In today’s world of shrinking attention spans and decentralized work forces, Scott DiGiammarino, CEO of MovieComm, believes that how you communicate your message makes all the difference in the world.
In the last episode, Scott shared his story of how he transformed one of the worst-performing offices at American Express into the best-performing office by applying a creative solution to motivate and engage a geographically distributed, expanding, and increasingly younger workforce.
A core component of Scott’s secret sauce was his use of movie clips to build a positive and productive work culture. This proven success at AMEX, coupled with a desire to impact not just thousands of people but millions and millions of people, is what drove him to ultimately start MovieComm, a technology company that helps leaders harness the power of Hollywood movie clips to communicate, engage, and inspire their organizations more effectively.
Starting a Business Requires Relationships, Perseverance, and Being a Jack of All Trades
Today, anyone can go to MovieComm.com, browse thousands of licensed movie clips curated by theme, and then share those clips as edited video packages with a succinct message. The resulting messages are short, entertaining, and memorable.
Getting to this point was a long journey, though – Scott started cold calling movie studios around 2000, when we was first at AMEX, and subsequently spent almost a decade building relationships with them. “It was a nine-and-a-half year negotiation – I call it nine years of begging!”
The concept was so new and different compared to anything the studios had ever seen before, so Scott also faced a healthy dose of skepticism and rejection (meaning he constantly had to find new ways to keep himself motivated and persevere).
Transitioning from being in charge of a huge workforce to doing everything himself was another significant shift. Like many entrepreneurs, he had to learn to be a jack of all trades because he couldn’t delegate tasks to anyone else. But also he was constantly learning about new disciplines, processes, and technologies that were going to be necessary to bring MovieComm fully to life.
Building Business Momentum
Those relationships that Scott built over the course of 9.5 years were crucial to establishing a foundation of trust. By working collaboratively with the studios to ensure his goals aligned to the theirs, and maintaining open and honest communication, Scott broke through the initial inertia in gaining access to the content.
MovieComm also first started out as a consulting firm. Scott worked closely with his clients (who happened to be executives like he was) to help them apply their principles and values in this movie clip format. By concepting and implementing his clients’ communications strategy, he was able to prove the impact they could deliver through the same metrics he saw at AMEX.
However, as a consulting firm, Scott realized their services wouldn’t be scalable. Further, he knew he needed to focus on who they really wanted to target and what they truly wanted to offer. He couldn’t be all things to all people.
So he took the time to do in depth research and gather valuable data points. Through those learnings, Scott identified the ideal audience, positioning, product experience, and pricing that led him to where he is today.
Do your homework. That research is necessary for you to understand what your audience wants, needs, and expects. By talking to your customers, you will discover new ideas that might never have consider, and you will gain clarity on “how to position this better to make the doubters believe.”
When it comes to building your business or taking it to the next level, the most important aspect is your vision. You need to be clear on what you really want to do, not only for yourself but for others.
And you have to have a strategy to ultimately achieve your vision, which will “always take you longer and cost you more than you think.”
Lastly, It's important to have friendlies. “By friendlies, I mean people out there that believe in you. People that will support you. The people that will cheer you on, that will enable you to do better things. They'll pick you up and they'll help remind you about why you're doing what you're doing.”