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Get Out the Popcorn

by Cynthia Kay

A number of movies have been released just in time for spring break. I have watched with amusement as the critics have taken aim at movies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and Batman vs Superman. The website Rotten Tomatoes rates films with its Tomatometer™ rating. According to the site the rating is “based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – it is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. The Tomatometer™ rating represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.”

So for example Batman vs Superman only had a 29% favorable rating among the critics but 70% of moviegoers liked it. The movie is a big hit with comic book lovers despite what the critics think. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 got a 25% favorable rating from critics but 66% of viewers (myself included) liked it. It delivers exactly what moviegoers wanted- a sweet, funny story acted by characters that we have come to love.  Obviously these viewers do not trust the opinions of television and film critics. They know what they like.

Is there a business lesson here?  I think so. Whose opinion you should value? Who has the power? In the case of the movies, critics believe they have power and influence but it is moviegoers that determine the success of a film despite lukewarm or even bad reviews.

In business, there are also lots of critics. There are those who tell you that your product or service is… too expensive, not the right quality, too simple, too complicated. Do I need to go on? Some question the time it takes to deliver a product or service. Some doubt your advice. Who do you listen to? Where should you place your focus?

Take a lesson from the movies. Pay attention to your target market, your audience, the select group of customers that are the perfect fit for your business. You need to create products and services that they want and that work for them… not what is popular, what experts or consultants say or even what is trending at the moment.  When you know your audience you can get a “5 Star” rating every time.

Additionally, I believe you should take your cues from another important source-the employees who are working on the project or account. Take their suggestions seriously. They are on the front lines of the work and want to be proud of what they produce. If they are critical, it is because they perceive that there are mistakes or gaps in the work. Or the work simply does not meet their quality standards.  Trust those who are closest to the product or service and ignore the critics.

In the meantime, go see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 or any other movie you choose despite what the critics say.

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