what netflix can teach you about marketing.

December 13, 2021

How can you differentiate between a good marketer and a great marketer? It’s not the praise they receive from others or even the number of years they have under their belts. Great marketers are great because they are constantly working to perfect their craft. They do not assume they already know everything there is to know in their given field, and are consistently looking for new ways to learn as much as they can–after all, they owe this to their clients and themselves.

With the rise of COVID-19, people everywhere were searching for alternative and innovative ways to do everyday tasks, and learning was certainly no exception. But what about those who thrive on applying real-world knowledge to their profession? How could they gain this “real world” experience when the world was metaphorically shut down? 

The solution? Discover others’ real-world knowledge and ask yourself, “what can I take away from this experience, and how can I apply it to my own experiences?” Netflix is full of documentaries relevant to marketers. We’ve compiled a list to help you get started on your journey to becoming a great marketer.


7 days out.

It’s not a surprise that marketers wear a lot of hats: social media manager, photographer, SEO expert, and even event planner in some instances. If you’re not actually planning the event, you’re definitely promoting it.

‘7 Days Out’ is a docuseries that gives the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the 7 days leading up to major events around the world. While you may not be in charge of the Chanel fashion show, you can still learn a few lessons and apply them to your upcoming event:

Never let them see you sweat. With any event, things will go wrong! It’s essential to adapt. In most cases, the attendees won’t know the difference if something is not exactly how you planned. With that being said, you should still strive for perfection. Every detail matters and it’s important to make sure the elements you can control are just right.

You’re not just promoting a restaurant–you’re telling a story. You’ll have a much more successful approach if your audience can not only relate to your brand but feel an emotion associated with it.

Make sure you are passionate about the work you are doing. Your audience picks up on a lot more than you think, and if your heart’s not in it, they’ll be able to tell. As they say in the show, if you love what you’re doing, what you create ‘breathes and pulsates with that.’ Authenticity is key. 


the mind explained.

As a marketer, you want to ensure that your brand can cut through the clutter and successfully deliver ads to your audience. Furthermore, you want to ensure that your audience will remember your brand once it does.

“The Mind Explained” is another docuseries that delves into how the brain works when experiencing things like dreams, anxiety, memory, etc. For marketing purposes, we focused on the memory episode, and we learned that 3 features help us retain memories better than others:

Emotion: People tend to remember things that elicit an emotion. They want to feel connected to the products/services they buy. Releasing an ad that they can relate to emotionally will help them remember your ad over one with less emotional context.

Place: Although memories fade quickly, one of the most consistent things people remember is where they were when something happened. While you can’t control where your audience goes, you can be strategic about where you place your ads. If possible, specifically with out-of-home advertising, try to place them in a memorable area or even in an area that your audience goes to to make their own memories.

Story: Our brains pay closer attention to information when it’s in the form of a narrative. This illustrates the importance of thinking of yourself as not just a marketer, but as a professional storyteller. This will allow you to produce a quality ad, and could be the reason your audience remembers your brand over a competitor.



“Broken” is a Netflix docuseries that “shows how negligence and deceit in the production and marketing of popular consumer items can result in dire outcomes.” While it’s important to receive tips on things marketers should do, it’s equally important to learn about what they shouldn’t do.


Attempt to establish a good relationship with your audience. The newer generation of consumers is looking to align themselves with a trustworthy brand that shares their values and beliefs. This could be what causes them to align with your brand versus your competitor.

Consider using influencers in your social media strategy. According to Broken, “Utilizing an influencer can increase how much a product is sold by 2x as much.” Users put a lot of trust in the influencers they admire and follow on social media, and are often more likely to purchase a product that influencer is promoting.

Consider using social media in your advertising strategy. It’s a tremendous non-traditional advertising medium that allows you to engage with your audience directly and receive feedback in real-time.


Take scarcity marketing too far. While scarcity marketing is a tactic that has proven effective, too much pressure could force audience members to look elsewhere for your product. This not only impacts your sales volume but, in the case of the docuseries, could unintentionally lead consumers to cheaper and counterfeit versions of your product.

Leave room for guesswork on behalf of your audience. It’s important to be clear about your product features when marketing, especially to a younger audience. In the case of Juul, “63% of people who smoke Juul don’t know it contains nicotine. Kids didn’t even realize they were using cigarettes.” While it’s essential to showcase your product in an appealing way, make sure you are upfront with your audience.

Forget that those outside your target audience can be influenced by your advertising too. While Juul can say they were not intentionally advertising to children, the fact is their Instagram featured “20-somethings who could easily pass for 15-somethings” utilizing their products. It’s important that your target audience can relate to your marketing efforts, but you also need to be mindful of the larger impact your marketing efforts can have, and how that may, eventually, result in an unanticipated change in perception about your brand.


the great hack.

Similar to “Broken,” “The Great Hack” serves as a cautionary tale on what can happen when you’re dishonest with your audience. This documentary discusses how social media took a dark turn during the 2016 presidential election through the example of Cambridge Analytica, a controversial data company.

It’s a running joke that our phones listen to us whenever we get an advertisement for something we were just talking about. In reality, this occurrence is simply marketers using anonymous data to predict actions and behavior accurately. While many don’t mind an algorithm’s ability to give consumers exactly what they want to see, “The Great Hack” shows when this data usage becomes unethical. However, the beauty of using others’ life experiences is that we can learn from their mistakes. 

The most important takeaway from “The Great Hack” is to use your marketing superpowers for good. While this should go without saying, you have a responsibility to use your targeting abilities to benefit your audience. Do not use their data for the wrong reasons. It is unethical and can cause a significant loss of trust on behalf of your audience. A quote from the documentary really made us think, “Everybody has their reality; it’s relatively easy to manipulate them.” If you go into marketing with this thought in mind, you’re already on the wrong path. Use your targeting abilities to deliver a positive experience to your audience, and they’ll remain loyal to you.

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