What The Hunger Games Teach Us About Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard some of the buzz about – if not seen the film – “The Hunger Games.”  The book-turned-megafilm grossed $155 million opening weekend, and hasn’t slowed down since. But why am I talking about a film when I normally cover small business, marketing and the like? There are some important lessons we can learn from how this movie has been marketed.

1. Start Early.

I started hearing a buzz about The Hunger Games book at the end of last year. Granted, I’m not even the target for the young adult book, so if I were, I probably would have heard about it years ago. I started seeing the unforgettable book covers everywhere. It became hard to ignore. So what did I do? I read the book.

Whether you’ve got an event or product launch, the further out you can generate (and sustain) a buzz about it, the more people will clamor for it once it’s here.

2. Be Everywhere.

We’re seeing the way movies are marketed shift with “The Hunger Games.” Not only are we enticed by movie trailers during our regularly scheduled programs, but we’re also seeing Internet ads, Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, fan pages, mobile apps…you name it, and “The Hunger Games” is there. Fans can interact, share and comment on just about any platform they’re using, online and off.

Don’t stick to one or two platforms to get your message out, especially if you’re reluctant to jump on the social media bandwagon. It’s not about you. It’s about all your rabid fans being able to share news about your products and services through a tool that’s meaningful to them.

3. Let Your Fans Take Over.

We’re slowly seeing brands relinquish control over their marketing messages…with great success. Every interview I’ve heard about “The Hunger Games” has included one or more gushing teens talking about the film (the “Twilight” series used the same tactic).

Let fans express their love on your blog, Facebook  Page, Google + page, et cetera. They’ll do a better job of selling your brand than you will.

4. Create a Marketing Franchise.

We already know that “The Hunger Games” is a trilogy, with the next movie coming out next year. So we’re already looking forward to it, just like we did with the Harry Potter series. I imagine the marketing will only get more creative with each film.

Duplicate this with your multiple product releases. Create consistency in the messaging and marketing delivery so that fans know what to expect.

No matter what your marketing budget or size of your business, we can always take lessons on how to market better from big brands like “The Hunger Games.”

About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing copy, blog and article writing. She is the blogger behind The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and also writes on Small Business Trends, Growth University and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing. Susan Payton on Google+!