22 Apr What the Avengers Can Teach Us About Digital Marketing Success
I’m going to let my nerd flag fly here for a minute. I jumped on the Marvel Cinematic Universe bandwagon around the time the first Avengers movie came out. I stayed on the bandwagon partly because my friends introduced me to these amazing characters, and partly because of all the really good looking actors that provided eye candy for two and a half hours. But through all 22 movies I’ve come to love, I’ve noticed the unique and reliable characteristics that these super heroes bring to the table. These characteristics help to tell amazing stories beloved by millions. But the traits that help these heroes survive insurmountable odds (albeit fictional odds), apply to our actual world.
In today’s world, the key to success for any business relies on effective digital marketing. It’s crucial to have potential customers find your business online and through digital means because that’s the way they search. If you’re not connecting to your audience through digital means, chances are your business won’t grow very quickly, if at all. So today, I want to walk you through success in your digital marketing efforts through these Avengers characters.
Captain America – Dedicated
No matter where you come down in the Civil War Captain America vs. Iron Man debate, you have to admit that Cap has some very redeeming qualities. But one of his strongest is that he remains dedicated to the task at hand and to what he believes to be right. To survive in any digital marketing effort, you must remain committed to your cause, even if you don’t see the results you want right away. Digital marketing takes consistent effort, often over a significant amount of time, before you start seeing the ROI. Captain America knows that better than anyone. He’s had to fight the same wars, and the same battles over and over again against those who wanted control of the planet. Granted, your business plan probably doesn’t involve taking over the world. But you do want to succeed in a competitive marketplace. And you have to be dedicated in your efforts to get there.
Iron Man – Innovative
The story of Tony Stark shows us what happens if one person decides to change everything about their life to do what’s right in their eyes, but still succeed. Throughout all three Iron Man movies, all the Avengers movies, and appearances in Captain America and Spiderman, Tony Stark remains an innovative visionary. So how can you apply that to your business? You’re passionate about what you do, that’s why you started your business. You’ve had to adapt to a changing marketplace, changes in technology, and changes your business plans along the way. You’re already innovative because you’ve adapted to changes along the way. But it’s crucial to not get comfortable. Always keep moving forward and making those pivotal decisions when necessary. Tony Stark continually works to improve his suit. You can do the same thing for your business.
Thor – Relentless
Thor Odinson does not give up. Granted, some of his movies weren’t the greatest (don’t even get me started on The Dark World), but throughout his storylines Thor never gives up fighting for the truth and for the people he loves. He’s relentless in doing what he’s passionate about. So what’s stopping you from doing the same thing for your business? When it comes to digital marketing, you can’t quit. You have to constantly be working through your social media strategies, engaging in new content, and employing sound SEO practices. Your competition won’t stop in their campaigns, and if you don’t want to lose ground, you can’t either. Be relentless in your digital marketing efforts to fight for your business.
Black Widow – Flexible
Black Widow or Natasha Romanov goes through quite the character arc throughout the MCU. But throughout all of it, she’s flexible and adaptable to what’s going on around her. She’s constantly changing up her strategy based on the current fight she’s facing. Every business owner knows they can’t predict what’s going to happen the next day, and that you regularly face situations you never anticipated. So you have to be adaptable and take on challenges that arise with a level head and flexible attitude. Black Widow teaches us that you can take on any challenge you face. But sometimes you have to think outside the box.
Hawkeye – Witty
Partly due to fan fiction, and partly due to just some of his clever one liners, Clint Barton sometimes gets painted as the comic relief of the Avengers. But that’s needed! In today’s society, people count on a brand being smart and witty and having a human connection. Just boring informational interactions don’t do it anymore in the age of social media when people want the brands they follow to be engaging. The Avengers might be a little too serious without a Hawkeye character that has deadly accuracy in his skillset, but knows how to bring the team together. You can do that with your business and your digital marketing efforts. Customers need to know you’ve got their back when the time comes, but they also want to see personality from your business. They want to see the human side of your business.
