Binge-watching Netflix Taught Me A Powerful Marketing Insight…


Netflix is ruining my life.

Several years after the rest of the world, we’ve finally subscribed to the TV streaming service. And several years after the rest of the world, I’m finally catching up with some of the best series out there, like Orange is the New Black30 Rock, and of course The Crown.

I say “catching up”. What I mean, of course, is bingeing.

My latest kick is The Good Wife, a drama about the rather innocent wife of an American Attorney-General who has to go back to work to support her family when her husband is thrown in jail for corruption.

She joins a law firm, where she valiantly fights a different case every week, all the while becoming more independent, sophisticated and ultimately ruthless.

Solving the cases, the quirky characters and all the personal drama are fun and I’m making my way through it fast. (Bank Holiday was useful….).

But I’m also enjoying learning a bit about how lawyers put their case together.

In several cases, the lawyers have been sure that the truth is on their client’s side – and that they can prove it.

But the truth is not always good enough for them.

Their cases are tried in front of juries, and their biggest fear is boring them.

One of the lead lawyers, Will Gardner, has repeatedly told his team that facts and figures are fine, but if the other side has a narrative that will grip the jurors’ imagination, they’re not going to win.

In several episodes, they have junked solid but boring defences in favour of a good story, which explains their client’s actions in a more compelling way. (Don’t ask me about the legality of this – I have no idea!)

I was really struck by this, because the parallels to the online marketing world were so obvious.

All too often, companies believe that if they can give potential clients facts that prove their product or service will help them, they’ll win their business.

I saw a great example of this just yesterday – a beautifully produced brochure with pie charts and graphs galore….. Nothing personal or evocative at all. And of course the Internet is littered with websites and emails “proving” factually that their product or service is the best out there.

But your clients are no different to those fictional jurors. Logic is great, but it’s dry and takes time to process.

What will really excite them is a good story they can absorb quickly and which instantly resonates.  It’s human nature.

That’s why TV shows like The Good Wife are always going to beat legal documentaries….

Keep that in mind when you’re putting together your marketing (which is, after all, the case for your product or service….).

Does your company have a good, imagination-grabbing  story? How can you integrate story-telling into your content?


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