Hollywood Relying on More Market Research to Promote Movies

In case you didn’t notice, Hollywood’s biggest studios are suffering from the same problem as television networks: splintering audiences that require more highly targeted PR and marketing campaigns. A couple of facts: attendance rates for middle-aged consumers are stable while members of the all-important teenage demographic are going to see fewer movies now than they have at any point in the past.

More and more Hollywood communications pros, led by marketing agencies like Capstone Global Marketing, are turning to hard data in order to figure out the best ways to promote their movies. This targeted approach is especially relevant in an era that relies on audience engagement and social media sharing by real-world fans who don’t have any personal investment in the success of individual titles or studios at large.

The art of gleaning data from surveys and using it to promote movies is nothing new–in the 30’s, studio execs traveled around the country passing out basic “idiot card” with basic questions in order to figure out which movies members of the public liked most and what sort of changes would attract new viewers. But now the data is more important than ever, and studios are considering using online gaming “communities” to better gauge public sentiment.

What is the most effective way to determine how the public will respond to a particular movie? And how can the promoters who specialize in pushing Hollywood properties to the masses design more efficient campaigns?