Ant-Man’s Lesson for Back-to-School

By Abe Novick

Perhaps it’s that snap of cool weather at night that’s got you saying “so long” to summer and looking forward to a new school year? Or maybe you’re like me and you still get butterflies in your tummy with the thought of Back-To-School? But if you’re reading this blog, it might be that you’re a Head of School, an Administrator or Development Officer trying to figure out how you can stay within budget but still market effectively and boost enrollment as open house season quickly approaches.

If so, you’ve probably been looking at spreadsheets and projections for too many sunny days and summer weeks, so I suggest you take one more break and go out and see the summer blockbuster projected on the big screen, “Ant-Man.”  It may give your spirit and school the super jolt it needs.

To miniaturize the storyline; Scott Lang is a burglar and an ex-con who gets lured in by Dr. Hank Pym to first steal and then don the shrinking Ant-Man suit, providing him tiny size but extraordinary strength so he can save the world.

I know what you’re thinking. How is this important to me and how’s it affect my bottom-line? Well, try this analysis on for size.

Do you face an army of much larger competitors? Is your small size and modest ad budget keeping you from using all the potential marketing strength at your disposal? Well, here are a few tips derived from the flick.

  • In order to stand out among a sea of competitors, you need to use all of your undersized strength and aim it at the most vital target market that you know you can move.
  • Find a narrow area, a niche that your bigger competitors don’t even see, can’t bother with or ignore, and stick to it.
  • Create, brand and promote one simple message that will motivate your customers and focus your energy on them.
  • Then narrow your sights even further and ask yourself how can I micro-pinpoint them by income or occupation.
  • Zero in on when your audience is most motivated to act on your message (maybe just an 8-week period) where you can dominate.

In “Ant-Man” Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) also has many allies, in fact they’re actual ants – an army of them that he communicates with in order to succeed.

By communicating with and winning over his allies he’s able to call upon the tiny creepy-crawlers to help him when he’s in need or in trouble.  Who are your allies? How many do you have? In today’s world, even if you’re a small school, a non-profit or a start-up, there’s little excuse not to have access to an army of like-minded team members via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

But even with that army of allies in place, remember your strength lies in keeping your message focused like a laser on your consumer.  Then, while you may be small, your size will work to your advantage and you’ll seem even bigger because your power has been increased and magnified exponentially.

Abe Novick, a strategic partner with Kalix Communications, heads up his own consultancy, AbeBuzz.com.

 

President’s Notes
Jonathan Oleisky

Jonathan Oleisky

President
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