Russell Crowe and Oliver Reed teach marketing – Are you not entertained?

What is marketing? There is no defintive answer to this, despite the billions spent on it every year.

The American Marketing Association gives the definition, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large“. Let’s be honest, that definition couldn’t be more boring if it tried.

One of the highest-ranking posts on google for “definition of marketing” – This one – gives 74 definitions. Not exactly useful. So what should we do?

The not-so-obvious answer is that we should ask Oliver Reed in Gladiator.

First of all lets look at the problem. If you watch the clip below you will see that Maximus is clearly very good at killing people. He thinks that this is what is required…. but no Maximus, we are not entertained.

This is exactly the same as the conversation that happens in companies all over the world, who think that they have a good product and want to tell everyone how good their product is and think that that is marketing.

Microsoft were so aware of this problem, that they even made the amazing video below to show why this problem was affecting them so badly. It’s amazing for a company to be so aware of it’s own short-comings.

The solution to the problem is exactly what Proximo tells Maximus (2:20 on the clip below, but watch the whole clip because Oliver Reed is amazing)

Proximo tells Maximus “I wasn’t the best because I killed quickly, I was the best because the crowd loved me“. That is what marketing, at least good marketing is all about. It’s not about telling people about your product or service, and what it does, it’s getting people to love your brand and love your products.

Win the crowd and you will win your market share! I know that’s not quite as catchy, but they had loads of script writers.