For anybody who knows me personally, knows I’m a self-confessed 24 addict. In fact, I have all the seasons on DVD, which I watch in their entirety during the summer. Its become a tradition over the years.
But the show has become more of the resource to me than I could ever imagine. In addition to its unique format, entertainment value and drama. It has also proved to become a great educational resource too.
I’ve used the show to learn and improve my German while I living in Austria. And even used the DVD box set I bought to study for German courses by watching it with German audio and subtitles. Who knew watching 24 could be considered studying!
The next example of what a great resource 24 can be, is up next. And explains what we can learn about marketing high technology from the show’s protagonist Jack Bauer.
1. Know your rival
Jack Bauer has a wealth of experience dealing with people who want to cause harm. Which has enabled him to gather a vast amount of information on what their future plans, their intentions and future direction might be.
Just like you would enter a new market with your technology, you’re going to encounter competitors who are not going to be too happy to have you in their territory. With that said, you’d be best prepared to gather as much intel on your future rivals before entering a new market.
You can read my earlier post “How to get the latest information on your competition?”, where I provide 14 ways you can use to study the competition.
2. Have a plan in place
Before Jack Bauer sets out on a field operation to apprehend a suspect, he always has a plan in place. Because when mistakes are made, it’ll cost you big time!
You may be embarking on a new marketing campaign or staging an event for your launch. In any case, you’re best served devising a plan so that you and your team knows what needs to be done and what the objective is
Not doing so, leads to mistakes that will make you look like an amateur with poor implementation. You can receive a lot positive media attention for an excellently organized event.
I’m not saying you need to meticulously plan and come up a 50 page plan. On the contrary, a detailed to-do list would be enough depending on your situation.
3. Have a plan B just in case
Jack Bauer knows he’ll hit a hurdle or two on his journey to stop the bad guys. The same is true for your marketing, things happen you may not have envisioned.
Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone. In fact you need to adapt when circumstances demand it. The one better adapted to its environment will survive!
4. Look for weaknesses
Related to number 1, Jack Bauer gets results from the weaknesses he has identified based on the intelligence collected.
From the tips I provided in my previous post; make a list of what you do better than your competitors and also be on the lookout for companies you can partner up. Even Jack looks for allies to help him out and so should you.
Think about it. Your technology could offer a complementary service to another company, that expands your overall market.
5. Be resourceful
On 24, Jack Bauer can get into some troubling and dangerous situations where he doesn’t always have the necessary gear on him. But he makes do with what he’s got.
You may not have a budget of a Fortune 500 company, but that shouldn’t stop you from coming up with cheap and creative ways to promote yourself and your tech. Why not leverage social media for feedback from your customers!
6. Develop your negotiation skills
For anybody who has watched 24 as extensively as I have. Will know that in every season, Jack Bauer ends up in a negotiation standoff with his adversaries. At least one of his friends or relatives gets kidnapped.
If you’re strapped for cash and in need of investment. You’d be well served by developing your negotiation skills in order to get what you need – or close to it.
On the other hand, you might be looking to buy parts for your product. In which case you’ll want to get the cheapest price you can bargain for.
7. Offer them something they can’t refuse
Okay, so you obviously can’t offer your clients immunity, like Jack Bauer does when he’s interrogating suspects.
But what you can do, is develop an irresistible value proposition for your target market. Offer them a solution to an ongoing problem they’re experiencing. Just don’t be a solution looking for a problem!
8. Find out their values, beliefs & customs
Jack Bauer understands the values, beliefs and customs of the people he comes across throughout his adventures on 24. It’s vital that he knows as much as he can about other’s cultures to understand what makes them tick.
In my post “How to get your innovation adopted by customers?”, I talked about making your technology compatible. Not only technological, but also on a sociological level. Make sure it doesn’t clash with the culture of your target market. Check out Kwintessential’s page on Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders to learn more.
9. Exploit unexpected events
A lot of things can happen; some of them are expected, others unexpected. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the next hour, at least on 24. Yet Jack still manages to turn it out to his advantage.
When marketing your technology, be open to other opportunities around you and willing to adapt. Not everything can be planned and in some cases you might accidentally stumble upon a gold mine, if you keep your eyes open.
There you have it, the Jack Bauer guide to marketing high technology. Do you have any other lessons we can learn from Jack Bauer? Let us know and post them below in the comments.