Growing up in the 90’s was a magical time to be a kid. In a small town lit by the light of a TV screen, there were several juggernauts that vied for the unwavering love and attention of young minds. For those too young or old, I am sorry, but it was awesome being young in the 90’s.
I’m in my late 20’s now, and if you asked me what my favorite fictional character of all time is, my answer would be the same as it was then.
I know it sounds silly but, to me, Batman is just the be all, end all of superheroes. He’s awesome, and I’ve realized there is a parallel between Batman and my career — he is the perfect marketer. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you why.
1. Batman is just a normal person.
At the most basic level, Batman is just a really rich guy running around beating bad guys up. If you break down exactly what he does, that’s him in one sentence. He doesn’t have super powers, he’s not an alien, or the victim of a tragic radioactive accident. He’s human, but that’s what makes him super.
He’s a person with flaws, feelings, thoughts and a story. We all are. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that our target audiences are made up of people in a shared experience called life — even ourselves. It’s okay to be flawed, and it’s important to remember that in order to create content that truly speaks to people.
2. He has sidekicks.
No one can do it all on their own, not even Batman. To fight off the dregs of society he has Robin, his butler Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Batgirl (in some comics) to turn to.
No one can be the end all, be all resource of information in marketing. It is such a multi-faceted business that we must rely on each other for help sometimes.
3. He is prepared for everything, and extremely versatile.
Despite needing help sometimes, Batman is prepared for everything. In many comics, he literally has a file on every member of the Justice League and how to take them down, even Superman, if they go rogue.
While I won’t be planning the imminent demise of a villain anytime soon, being prepared for possible crisis situations and avoiding those that are within my control is just good business practice.
4. Batman has tools at his fingertips, and is a super sleuth.
Speaking of asking for help, you won’t ever catch him flat-footed on the job. Nope, within his utility belt he keeps all kinds of useful gadgets to fight crime. He is also a master detective that uses his mind as a super power. Having the batmobile in your garage doesn’t hurt either.
Alternatively, any worthwhile marketer has their metrics and analytical tools to help them target their audiences. They are studied in their profession and know how to use that knowledge efficiently and effectively. Like Batman, a marketer should always be solving problems.
5. He has a symbol, and it evokes emotional responses.
That iconic symbol is so engrained in society that it’s almost always recognizable. He obviously understands the importance of brand-building.
Our take away from this should be that building a brand isn’t about how flashy it is, but how we use it and what emotions we can attach to it to illicit the kind of response that evokes a positive action out of our audience. That doesn’t happen overnight.
6. Bruce Wayne is Batman.
Without getting too meta about it, Bruce Wayne is Batman’s alter-ego — when the mask is on, the true mask is really off.
What I’m really driving at, is that being a true marketing professional means this isn’t a costume you take on and off, this is who you are. We believe in the values we use to guide our marketing campaigns. There is no clocking out, we’re always ready to pounce.
7. He is unstoppable, and relentless.
Once he has a goal in mind, he goes for it. Batman is unstoppable and relentless in his pursuit of justice. Once a marketer has a clearly defined vision and goal for a client’s campaign, we should be just as insatiable.
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