5 Marketing Lessons from the Godfather

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Prashant Kaw
Prashant Kaw



Marketing Tips from the Godfather The Godfather is an iconic film and novel that everyone remembers and quotes. There are so many remarkable lessons -- from Michael Corleone's hero's journey to his succession of leadership from his ailing father during a tumultuous gang war. Here are 5 valuable marketing lessons from the Corleone family that will help you take on the Tattaglias, Barzinis and Sollozzos that you face!

1. Keep Your Friends Close, Your Influencers Closer

In our social media life it is important to keep in touch with your friends, but make sure you are engaging your influencers. Identify experts and analysts in your industry and build relationships with them. However, as Don Corleone justly scoffs Amerigo Bonasera on the day of his daughter's wedding to "Ask with Respect" and "Come to me with friendship," your motive for engaging the experts should be to build a lifelong friendship!

2. Give Your Audience Offers They Can't Refuse

I couldn't say it any better. Great offers reduce barriers to generating leads. How could anyone refuse to read an eBook that has valuable content or attend a thought leadership webinar that keeps them on top of their game? Especially, if it's free! When it comes to social media and lead generation, great content makes the best offer.  Share it so your audience will spread it!

3. Don't Hesitate to Go to the Mattresses

If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.  Thought leadership is the key to influencing your audience. It will help you to reason with them. Take your strong convictions to the mattresses and build up expertise in your industry. A good example at HubSpot is how we have taken on traditional marketing with our stance on inbound marketing.

4. It's All Personal, Every Bit of Business

Throughout most of the book (and movie), you are led to believe that every action, every move, is all business. However at the very end, Michael Corleone reveals with this outburst that he alone understood his father the best:

"Tom, don't let anyone kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of sh*t every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell." 

Businesses are comprised of people, and using social media is a great way to bring that personal touch to your business and marketing.  It also gives your brand personality!

5. If You Can't Change, You'll be Sleeping With the Fishes

There is a huge shift in how marketing is working and being done on the web. Just as Michael Corleone realized he needed to move from New York to Las Vegas to protect his business interests, you need to adjust with the times or find yourself obsolete. If not, your business could end up like Luca Brassi -- sleeping with the fishes! 

So in summary: Learn about inbound marketing and use social media to build up thought leadership. Share remarkable content and engage your influencers.  Go to the mattresses with your thoughts, ideas and convictions. But when its over, drop your guns and take the canolis.  In then end, it's always personal!

Are there any other lessons you took away from the Corleone family?  As always I look forward to your thoughts in the comments!

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

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