’t realize the resources they have access to.
That young intern who is always playing around on Instagram? Instead of chastising them, have them breathe new life into your company’s social media pages. That aspiring filmmaker over in accounting? Give them some time to shoot some videos and post them on YouTube.
When it comes to marketing, we tend to focus on specialization too much and think individuals can only handle their major areas of responsibility. But by channeling some talent that was previously untapped, you, too, can have “the tools” and “the talent” and overcome any challenge to your success.
No Job Is Too Big
To no one’s surprise, Bill Murray gets the lion’s share of funny lines in Ghostbusters. One of the best comes after their first successful job, in which they trap the green ghost Slimer and emerge, victorious, from the hotel ballroom. As he is describing what the Ghostbusters do, he tells the gathered crowd “no job is too big, no fee is too big.”
It’s a very funny line. But it’s also inspirational. Many small companies stick with what they know and what they have done before in terms of marketing. But in order for your company to grow, you have to take the marketing to the next level—to embrace the mentality that “no job is too big.”
Don’t view your marketing as something that needs just one or two small changes. Instead, think of it as a major renovation from the top down. Now is the time to invest in CRM, to analyze analytics, and to better align all of your marketing with your sales funnel.
If it sounds like a lot of work, trust us: it really is! But “no job is too big” if you want your company to grow, and things like CRM and analytics are an investment in your company’s future success.
Ready to Believe You
We’ve been focusing a lot on how the fictional Ghostbusters can inspire our real-world commercials. However, in the first movie, we actually see a short commercial the Ghostbusters created for their business. Their advertisement briefly lays out who they are and what they do before ending with a few very reassuring words: “we’re ready to believe you.”
This line makes a lot of sense in the context of the film—when you’re asking people to call you about being haunted, it’s good to reassure them that you’ll take the matter seriously. However, this line truly resonates in the world of 21st century marketing.
Millennials are the most rapidly-growing demographic on the block. Put simply, the success of your marketing and your company will soon hinge on how well you understand this demographic. And one surprising thing they crave is to feel like they have a genuine relationship with a company.
“We’re ready to believe you” goes beyond just being a business: it shows that they are ready to be friends and confidantes. For your own company, you can experiment with things like adding social media, chat features, and anything else that helps customers connect directly to you.
It’s very simple, and it costs very little. However, making customers feel like they can relate and trust your company is one of the absolute best marketing tricks and helps to build your brand in a powerful way.
Choosing “the Destructor”
Everybody remembers the absurdity that was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. He was a very unconventional villain, and he was created when Gozer warned the Ghostbusters that they would choose their own “destructor.” The team tried to clear their heads, but when Stay Puft “just popped in” to Ray’s head, their fate was sealed.
With any luck, you’ll never have to fight a giant marshmallow man. But there’s a bit of philosophical truth in this silly villain: most company visionaries effectively create their own villains. What you worry about is likely your local and global competition, but those aren’t the true obstacles to your success.
“We can’t do that” are the four words that effectively destroy your success. When you see a really great advertisement or slick website, you may think “that looks great, but we can’t do that.” This kind of fear and doubt is the real villain to worry about.
The secret to your success is changing “we can’t do that” to a question: “how can we do that?” Keep in mind that the Ghostbusters also created their own obstacles, but they learned, adapted, and overcame just the same!
That Was a Big Twinkie
Now you know how Ghostbusters can help you create a new niche, discover hidden talents, and even overcome self-doubt. Most of the time, you can trust these guys to steer your business in the right direction. But whatever you do, don’t cross the streams!
So who ya gonna call for your content marketing and copywriting needs?! Contact us today!
Chris S is a professor of English at a small college in Northwest Florida. He has over ten years of experience in teaching others how to write and uses his knowledge to provide clients with well-researched answers and explanations. He has answered over 1500 questions for Ask.com and written hundreds of articles for other sites ranging from entertainment-centric “Top 10 lists” to detailed breakdowns of how to enter new career fields. From blogs to lists to any custom content, he is here to impress you.