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Movie theater

If you are a fan of the ’90s movie Goodfellas, you know the iconic opening scene ends with Ray Liotta’s character Henry Hill declaring that his earliest memories were to be a gangster. It’s a line that helped define the movie— it sent a clear message and set the tone for arguably the greatest gangster film of all time. 

But what if that scene, or even that line, was cut? 

I am a huge fan of the movie, so it was interesting to read this interview with the film’s director Martin Scorsese, in which he discussed how awful the initial test screens of the movie were.

Cover of film GoodFellas

The graphic nature of the first scene was troubling to most of the audience—70 people walked out.  A small edit was made, and for fans of the movie, so was history. The feedback from the audience was crucial for Scorsese to create his masterpiece. 

Screening a film is an expensive but necessary exercise to be sure the message resonates with the audience. When the content does not connect with the audience, it leads to a financial disaster. Directors often film alternative scenes or endings and see how they play with the audience. Whether it’s a big budget film produced by a major studio or a small, independent film, testing the message is necessary.

This stage in the process is crucial to a film’s success. Applying this methodology to content marketing can also help ensure successful delivery of your message.

Babcox Innovation Group (BIG) helps its marketing partners test their message through customized creative campaigns targeted to specific audiences.  A partner recently expressed their goal to recruit 30 new technicians for its mobile service division. We suggested an email campaign targeting technicians, shop owners, and teachers at technical schools. We helped the client craft three different messages, deployed the content, and captured results that today are helping with our partner’s recruitment efforts.

BIG can help you screen your message through A/B testing, segmenting lists by demographic data, remarketing to engaged audiences, testing subject lines, etc. No matter the campaign, BIG can help. Let’s start a discussion today to create a BLOCKBUSTER messaging strategy to help drive customers and prospects to your website, increase awareness, or fill the sales funnel with more opportunities to sell your products or services.

Randy Loeser is the Publisher/Executive Director of Content & Video at Babcox Media. Connect with Randy by email or call (330) 670-1234 ext. 285.

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