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5 Valuable Marketing Lessons from Ferris Bueller

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Sep 03, 2018 @ 10:00 AM |


It’s that time of year again. The leaves are starting to turn, the air is filled with cooler breezes, and kids everywhere are driving their parents nuts as they shop for 5-subject notebooks and the latest fall fashion trends.

It’s back to school time and as school bells begin ringing again, I thought I would give a nod to one of the all-time greatest movies about school, or at least about ditching school, ever made. Of course I’m talking about “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Sure, Ferris Bueller was a precocious kid, and he wasn’t necessarily the kid you’d want in class if you were his teacher. But it turns out Ferris was kind of a genius. Not only can we learn how to have more fun in life from him, but how to be better marketers as well.business people group at modern office indoors have fun and push office chair on corridor

Here are 5 valuable marketing lessons from Ferris Bueller:

Lesson #1: Pay Attention to the Data

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

— Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

In today’s marketing landscape, trends come and go pretty quickly. Many marketers spend more time chasing these new trends than they do determining what is working and what isn’t.

The good news is, there is an easy way to determine if you need to make a change in your tactics or channels – look at what the data is telling you.

Marketers have a ton of consumer data at their disposal, but many aren’t leveraging it effectively. Forget stopping to smell the roses, stop and smell your data! What is it telling you? Are your campaign efforts hitting the mark or wasting your precious resources?

When you really get down into that data, you learn how your customers think, and how their thinking translates into behavior and action.

The moral of the story here is don’t pay attention to what every other marketer is doing, because many of them don’t have a clue what they’re doing. Forget jumping on every marketing trend’s bandwagon. Only do so if your data tells you it’s a good idea.

Lesson #2: Stand Out from the Crowd

At one point in the movie, Ferris finds himself doing what he does best, grabbing attention while taking center stage on a float during a big Chicago parade. He wanted to be seen, and so he got himself away from the crowd and onto the middle of that float!

The world is a noisy place, and consumers are bombarded each and every day with marketing messages from you AND your competition. If you want to have your message heard, you’ve got to somehow stand out from the crowd.

How do you do this?

Add more value. Don’t try and sell so much as help people. Show your humanity more. People don’t want to do business with a company, they want to do business with a human being. And be as creative as possible. Today’s consumers are ultimately looking for experiences – so give them some.

Lesson #3: Be Your Own Sausage King

At one point in the movie Ferris snags a table for himself and his pals at a fancy restaurant by telling them he was “The Sausage King of Chicago.”

Ferris didn’t say he was the “meat” king, he was very specific with the kind of meat – sausage. That’s it. He was the king of sausage.

Don’t spread yourself or your budget too thin by trying too many marketing tactics or channels. Pick one or two tactics and channels and focus on getting them to work for you.

Lesson #4: Use More Visuals

During Ferris’ day off, he and his buds decide to stop at a museum to view some works of art. These were teenagers and they didn’t go bowling or play putt-putt, they looked at art as part of their adventure.

Images move us, they always have and they always will, so start using more visuals in your campaigns.

Lesson #5: Planning is Key

Ferris and his friends would never have been able to go on their adventure had it not been for Ferris’ extensive planning. This planning included producing clammy hands, making a pre-recorded intercom message to answer the doorbell, getting a mannequin in his bed, personally calling Mr. Rooney to cover his tracks, altering answering machines and sound effects that mimic noises of illnesses.

If you want your campaigns to go off without a hitch, planning is key. When you are one or more steps ahead of the competition, your likelihood of success significantly increases.

Need help from a media planner? Media Space Solutions loves working with small- and medium-sized business owners to help them achieve their goals. Give us a call today and we’ll get to work analyzing your data and putting together a strategy that will drive results.

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