The Pursuit of Happyness is a very successful inspirational film, which was shot in 2006 and starred by the famous American actor Will Smith. The story of this film tells a touching story of how a father was frustrated in his career, while his wife ran away from home, a father who had nothing to do with his own hands, started a new career and lived with his son. This film received a high score of 8 points on IMDB, which is also an Oscar-nominated film of the year, and affirmations of 11 other film awards, so its classic level is beyond doubt.
Therefore, such a successful film work is also worth analyzing from different perspectives：for film school students, this is a classic inspirational film textbook. For young people who need life experience, it is a more vivid inspirational Bible than many books. For people who are studying marketing, it is also a business case tutorial worth exploring and learning. This time I will take a closer look at the film from the theoretical perspective of person to person marketing, re-examine the specific path of how Chris succeeds, and consider whether this approach is suitable for other types of products and services. Finally, I will summarize the impact and inspiration of this film on my future career planning.
The first thing to explain is Person to Person Marketing. Generally, Person to Person Marketing consists of three elements: collectives of consumers (private social networks and public communities) perform tasks that are typically performed by companies, reduce the company’s control over the marketing process, and enhance customer capabilities due to the end of isolation. Through this definition, we can see that the salesman of p2p marketing is usually the user of the product. On the basis of using the product themselves, he or she then promote the product through his or her own social network and public channels. In this process, the seller has greater flexibility, and the sales process is not limited and regulated by the company.
In this movie, Chris’s promotion work after receiving a six-month unpaid internship fits the basic definition of p2p marketing. Chris understands that it is not easy to stand out from this internship, especially because his education and work experience are almost no advantage compared to other interns, but he has to work hard to win this job, not only for himself and also for his son. Therefore, conventional sales methods like telemarketing are not suitable for him, and he does not have so much time to compete with good competitors. Instead, Chris locked down the key wealth customer he knew from the beginning and seized every opportunity he could take to effectively communicate with his customer. Although this communication did not bring a direct order for Chris, the opportunity to watch the ball with rich people on the court has accumulated a rich customer base for Chris and laid a solid foundation for him to follow up on these customers.
These opportunities are hard to come by phone sales alone.I think this paragraph in the movie is an obvious p2p marketing case. Chris wonderfully used his interpersonal resources to obtain an opportunity to communicate with the most counterparty of the product. Although the customer did not bring him a direct order, he was fortunate enough to let him know the consumer group that most needed the product. For a movie, this is the beginning of Chris’s running from bad to good luck for a movie, and for a salesman, it is also the only way for him to sell successfully.
However, I also personally think that the p2p marketing method used by Chris is not suitable for all products and most salespeople. My reasons are the following three points. The first is the use of p2p marketing for sales, which has extremely high requirements on the ability and charm of the salesman. For a charismatic person who is determined, hardworking, and capable of advancing in adversity, p2p marketing will make customers feel that he is very persuasive and attractive, and will greatly enhance customers’ desire to buy products.But such a salesman is not everyone qualified, nor is it that most people can meet the opportunity Chris encountered. Second, some products do not need to use p2p sales methods, such as snacks, daily necessities.
The individual profit margin of these products is not high, and the popular sales method can let the largest number of audiences understand the product at a time, which is more reasonable than the one-to-one sales method. Thirdly, Chris in the movie worked hard and finally the good guys got good news, however, the reality was often cruel, and the good guys didn’t necessarily have good news. For the salesman, his use of p2p is not necessarily accepted by customers, and not everyone can meet the nobles like Chris in the movie.
Although I mentioned that movies are often better than real life, Chris’s good luck is not for everyone, but this does not prevent me from taking other nutrients from this movie. This film can be interpreted not only from the perspective of marketing but also to give young people thinking about future planning. For me, Chris’s optimism is the most precious thing to treat every day. His optimism will affect his dress and behavior, and these are the basic qualities that a good seller needs to possess. This spirit of optimism is also the most important professional accomplishment I long for.
Davis Illingworth, J. (1991). Relationship marketing: pursuing the perfect person-to-person relationship. Journal of Services Marketing, 5(4), 49-52.
Apriyansyah, V. (2013). A Study of Adler’s Personality Theory in Chris Gardner’s Character in The Pursuit of Happyness Movie. Jurnal Ilmiah Mahasiswa FIB, 2(7).
Ruo-jun, B. A. O. (2016). On Chris’s Unyielding Spirits Against Fate in The Pursuit of Happyness. Journal of Literature and Art Studies, 6(8), 905-910.