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And the Oscar goes to…

“Okay, I must admit – I am a Leonardo DiCaprio fan. My father and I are in total awe at the way he is able to get into any role and completely own it.

The first movie I ever saw him in was “Basketball Diaries”. If you haven’t seen it, he played a drug addict. And boy let me tell you – HE WAS A DRUG ADDICT! In every sense of the term.

The next movie I saw him in was “Catch Me If You Can”. He reinacts the true story of Fred Abagnale Jr – a legendary con-artist who was masterfully deceptive. And as a con-artist – Leo’s character assumes a new identity in almost every scene. And of course, Leo completely owns every single identity. Every one.

Then I saw him in “The Aviator” where he portrayed the life of Howard Hughes. And ladies and gentlemen – he WAS Howard Hughes.

Then there was his role in “The Departed” – where he played an undercover cop pretending to be a crook in order to bring down an infamous mob leader. And of course we can’t forget, “Titanic”.

But the most impressive performance for me might have actually been his role in “Blood Diamond”. Leo played a character named Danny Archer and actually spoke with a heavy South African accent. AND HE COMPLETELY SOLD IT! I was truly convinced that Leo was from South Africa!

And so my conclusion was simple: this man can play ANY role!

Sure, he hasn’t portrayed a professional athlete turned hitman. Nor has he played a super hero who secretly aspired to be a ballet dancer. But I’m convinced that if you were to give him either of those scripts and allow him some time to learn them, he would nail either of those performances. Perfectly!

So what on earth does this have to do with marketing?

Well, the easiest way to offend a marketing firm (or consultant) is to suggest to them “you’ve never promoted MY type of product so therefore you couldn’t possibly know how to”. It’s pretty much the same as telling Leonardo DiCaprio “well you’ve never played THIS type of role, so therefore you couldn’t possibly know how to.” The same way a really great actor is able to nail any role you give them, a good marketing firm should be able to sell any product you give them. Period.

Do not be afraid to hire a firm (or consultant) that has never promoted your exact product before. Quite the opposite, you might actually even consider that a good thing. When you come into something brand new, you don’t have any biases or prejudices. You come in with a completely fresh perspective and often times you might even be able to see something that others can’t. You never know, the marketing firm/consultant just might propose an idea that you would never have otherwise considered.

Frankly speaking, the odds of finding a firm/consultant that specializes in your EXACT product/service are very slim anyway. So instead, ask about the other products they’ve helped sell. Ask them how they went about it. Ask about the gameplan they developed, how they approached it, and how they executed. And most importantly, ask about the results that were achieved. The more diverse their resume is the better. When someone has a diverse resume, it shows that they are good at what they do – regardless of the product involved. When someone has a diverse resume, it shows they are able to learn a new product / industry and understand what it takes to propose creative ideas that will work. When someone has a diverse resume it shows that they truly know their craft – much like a great actor with a diverse resume knows theirs.

Before discounting a marketing firm/consultant that has never sold your exact product/service, give them the opportunity to read your company’s “script” first. You never know – once they’ve had the chance to digest it, they just might come back and give you the Oscar winning performance you need to take your business to the next level.

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