Netflix marketing – It’s different!

I’ve been in the bay area for about 10 days now and following/discussing topics around leadership, startups and marketing within my network. One topic on top of my list to learn and discuss in this trip is the marketing best practices from here – Things that I can hopefully take back to Finland after the trip.

An organization that has regularly featured in these discussions and is always quoted as an example is Netflix. Marketers here (and globally) love the brand, content marketing strategy, and everything about its activation. But there’s more to Netflix marketing than what meets the eye. Here are the 4 insights that I found very interesting:

Data is led by the product team (not marketing), and commonly shared:

We all are driven by the sales funnel process and the terms MQL (Marketing qualified leads) and SQL (Sales qualified leads) and so on. In most organizations, insights from existing customers are used for product development but not passed on to marketing, and data from sales funnel is simply used to qualify leads. There is limited process to utilize the deep insights from existing customers for marketing. While at Netflix, data is led by the product team to improve the product offering and is also passed on to marketing. 

Amazon and Target are two other examples that also get mentioned with the same approach.

Product teams and marketing, work as one team!

Putting the ‘person’ back into personalization: 

The algorithms that track our behaviour around browsing, actual content, time we watch, and our engagement with the system are not only used to tailor our user experience, but also used in personalizing marketing. From thumbnails and pictures, to personalized trailers – Netflix takes personalization to a different level. Content is personalized for the unique you!

Fun fact: Did you know that House of Cards had about 10 trailers and thumbnails delivered based on different customer preference? 

Personalization can definitely give content – wings to fly!

Making content go viral:

Understanding the audience and creating a story that is easy to share, and that people will be willing to engage with, is at the centre of any viral campaign. But when should that be launched as a campaign and how? 

From creating collection of gifs to stunts like the blackmirror iamwaldo “We know what you’re up to. Watch and see what we will do.” Netflix creates content with virality as a core for its strategy. There are obvious risks with such stunts, but Netflix takes them. And that’s why ends up having a higher success rate.

From creating great content, to making content go ‘viral’. 

CEO leading the way:

All great marketing teams have one thing in common – great leadership.

Netflix is no different. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, mentioned last month that he would rather not spend anything on marketing, but still increased the marketing budget to $2 billion (from $ 1.3 billion last year). This creates a healthy competition between product team and the marketing team. Teams will compete to make a difference and lead growth.

With this vision, marketing is also forced to improve on organic content, reach and create more content that can go viral. From my experience, most CEOs would have slashed the marketing budget immediately and that again makes Netflix – different.

Do you have any other insights on Netflix or other great marketing examples? Luckily, I’ll visit Netflix office soon, so let’s see if my second hand information gets validated or corrected there. Let me know your thoughts below.

Image credit: Wiki commons

Post originally posted on my LinkedIn account

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