Modeling the Hollywood Sales Funnel

Hollywood has this one down — create huge buzz, anticipation and excitement for an event (a movie opening,) resulting in a starving crowd lining up to fork out between $10-$15 per ticket without thinking twice.

Now, consider these counter-intuitive points:

  • -If the movie in our scenario is a comedy, the funniest clips have already been seen in the trailers…
  • -If it’s an action flick, the crowd already knows what’s getting blown up from the trailers…
  • -Friends can’t recommend seeing or skipping the movie, since it’s brand new to theaters (and who listens to critics?)
  • -Major Hollywood feature films cost an estimated average of $139 million dollars, yet…
  • -The formula for marketing a movie hasn’t varied much in decades.
  • -And, executive producers of well marketed films are more confident and excited going into opening weekend, than they might be concerned about breaking event.  (And notice I said, well marketed, not well made.)

While there are certainly a fair share of movie flops, this model has proven remarkably reliable for an industry with crazy overhead costs.

So, does that sound like a sweet sales funnel, or what? Let’s use it!

Event Marketing 

Event marketing, which is widely used by large and small businesses and industries alike,  leverages the anticipation, buzz and social proof, similar to the Hollywood sales funnel and movie launch model.  Let’s examine a couple of the psychological triggers that event marketing heavily relies on:

Social Proof — “Everyone will be there!”  Social proof is the phenomenon and influence principle that basically states that people will do what other people are doing.  Don’t believe me? Walk out onto a crowded sidewalk, look and point up into the sky and see what happens.

Scarcity — “If you call within the next 15 minutes, we’ll double the offer…” — think of the infomericals that run late night. They’re always running for a reason, they work. Scarcity is simply stating that you will run out of widgets, your event will soon run out of seats, you can only take on X new customers or the offer will expire when the clock strikes midnight.  People hate the idea of losing out on something good.

Migrating to the Virtual World

Webinars allow you to host virtual events that hit all of the same psychological triggers for marketing purposes that “real-world” events produce, yet reduce many of the limiting factors that events face.

Buzz can be created with social invites and discussion, via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  Attendees can join from anywhere, and hosts can run webinars from anywhere (including multiple hosts in different locations,) so geography is not an issue.

Social proof is generated by interacting with attendees, showing the attendee log, acknowledging all the cities and countries that are represented, and mentioning when there’s a great turnout.

Scarcity will be used in your call to action, as your resources aren’t infinite, and they’re not going to want to miss the boat on what you have to offer if it’s good and addresses a real problem.

Keys to Successful Webinar Conversions

Selling can’t be confused with shilling. A successful webinar will not be a pitchfest, but instead a strong narrative that begins by suggesting a solution to a known, painful problem for the target audience.

Next, while giving hope and examining the issue, subtly irritate and raise the problem along the journey, as this helps the audience remember that this issue or need must be solved or met.

Offer a free solution to the challenge or problem. It might be lengthy, costly and complex, but put it out there. Illustrate how the lingering pain point can be eliminated. Let your audience see the home remedy or DIY approach.

But Wait, There’s More…

Finally, make your offer. Frame your solution in context to the challenge that’s presented, how it solves it and eliminates the pain points. Speak to the ease and convenience it provides, as compared to the DIY approach.

Lastly, limit the offer and create an immediate call to action. Leverage scarcity by limiting the number of customers being taken on, the time frame that the offer will be valid or anything else that illustrates true scarcity related to the offer.

Done right, you’ll create a starving crowd that want in like the line at the movies.


Additional Reading:

Using Webinars to Get in Touch With Your Market | SiteProNews

Webinars offer lot benefits besides potential make sales. This way get touch your target market one-on-one basis. It’s incredible creating long-lasting relationship. It allows your audience participate you your products directly.


What Is Social Proof And Why Your Business Can Live Or Die By It

Social Proof exists because we group together in a society. All other people around you and what choices they make, are pushing or pulling you to do or not do certain things. This is an incredibly strong force when it comes to


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