In this installment of my 7 part blog series on business planning, we’re going to take a look at the marketing section of the plan. This section is likely to be the longest section, as it encompasses an overview of the industry, as well as both marketing and distribution planning. Generally, this section will encompass 3-5 pages of the plan, all single spaced. This is among the most important sections of the plan, as it is a real breakdown of how money will come back to the film
In this subsection, you’ll want to define some key metrics of the film industry. You’ll want to include it’s size, how much revenue it brings in, and ideally an estimate of how many films are made in a year, as well s the size of the independent part of the film industry vs the overall film industry. If you want help with some of those figures, you should look at the white paper I did with ProductionNext, IndieWire, Stage32, and Fandor a few years back. To the best of my knowledge, it’s still among the most reliable data on the film industry.
The fact that the film industry is considered a mature industry that is not growing by significant margins is also something you’ll also want to mention. You’ll also want to talk about the sectors of growth within the film industry, as well as where the money tends to come from for independent producers, and a whole lot of other data you’re going to have to find and reference. As mentioned above, the State of the Film Industry book linked in the banner below has much of this information for you.
Overall, this section should be about a page long.
The marketing subsection of the plan goes into detail about both the target demographics and target market of you film, as well as how you plan on accessing them. To quote an old friend and long time silicon valley strategist Sheridan Tatsuno, Finding your target market is like placing the target, and marketing is like shooting the arrow. For more detail on how to go about finding your target market, I encourage you to check out the blog below, as my word count restrictions will not let me go too deeply into it here
Figuring out how you’re going to market the film can be a challenge for many filmmakers. Generally, I’d advise putting something more detailed than “smart social media strategy.” I tell most of my clients to focus on getting press, appearing on podcasts, and getting reviews. Marketing stunts can be great, but timing them is difficult to pull off.
All of this being said, you’ll need more to your marketing strategy than simply going to festivals to build buzz. The books below have a lot of related information that you’ll want to check out.
This section talks about how you intend to get your film to the end user. This section should be an actionable plan on how you intend to attract a distributor. This sections should not be “we’ll get into sundance and then have distributors chasing us!” I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably not going to get into Sundance. Fewer than 1% of submissions do.
The biggest thing you need to answer is whether you plan on attaching a distributor/sales agent or whether you intend to send distribute. if you’re not sure, this blog might help you decide.
Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all the blogs on this site are devoted to distribution, so there’s lots of stuff here for you to use when developing this plan. If you want to develop more of a plan than distributing it yourself, it’s also something I’d be happy to talk to you about it. All you’ll have to do is either submit your film or book a strategy session below. Thanks for reading, and check back next week for a breakdown of a SWOT Analysis. Links can be found a bit below for the entire 7 part series.
Also, if you like this content, please consider joining my email list. You’ll get monthly digests segmented by topic, and a packet of film market resources.
This is part of a 7 part series. I’ll be updating the various sections as they drop. So check back and if you see a ling below, it will take you to whatever section you most want to read.
Risk Statement/SWOT Analysis
Financials Section (Text)
Pro-forma Financial Statements.
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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