20 Years of Netflix Killer Marketing Strategy

Netflix - 20 YearsPhoto by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash


More than twenty years back Reed Hastings & Marc Randolph came together and launched Netflix. Both tech enthusiasts wanted entertainment crazy Americans to be able to buy & rent DVDs from the comfort of their homes. So, they started a mail service called Netflix to buy or rent DVDs.

Eventually, companies like Walmart & Amazon started with the same service & Netflix started to lose its touch.

That’s when Netflix introduced online streaming. Online streaming faced some heat in the beginning like any other discovery that would break tradition.

Who’d have thought that this would change the way world watches anything today?

In the last 20 years Netflix has evolved with the ever-changing customer demands and behaviors keeping it always at the top of mind & top of viewership.

We’ve been following Netflix for a while & here’s a gist of their Marketing Strategy that we can learn so much from.

Keeping Customer Needs & Behavior a Top Driving Factor

When Hastings & Randolph launched Netflix, the idea was to make entertainment lovers get their favourite DVDs from the comfort of their homes. It instantly became popular until Internet happened.

Internet was slowly moving towards the age of emails & Netflix was one of the first to jump on the opportunity & use this medium to run its business. Internet was exciting & everyone was talking about it & seemed to be a very convenient business model for Netflix.

As soon as Netflix’ competition took the lead, they introduced online streaming. Online streaming was quite uncommon back then, but pretty much rules the internet world now.

When the raving age of social networking sites started, Netflix was one of the first to introduce Facebook connect (in the year 2011) when a lot of brands were not even confident of having a social media presence.

Today Netflix has become a phenomenon.

“Let’s Netflix this weekend?”

Building on Original Content that Builds Exclusivity

When you’re in the business of entertainment, you know you’re competing with many types of businesses similar to you.  Your idea may be the same, but you can speak a different language and have different marketing methods. And one thing that will always be unique to you is your content.

“Netflix Originals” have ruled the space with its great shows like Stranger Things, Black Mirror & Narcos. It has spread across continents & is larger than before.

Netflix India was launched in the year 2016 & its growth has been remarkable!

Brand Content & Not the real Brand is the Campaign Hero

Big mistake that young marketers repeatedly make is to put the entire focus on the Brand. Brand is the hero of every communication, of every advert, of every collateral & every conversation! It simply doesn’t work in the long run & Netflix is a perfect example of how a reverse method works wonders.

Don’t ever use your brand name to sell your product. Use your product to sell your brand!

This works wonders and works every single time.

Netflix takes time to focus on its content & create campaigns to promote & engage audience to promote the TV show in question.  

To promote Black Mirror, Netflix launched an app called Rateme which was a complete down-flow of the shows first season. They also made a web tool for promotion of Stranger Things.

I’d like to point out a recent example. Radhika Apte has been featuring in almost every Netflix originals in India. A few weeks back Indian audience started trolling her for being the only actor of choice on Netflix.

Netflix used this opportunity to become a part of the conversation & created a campaign around Radhika Apte for Netflix. This has turned trolling into serious appreciation & has gained more popularity for being witty.

Radhika Apte | Netflix India

Data Tracking & Analytics for a Great Experience

Netflix connects with you and makes your whole experience wonderful in ways that you will never realize. It tracks what you’re browsing, the time you’re browsing it at, what type of shows you watch at what time of the week, when do you rewind, how often do you pause, are you skipping the intro.. and a lot more.

Their algorithm helps them understand your personal choices and online behavior and helps personalize & better your experience every single time you log in.

Netflix may be one of the loved brands because of their shows but they successful case study because it gives marketers a perspective on how a strategy should be flexible with changing demands & behavior.



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