Marketing lessons from The Big Short

So, I went to watch ‘The Big Short’ on Monday night.

(Holloway Odeon. Thanks for asking…)

It’s an enjoyable movie about what we now know as the credit crunch…

And how a handful of traders saw the crash coming…

…and made a lot of money betting heavily on it.

In one scene, the Christian Bale character goes into Goldman Sachs to bet against the US housing market…

…and is pretty much laughed out of the room…

See, for the Goldman people in 2006, the US housing market has never looked better.

It’s impossible for them to even PERCEIVE that they might be wrong.

And there’s a simple lesson for you here…

The received wisdom…

The orthodoxy in any industry…

…is POWERFUL…

…PERVASIVE……

And feels very unnatural to REBEL against.

And yet – rebel you must…

Picture if you will our old friend, the normal distribution or ‘bell curve’…

In fact, you don’t need to picture it… it looks like this:

bell-curve

Well, what that says is that, in any industry…

Probably only 5% of businesses is really successful.

Maybe another 10% are doing pretty well.

Fully 70% are mediocre.

(Chugging along… but never setting the world on fire, either.)

10% are struggling…

And the final 5%?

They’re on life-support.

So, that being the case…

Does it make any sense AT ALL to just look around your market and take your cues from what most others seem to be doing?

No, it does not…

‘Cos it means 85% of the businesses in any market are NOT successful.

Let me put it another way…

If you just do what everyone else seems to be doing, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE for you to succeed…

And there are numerous areas you should look at:

Pricing.

If you’re looking at competitors for where to set your prices…

Well, why?

Most of ‘em have got it WRONG!

Social media.

Did you know the world’s most profitable company in 2015 (Apple) has neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account?

Long copy…

‘No-one will read all that’.

The extremely profitable direct marketing niche begs to differ.

Email marketing…

‘Mail too often and it’s counter-productive, you just piss people off…’

Well..?

So, one to ponder:

How many damaging assumptions are you sleepwalking around with?

– Robert

P.S. By the way, The Big Short is, of course, based on one of Michael Lewis’s books… and if you’ve never read any of his books, you should.

The Big Short – eye-opening and a richer experience, of course, than the movie.

Liar’s Poker – his first book, also about trading; a classic.

Moneyball…

…couldn’t get into it because I don’t understand baseball.

But no doubt great if you do 😉