Last night, I happened to watch Gigi Marzullo’s Sottovoce TV show (yes, I admit it).
Did you know that the show has been on air since 1989?
27 years in a row (except for one stop in 1993).
Every night, or almost every night.
Unchanged, year after year, night after night.
Like it or not, a product that lasts 27 years cannot but be defined as a success.
But what’s the formula for this success?
I don’t know about TV, but if I look at it as a product, I’d say that the winning ingredients are:
- a very simple format: 1-1 studio interview, an elegant setting without too many sequins;
- in addition, this format has always been like that (only small variations);
- Created for a very specific target group: late-night spectators;
- not for everyone: viewers are a bit of an elite;
- unchanged ritual:
– always the same structure of the program in two parts, with the opening theme in the middle
– same theme
– same piano-bar singer
– same psychologist who has always responded to the recurring dream of the guest
- Some phrases repeated like a mantra are also part of the ritual, every single night (“A program to understand yourself and maybe even to understand each other. Because when one day, given the time, is just over, another day is about to begin”).
And then it’s all about the content.
And in particular Marzullo’s real intellectual property: I’m referring to his questions.
Some questions are part of the basic “template” (“Ask yourself a question, give yourself an answer”, and the now classic “Is life a dream, or do dreams help you live better?”).
Others are real proofs of philosophical abstraction for the interview (“Do you need your past or your future more to live your present?”).
Others, finally, are a real rhetoric masterpiece applied to talk shows (“The things you leave behind, do they come back or not?”).
I repeat: 27 years of broadcasting based on this essential model.
In his own way then a genius. Or maybe he’s just clever. Or maybe a bit of both… 😉 in my opinion, however, good. Otherwise, there’s no way he was on air for 27 years.
But apart from the considerations on the character, the success of this product/program makes me ask these questions:
- Then we worry about changing our products? Do we worry about their “life cycle”?
- Are we sure that it’s right to be anxious every day to embellish them, to modernise them?
- Wouldn’t it be better to try to conceive an evergreen product, as Marzullo did?
- Isn’t it that sometimes the success of a product or a business strategy doesn’t depend on its originality or genius, but on the combination of SIMPLICITY + PERSISTANCE with which we carry on the idea?
So, let’s all try to think about it (me too):
- Can I create an evergreen product?
- Or is there some component of my model of doing marketing, lead generation, and sales that could be… “marzullised”?
We’ve already taken a gamble along this path, because we’re about to launch a product with these characteristics:
- Simple format:
This is a newsletter of professional in-depth study on issues of marketing lead generation B2B sales.
- Simple to produce and use:
only on paper, so whoever receives it has a “physical” relationship and you can take it with you anywhere, like a pamphlet.
Monthly. Every month within the 10th of the month it leaves, and within one or two days you receive it in your mailbox.
- Also ritual in content:
depending on the month, it can be a monographic dispensation dealing with a single theme, or dealing with two or more different themes
- it doesn’t air at night, but is still aimed at a target level:
the marketing and sales professional (SME owner or manager of a multinational company or seller) who wants to be constantly updated on the most advanced methodologies and techniques of his profession. A bit of a marketing and sales scientist, a bit of an artist, a bit of a craftsman.
no sequins, just substance. And speaking of Marzullo’s questions, one of the first issues will contain an in-depth look at the art of asking questions during sales negotiations.
- It’s not suitable for all:
the price is commensurate with the quality of the content. So, we don’t expect many customers. But good ones.
The first issue will be published in May.
And the first customers who will join us by April 30 will enjoy a lifetime discount on the price of the subscription.