5 marketing lessons you can learn from a dinosaur theme park

Already a month after its release, Jurassic World, the latest film from the Jurassic Park Franchise, has reported incredibly interesting numbers. It not only broke numerous records during its opening weekend, including the biggest opening weekend in North America, and the highest-grossing opening worldwide, but it’s also the first film to gross $500 million worldwide in a single weekend, and the fastest film ever to accrue $1 billion. Numbers apart (boring, right?), the movie gives us an awesome opportunity to explore the entirely plausible hypothetical of how to manage a dinosaur theme park.

As it turns out, this isn’t so far removed from some businesses or start-ups nowadays (albeit dinosaurs are represented by bosses and goals–same kind of stress level!). So it won’t be so hard to find out how marketing would be applied in the Jurassic situation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: wisdom comes from the most unexpected places. If you’ve been around this blog, you know what I’m talking about. Let’s get creative with this one, too: What marketing lessons can we learn from Jurassic World?

Bigger and faster don’t necessarily mean better

The main dinosaur in the movie, the terrific giant Indominous Rex, is the result of a strong goal-oriented idea (entirely marketing, by the way). Scientists and founders of Jurassic Park wanted to create the biggest and most aggressive monster on Earth so as to attract people and grow attendance at the park. Basic Marketing thinking: 1+1=2. But things aren’t always so simple. We face this formula in the real world every day. Most companies, and start-ups especially want to grow quickly any way possible.

Sometimes they succumb to the machine and use quick-response trending techniques like black-hat SEO or focusing on revenue and quantity. In this case, they forget two basic principles: consistency and sustainability. Come on people; this is not about how much you can grow; it’s about how you do it. A disproportionate growth rhythm will bring unnatural growth, which is one of the worst things that can happen to a start-up. Try to grow slowly but continuously, be remarkable and unique, work hard and let time define your slot in the market. I won’t reveal what happens to the Indominous at the end of the movie, but it’s a very good example of what could happen to you if your expansion is out of wrack.

 

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Stick to your story (past, present and future)

The reason why this movie performed so well in cinemas is quite simply that it sticks to the original plan (a bunch of amazing horrific dinosaurs in a theme park that go crazy at a certain point thanks to some random mistake). That’s what people want to watch because that’s what Jurassic Park is supposed to be, right?

The same thing happens to your business when you start selling chocolate and suddenly, for no reason other than a lack of ideas or personality, you start to sell apples. Stick to your plan, the one that helped you catch on to a customer base. Your fans are your first customers. These are the ones who will spread the word, and you’ll notice their gratitude.

 

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Innovation is what makes you grow

For the folks who run the park in the movie, innovation (as they say many times) is the key that allows them to move forward. They spend big money improving technology, sharpening design, and strengthening their huge lizards. Basically, they make their product/service better.

The only way to success in your market is through solid innovation. Do it differently. Don’t copy your competition. Spend less money trying to reach everyone, and instead build a presence by offering the best product you can.

 

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Influencers: Find the guy and work with him

I certainly know a few people who wanted to watch the movie only because of this guy… To be honest, probably no one knows you (no worries, I’m just as anonymous). And they know you even less when you’re just about to start your first business/start-up/blog… You’re not part of or cannot find an existing community, so people are completely oblivious of you. So, how can we fix that? Thankfully there are a lot of uber-famous people you can tap into (aka those more popular than you).

You only need to find them and start interacting with them. Build a relationship. It’s exactly what Jurassic World did. They already knew that most of the classic Jurassic Park fans were going to watch the movie, but how can they approach a bigger, younger audience? Getting the latest sexy icon on board to play one of the main roles did the trick. Can you hear that influence? Find the right person: someone more experienced than you, or more popular, or the trending guy. Become his friend and get him to share your content. If you don’t have a community, join someone else’s!

 

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And finally… never do this, please

Though you can learn many positive things about marketing from this movie, it also teaches you what not to do. At the very beginning, I thought that maybe it was just me. But after a little research, I found that there are more people who caught the same thread: the incredible amount of product placement in the movie is just too annoying. Mercedes, Starbucks, Verizon, Samsung, Beats by Dr Dree… check the tweets below to see what I’m talking about.

Don’t get me wrong! I love advertising, but only when it’s well done and not blatant. Don’t saturate your people (I’ve never liked the word customer) with ads. There are other, more attractive alternatives. Work on your inbound marketing strategy, develop great content and build your community. Only then will people come to you.


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