Hulk/Banner – Mission-Focused
It’s hard to choose a single lesson for Hulk/Banner because, essentially, you’ve got two super heroes in one. Hulk’s just awesome and can take down entire alien spaceships on his own. But Bruce Banner in his own right has seven Ph.D.’s, making him one of the smartest people on the planet. However, one quality of both Hulk and Banner is his mission-focused attitude. As Bruce Banner, he’s constantly trying to work out solutions to the problem at hand. As Hulk, he smashes, and he’s good at it. He’s got one mission and he does it very well. Chances are, as a business owner, you don’t have a Ph.D. in digital marketing. So it can sometimesbe hard to know what to do. But you’re great at your industry, and need to make sure you stay mission focused. It can be difficult with so many options out there for your digital marketing efforts. But stay true to your end goals of growing your business and showing the world why you’re the best at what you do.
Ant Man – Loyal
Another comic relief-type character, Ant Man brings extreme loyalty to the table. When he shows up in Germany during the events of Civil War, he gives up what could be freedom back home to help a cause he cares about. He remains loyal to Hank Pym, who gave him the suit, and wants to do what’s right by him. Even though you need to always be thinking of your digital marketing strategies and keeping your approach current, you still need to stay true and loyal to the customers and followers you have. They come to your brand for a certain reason, and don’t want to see off-the-wall content they can’t relate to. Make sure your brand stays loyal to the customers you’ve worked hard to cultivate while still maintaining that innovative attitude to bring in new growth.
Rocket – Creative
Rocket, the only member of the Guardians of the Galaxy to survive the Thanos snap, has had a tough life. He’s gone through some pretty extreme scientific experiments, and had to be on his own with the help of a sidekick who only speaks three words, “I Am Groot”. That’s got to be tough. But through all that, Rocket has to be one of the most creative members of the MCU. He’s always got a plan, and he’s working through different avenues to accomplish what he needs to do. He relies on others to help with parts of those plans, but he’s willing to take the lead and be the so-called “captain”. You need to do the same. Always survey the horizon and see where you need to improve in your efforts to reach your target audience. Rely on those in your business circle to help you out. But make sure you’re always being creative in how you can improve your scope.
Captain Marvel – Loyal and Reliable
(Spoiler alert!) In one of the end credit scenes of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers shows up to the Avengers compound after getting Nick Fury’s page. Even though Fury got dusted by Thanos, Captain Marvel said she’d be there if he needed it. Do your customers feel that way about your business? Can they count on you to be there if they have issues or questions? Do you drop everything to help them out? You need to take on these traits as a business in order to keep the customers you have, grow your brand, and in turn, bring on new customers.
Honorable (villainous) Mentions
Thanos – Ruthless
In a line from Infinity War, Thanos says that he’s let things cloud his focus before which took his eye off his ultimate goal, but that he wouldn’t let that happen anymore. In the final events of the film, Thanos is ruthless in doing whatever it takes to accomplish his goal. He even sacrifices his favorite “daughter”. You likely won’t have to face major decisions like that in your business. But you do need to be ruthless in doing what it takes to accomplish your goals. The word “ruthless” tends to have a negative connotation, but that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to digital marketing. You know your business plans and goals and what you want to accomplish. Don’t get distracted or let the challenges along the way keep you from succeeding in those goals. You may have to make some sacrifices along the way before you see the ultimate pay off. But if you’re constantly working towards those goals, you’ll see the success of your efforts.
Loki – Unpredicatble
I’m still refusing to believe Loki is dead. (Yes, I’m one of those people, and until I see proof at the end of Avengers Endgame that he’s not coming back, I won’t believe it.) But his redeeming quality that can help your digital marketing efforts is his unpredictability. Loki always changes up his tactics and his strategies to get what he wants. This works for your customers as well. Being a little unpredictable with your tactics means customers can always expect something new. The key with marketing is finding what works for your audience, enhancing it, then changing up your messaging regularly. Being unpredictable with your marketing means your customers know they can always count on new and exciting experience with your brand.
All these traits ultimately come down to one incredible super hero. But part of what makes the MCU characters so engaging are their human flaws. Yes, you need to take these lessons and apply them to all your digital marketing efforts. But you don’t need to have all traits all at the same time. You can be unpredictable in trying new things, but still loyal to the customers you have. Your business can be flexible in your approach to a changing marketplace while staying dedicated to the business you’ve worked so hard to develop. You can take these lessons and learn from them as you continually adapt your growth strategies for your business.