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So I've been reading Mark Cuban's blog for a while and I usually find his non-basketball posts interesting, especially the one he posted the other day called The Movie Business Challenge....


The post starts off with this line: "This is an open challenge. You come up with a solution, you get a job. Seriously." It continues with the challenge:
"Only HDNet takes more time out my day than trying to solve this problem. It's the holy grail of the movie business. How do you get people out of the house to see your movie without spending a fortune. How can you convince 5 million people to give up their weekend and go to a theater to see a specific movie without spending 60mm dollars."
I have to admit I was interested enough, not to get a job, but just to throw my hat in the ring to see if I can come out with a reasonable solution (more on my solution later). The first comment came in soon after the post on 7/23 at 10:41 PM and I checked in at #30 on 7/24 at 12:26 AM. Well, now as of 7/24 at 9:49 PM, he has over 300 comments.
Now I'm not saying my post was pure genius, but I at least gave it some thought and tried to keep it short. However, most of the 300 comments are pure garbage (you can surf through them) and I sure hope he has some good people going through them and weeding out the more serious responses if they were posted there at all.
So, Cuban turns the apprentice model on its ear and turns to his blog community for ideas which is what I think is pure genius. What does he lose? Nothing but time spent wading through the comments. And I'm sure those comments are going to grow as more people spread the news of the post.
Why would people make a post if they have a good idea? Well for me, I took the tact of a resume post, figuring there will be a lot of traffic. And if I can make the next cut, if there is such a thing, then I'll flesh out my idea some more. Otherwise, I didn't waste too much time.
Think you can come up with an idea? Mine had a mix of upgrading Hollywood Stock Exchange, with an Amazon targeting model and a eBay movie rating system. Here's what I said:
Here's what I do at a high level. I'll try and keep it short on your blog.
1) Build a brand new community site or purchase HSX and upgrade it. This new site will allow people to comment on movies, post ratings, rank their favorite movies and post a profile. You can even give them their own page to link to some crappy MySpace page. (SOCIAL)
2) As part of the site, give them sneak previews, movie trinkets, behind the scenes, etc., to generate buzz and word of mouth. Hopefully, they'll send to friends and family to view the stuff and build their community. (VIRAL)
3) Use their profile, movie ratings, dislikes, demos, friends etc. to data mine and predict which movies they'll like. Basically pull an Amazon on them for predicting movies. (SEGMENTATION)
4) Create a new movie ranking system that is based on a simple 1-10 rating, number of comments, posts, and community size - could use the old HSX price if you bought it back in step 1. This brings in an eBay feel to it and allows people to drill down. This creates more buzz and confidence for people to purchase the upcoming movie. (PEOPLE LIKE ME LIKE THIS MOVIE)
Then you market to the people using ads, emails, promotions, etc., but now you can use the built in predictive model and rating system to improve your ROI.
PardonMyFrench,
Eric

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Frenchman is an online marketing and advertising consultant located in the Great State of New Jersey and Chief Internet Strategist for the online political agency Connell Donatelli Inc. Since 1998, Eric has managed multi-million dollar online advertising and CRM campaigns for AT&T, DLJdirect, Harrisdirect, and BMO Investorline and is a recognized expert in online marketing and advertising techniques. In 2005, Harrisdirect was ranked as the 17th largest online advertiser in the US and in 2003 was recognized as Best Financial Advertiser. Eric Frenchman's marketing blog is located here: http://www.ericfrenchman.com