Films – we just sell what we want to sell!

In MBA, we have been taught that Marketing means identifying the need or desire or want of people and offer a product or service which fulfils people’s requirement and results in ‘Profit’ to the company. Though it is not the specific definition but generally every single product/service revolves around this definition. Consider a soap category, if a company wants to produce and distribute soaps then they first need to identify the need of the consumer, what type of soap do they need? What color will be most impactful? What ingredients need to be there? How much a consumer can pay for the soap? Etc. When we take HUL’s, P&G’s of world, we can directly connect the above mentioned example with them. To my surprise, even services are being offered as per the customer’s demand and convenience.

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But there is one segment which does not follow above mentioned process. It might follow this process for the post product marketing plan or for communication strategy but not before the product has been made. This segment is known as “Film Industry”. I have been an admirer of this field for various reasons but the most important reason being the ‘out of the box’ marketing definition they offer to the world. Take any cinema in any language; it always starts with the ‘writer’. A writer of the story jot down what all he feels and makes it in presentable format. The next process is narrating this story to the producer of the film who will give money, production support and all other required things. After listening to the story, producer decides upon the director and in succession actors, music, director of photography and all other related members. The story is then gets converted into the film which releases in the theatres/multiplexes etc.

Now, as we can see, the need of consumer is not being considered anywhere in the product making process. Films fall under ‘entertainment’ category where different people chose different ways of being entertained. A Film is generally looked as a product which gets short span to be accessed by customers at specific place. The interesting thing about film is, it is not after the market research. It is made first and then promoted in certain manner to attract the target customer group. Unlike all other product/services where the risk of getting success or facing failure could be known but film is such kind of product where you don’t know whether it is satisfying the customer’s want/desire/need in entertainment category.

But nowadays picture is changing. Few people are trying to show what they actually want to show and few people show what people want to see. If we see Salman Khan’s movie which does not hold any significant story line as compared to that of others but it still get success just because movie makers have started using ‘item songs’/’fight scene’/’six pack-ab show’ etc. But on other side movies such as ‘Masaan’ or “Nil batey sannata’ are showing what the movie makers want people to see and enjoy.

In any case, marketing starts after the product (film) is ready. Unlike others, marketing starts when product wants a worldwide release and not when it is being made. It is really interesting to see the new approaches people are using to promote their films or stories. Recently, Hollywood films have started casting Bollywood famous personalities just to attract more people towards the Hollywood films and keep the box office collection moving.

In my opinion, Marketing in film is difficult than that of any other product’s/service’s marketing. Period.

Happy Observations!

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