No one has mastered taking a bunch of misfits and turning them into a team of heroes quite like the Marvel Universe (MU). From the birth of superhumans, mutants, and alien species in the Marvel comics in 1939 to the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Stan Lee (comic book writer) and Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios) bring to life the ultimate fighting teams. Their agenda is to save the mutant race, save the Earth, save the Earth again, protect the galaxy, and defend the universe.
The Misfits, Outcasts, and Loners
First, there were mutant humans that had extreme and unique powers allowing them to manipulate the people and the world around them. Charles Xavier (Professor X) takes these mutants under his wing, calls them the X-Men, and harnesses their powers to defend the mutant race from a discriminatory human society. He then channels their powers to protect normal humans from mutants with evil agendas. There are a whopping 9 X-Men movies and the 10th, Logan, was just released March 3rd, 2017. (**Note: Regrettably, the Marvel Cinematic Universe does not own rights to the X-Men franchise… 20th Century Fox does).
Then there were The Avengers, a band of superheroes, superhumans, gods, and highly trained secret agents coerced into working together by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury to save New York City from Loki and the Chitauri invasion. The Avengers remained together in order to protect the Earth from all threats foreign and domestic including future extraterrestrial invasions.
The third group of misfits working together is arguably the strangest of them all. A half alien/half human, an alien assassin, a hyper-literal alien warrior, and bounty hunters (a genetically and cybernetically modified raccoon and a tree-like humanoid because normal bounty hunters aren’t weird enough) are forced to ally themselves against the rogue Ronan and evil Thanos who are set on destroying the galaxy using an infinity stone. After a series of heroic measures including saving Xandar, the Nova Corps capital, they are dubbed The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Comics vs Movies
The MU and MCU are the perfect examples of highly trained spies, assassins, agents, mutants, superheroes, gods, aliens species, and intellectual loners working together to serve the greater good. The comics have been around since 1939. Many heroes and villains have come and gone and come back again. In the 21st century, a resurgence of dedicated Marvel comic book nerds led to an upsurge of movies. Marvel Studios sought to create a shared movie universe where The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and other Marvel heavy hitters eventually fight together in the Infinity Wars to save our universe from ultimate destruction. This cinematic undertaking was so huge they had to group the movies into three phases. The phases allow Marvel Studios to properly develop each character’s backstory so the audience can fully invest in each character emotionally. It also gives them time to bring these loners together in a believable way, have them fight amongst themselves, but unite and rise up in the end— making them relatable to the audience. There are already 15 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with another 8 to 10 slated for release. Talk about the art of storytelling…
Now, I know you are thinking “What the f**k does this have to do with staffing a marketing team?!” and the answer is — everything. From the personalities of the heroes to their skill set, to how interwoven the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is and the attention detail required for producing such vast, long-term content-- each piece is fundamental and codependent on the other. The success or failure of your technical marketing team is dependent on the people you put in place and the strategies you implement.
Your technical marketing team may not be saving the world or defending the universe but they are the first line of defense against subpar copy and click-bait content. They are protectors of websites, guardians of the internet, developers of amazing technology, and masters of manipulation. They use the tools in their arsenal to defend against wasted time and wasted advertising money. I’m sure you’re wondering if it is even possible to get such diverse people to work together and we understand your skepticism. It’s hard to take a person who specializes in their field and get them to work successfully with other people who are experts in their field. It’s extremely difficult to get contrasting personalities to work together cohesively. Your marketing team’s success is your client's’ success. Our advice for building the perfect technical marketing team— follow the lead of Nick Fury and assemble The Avengers.
Why The Avengers?
Why this bunch of misfits? Well first, the number of Avengers is comparable to the types of roles that need to be filled on your team. Second, the skill set of the Avengers mirrors the skills needed on your team. In this series, we are going to focus on the core Avengers from the MCU movies The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For those of you who aren’t Marvel nerds, rudimentary explanations for all characters will be provided. We are going to examine the skill set of each Avenger and illustrate how those skills are translatable to you technical marketing team. We are also going to provide insight on when to hire each team member and how your team can work together for maximum efficiency. First up in the Becoming The Avengers series: Captain America…
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this series.