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August 24, 2009 / jasonpinto

60 Minute Marketing Inspiration

I’m not quite sure if I’m in the target demographic, but I am a huge 60 Minutes fan.

As you may know, the creator of the show, Don Hewitt, passed away last week. During the broadcast last night, the entire hour was spent discussing his life, his influence, and the way he worked/lived.

If you enjoy marketing, I bet you’ll agree that the episode was a goldmine of inspiration.

Here were three items that I will have a hard time forgetting:

“Tell Me a Story”

When it came to an assignment, those were the four main words that the reporters, writers, and producers needed to keep in mind, more than anything else.

Sure, “issues” are important. But there is something more important than that — how are people affected by those issues? If you could find the answer to that, then you had a story to tell.

And the belief was – if you had a great story to share, people would pay attention to what you were broadcasting.

If you want to produce television, you must be a television viewer

Judging by what I saw last night, Don Hewitt watched every segment on 60 Minutes before it aired.

He did this because he certainly had great feedback on how to ensure an episode would be successful.

But he also knew that producing and writing is VERY different than watching. We may love to build and create. But sometimes we are so close to that process, that we forget one thing — will people use it? Can they?

Thus, he always tried to put himself in the shoes of the television viewer. He visualized them sitting around their living room on a Sunday night. He thought of their possible distractions — family members, other shows, etc…. Could they produce content that would make someone want to watch their show, instead of caving in to another distraction?

Check the Numbers

Every Monday morning, Don Hewitt would place a phone call, and ask for the ratings from Sunday night’s broadcast.

Yes, he knew that it was very important to measure the success or failure of each episode.

The Marketing Connection

For those in the world of marketing, those 3 items may seem very basic…. You need to tell a story… You need to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. You need to measure the success of your marketing efforts.

But we sometimes get distracted, and neglect these important activities.

That formula brought success to Don Hewitt and 60 Minutes for a long time. I bet it can help you too.


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