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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Kevin Smith, Guerilla Marketer

Director Kevin Smith has made several successful movies (including Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma), and even more money by building a doggedly loyal online community.

His latest film, Clerks II, didn't have the production budget (a mere $5 million) or marketing budget that usually accompanies a mainstream film, so Smith built interest in the film by mastering the online guerilla marketing tools. Smith frequently vlogged about the making of the film while it was being made, blogged about it on his personal website, created a MySpace website for the film and all of its central characters, participated in his company's community forum, interacted directly with fans.

He promotes the DVDs of his past films and developed a slew of related merchandise to generate income when he doesn't have a film in theaters, which is most of the time. .

Smith recognized that he is the brand, and so he puts himself into the middle of all of the marketing efforts. On his blog Smith explains (warning: in profane detail) how he based his marketing strategy on lessons he learned from sex, which boils down to recognize your limitations and focus on the skills that can make you a successful.

We can all learn from Smith that you can make a nice living by identifying a niche audience, spending appropriately, and generating buzz online through direct communications.

By John Gartner at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

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