took my six-year-old to the cinema yesterday morning.
(Matilda: The Musical if you’re interested – and despite not being a musical theatre fan, I can thoroughly recommend it)
I booked the tickets the night before, but I needn’t have bothered – the place was pretty much entirely empty.
Yes, I know the movie’s been out for a while, but it wasn’t just a “Matilda” thing – the whole cinema was like a ghost town.
On a normal Wednesday morning, that’d be par for the course, but yesterday was a special case – 100,000 teachers were on strike and over half of all state schools were either closed or partially closed.
Including Jim’s, which is why I decided to take him for some alternative education, and swap digraphs for delightful Dahl ditties.
And I’m sure other parents may well have followed suit if Cineworld had changed one iota about their proposition or sales message in the days leading up to the strikes.
It didn’t need to be much – free popcorn for every child, free child with every adult ticket, bring your school tie and get a free vat of that dubious cheese that gets daubed on the nachos, the list goes on – marketed well, these are things that could have filled the room.
I know from chatting to other parents that plenty were looking around for something to do, and had the cinemas been smart, “the movies” could well have been part of that conversation.
The fact it wasn’t highlights an eternal marketing principle that’s foolish to ignore:
“Enter the conversation already occurring in the prospect’s mind”.
Bad marketing focuses purely on what you want to sell and is inflexible to the changing needs of your audience.
Good marketing considers your prospect’s immediate problem, and provides them with the solution.
Which category does yours fall into?