Why School of Rock Holds the Secret to Sales and Marketing Alignment

Jack Black's character in School of Rock earned a Golden Globe nominee, and it also provides some marketing and sales lessons.

Two things happened recently: I took on the new head of marketing position at a Series A startup, and I re-watched School of Rock for its 19th anniversary. While those two things might not seem related, here’s why I think the secret to sales & marketing alignment can be found in the movie, and why enacting its wisdom is so important, especially in the early stages of building your Go-To-Market motion.

Jack Black and Marketing

So the key lesson arrives about 25 minutes into the movie after Jack Black’s character picks some musically talented kids to be in the “rock band project”: lead guitar, bass, keyboards,and drums. Fine. 

At this point, one of the other kids shyly raises his hand and asks “does this mean we’re not in the band?” That’s when Jack Black reveals the secret and says, “Just because you’re not in the band, doesn’t mean you’re not ‘in the band,’” and proceeds to talk about the crew: backup singers, ticket sales, light shows, merchandise, travel logistics, etc., and gives them all their north star: “Without you, we can’t put on a psychedelic show, and I can’t live with that.”

school of rock

Why is this scene so important? Because in business, sales IS the band: They’re the face of the company, and they need to be able to put on a great show every time. Marketing IS the crew: they make sure the band has everything they need to put on a great show.

I'm passionate about these points because I've seen, all too often, that sales and marketing get so caught up in their specific metrics and KPIs they often miss the point of it all, which is providing a “wow” experience from end-to-end.

Related Article: Intent Data and the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

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