Marketing and Star Wars
Note: This is from a post I wrote last week.
If there’s one movie trilogy that has taught me more lessons than I could ever possibly hope to absorb, it’s Star Wars. Parallels can be drawn to one’s own life in almost every scene from the original three movies. Don’t get me started on Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith, I’ll just get angry. I mean, seriously, has there ever been a bigger disparity between quality of movies? One could argue Grease and Grease 2 had a large gap in enjoyability, and from what I hear Godfather 3 was a pile of crap, but nothing will ever break my heart like the first time I heard Jar-Jar Binks’ voice. George Lucas, I love you, but I hope you burn in Hell for creating Jar Jar Binks.
Here are a few lessons I believe marketing professionals can gleam from the three greatest movies ever made, and make no mistake, these are the three greatest movies ever made, according to people who love awesome stuff.
- Let the Wookie win – In this case, I am referring to the notion of picking one’s battle. A small, insignificant argument over minor details in a campaign can turn into big problems if you constantly push back. Let the Wookie, or in this case your client, win a small argument, even if you know you are right. This will make them happy, and happy clients make for fun work. This goes doubly true if your client also happens to be a Wookie.
- “There is no try” – This famous line by Yoda was a major turning point in Luke’s Jedi training on Dagoba. Trying is not enough, especially when you’re working on a deadline and you need an answer. I don’t know of a single client who would be satisfied with an answer of “we tried” when explaining why none of their latest marketing efforts show any improvement. That’s the difference between Jedi Masters and young Padawans. Jedis get results.
- Make sure she’s not your sister before you kiss. Now hear me out on this one. Besides being very good advice for anyone on a first date, this can also draw parallels in the professional world. You want to make sure anyone you go into business with isn’t related in some way to an old client or a competitor or anyone else that could draw bad blood. Negative vibes always find their way into an office, let’s try to limit them as much as possible
- Always keep your mentor’s words close to your heart – Whenever Luke was facing a difficult task he would close his eyes and hear Obi Wan Kenobi speak words of wisdom to him. This always calmed him down and helped him accomplish his goals. In your own life you are going to meet people who give you amazing advice, and you’ll want to make sure you remember it. You never know when you’re going to need to recall it to save your own butt (or a princess’).
May the force be with you.
(Sorry ladies, I’m taken).