Donald Trump. Mark Cuban.
In the last eight months, a new business teacher has emerged to entertain weary and wanna-be entrepreneurs.
Who is this new profit?
Marcus Lemonis- and his show, The Profit. (Do you think the show’s name was purposeful?)
Lean in. We can certainly learn a lot about marketing from a network marketing machine trying to launch a new television show.
To start, watch CNBC’s The Profit. It’s a newer show trying to build an audience in its second season. At its start in August 2013, the show weighed in between 248,000 viewers and 254,000 viewers, but as of March 18, 2014, the audience grew to 415,000 in the 10 pm time slot thanks to the Worldwide Trailer Sales episode .
What has the series been doing to build its brand?
Airing Interesting Content
Piggy-backing off of the success of Shark Tank, the premise of The Profit is that accomplished businessman, Marcus Lemonis, can save failing businesses and ultimately generate profit, if current owners are willing to sell their majority shares for Lemonis’ infusions of cash, instruction, and hard work. The Profit’s Worldwide Trailer Sales episode, for example, while controversial, ranked well with general audiences because it was a lesson in what not to do in business– don’t air dirty laundry in front of co-workers and employees.
The Profit team also delivers related business insights and advice via video and articles through the show’s CNBC web site.
Knowing your niche and casting stories that are interesting and insightful are integral components to success. If you sell a service or a product, focus on delivering the best possible quality product. Hire a team that understands how to deliver the type of content that’s needed for each channel. You can drive segmented audience traffic to your website or store, if you deliver a story that’s relevant, engaging, and right-sized for your customers.
I once had a college professor spilt our class into thirds. Some of us were producers and had to conjure up show names and premises. Some of us were advertisers trying to decide where we wanted to place our advertising, and the rest were sales people. All of us voted on what shows we would want to watch.
The lesson? In a public university college class, the most outrageous titles always won the popular vote and usually those had to do with sex, models, and alcohol. Nice, straight-forward, and generally wholesome programming usually bombed. Advertisers soon learned that they had to weigh exposure to more viewers against their brand’s image and associations. Sales people didn’t want to get stuck selling low-rated shows to advertisers, so they pitched work more often with those producers who had a string of titles that resonated with audiences. I learned that what I thought would go over big (nice, educational shows) didn’t and, in looking back, some of the voting was probably influenced by certain frats hosting the party that night. The content has to fit the audience and be justified with numbers.
When I saw the Worldwide Trailer Sales Inc episode of The Profit, I had déjà vu. That crazy episode- with the foul language and bad behavior, had all the makings of a winner in the ratings.
Real-Time Engagement on Social Media
So, after the show, @marcuslemonis stayed an hour longer to tweet with fans. Without ruining the show for you (because it ends rather abruptly), this technique helped viewers to sort through reactions. What a great idea! Use social media to start, clarify, or end conversations. How? Create a video or blog post about your service or product. Then, expand upon the conversation in another channel. Ask viewers to migrate there with you. You’ll influence search, loyalty, and engagement with this technique.
Producers of the Profit received some decent feedback about the March 18, 2014 show and I suspect a sequel to the Worldwide Trailers episode was even discussed. If not, the feedback was valuable for fine-tuning Season 3 criteria and upcoming episodes. Test the market place for your product or service with feedback obtained from social media.
Lemonis uses his Twitter account to promote upcoming shows and to build his personal brand. He asks for entries for The Profit’s next casting season and promotes contests that give fans chances to ask him questions and to meet him for lunch.
Is your CEO using Twitter to rally the troops and to promote your brand?
The Profit Facebook page employs another search marketing tactic. It features memes.
Take professional pictures of scenes from your story and add wording to those pictures to create memes or info-graphics that link to your website. People are more likely to share pictures and those shares- especially on G+ and Facebook can influence search engine results. Pinners are even creating boards with sayings from the show!
What are your company’s sayings? Take snippets of the CEO’s best speeches, add them to pictures, and ask the team to pin ‘em.
Lemonis and The Profit are also on Zeebox. What’s Zeebox? It’s a place where TV fans go to hang-out with cast members and fans of their favorite shows. The conversations in these micro-communities give producers feedback and insights, while feeding additional information to fans.
The Profit shares about ten full-length episodes on its website. It then breaks those videos into smaller tidbits with inserts of business advice from Lemonis. You can do this, too. What is your company’s story? Its mission? What does it do well? Educate your customers, your employees, or your partners with a YouTube channel filled with useful videos.
Cross Promote other Channels
If you own other properties or are in relationships with partners, promote each other.
Lemonis tweets to Shark Tank investors, interviews with CNBC, and appears on CNBC’s Power Lunch. The Profit even sponsored a Nascar race! Lemonis is also visible promoting the show with interviews like this one with the HuffPost. Stories and interviews are cropping up on blogs like Inc., My Web Writers, and Ken McCarthy.
The result? More exposure.
Increased profits for the companies vested in the show.
What can you learn from the marketing of CNBC’s new show, The Profit?
- Know who you are and what you want to say to customers.
- Promote your mission in sound bites and actions through tweets, posts, memes, and videos.
- Be available. Stay engaged with customers.
- Cross promote. Find like-minded partners and help each other by interviewing and promoting each other.
- Provide relevant content that your niche will actually want to digest and share.