From Neuroscience to Entertainment: How Heidi Meyers is Revolutionizing Brand Strategy at AMC Networks

June 5, 2024

On this week's episode of How The F** Did You Get That Job*, we've got Heidi Meyers, the mind behind AMC Networks' standout brand strategy and e-commerce. Heidi’s journey into marketing is far from your typical corporate climb. She started out exploring the depths of the human mind as a neuroscience researcher, trying to unravel the mysteries of what makes people tick. Turns out, that's the key to crafting killer marketing campaigns - understanding the complex, often subconscious desires that drive us all.

Now, Heidi's bringing her unique blend of scientific rigor and creative inspiration to the world of TV and streaming, dreaming up campaigns that'll make you see entertainment in a whole new light. In a landscape where every brand is screaming for a piece of your attention, Heidi and the team at AMC are taking a different approach. They're diving deep into the minds and hearts of their fans, creating immersive experiences that blur the line between fiction and reality. And they're not afraid to let the data lead the way - Heidi's like a detective, uncovering hidden insights and patterns that most marketers would miss.

So if you're ready to have your assumptions challenged and your idea of what's possible in marketing expanded, get ready for a fascinating conversation.

You can catch the full episode here:

But in the meantime, here are 5 of my favorite takes from Heidi for you:

1. Heidi's Neuroscience Research Was Her "Red Pill" Moment

Before she was a hotshot marketer, Heidi was getting her hands dirty in a neuroscience lab, studying how people's mouse movements reveal their subconscious desires. It was like something straight out of "Minority Report."

"The idea that this kind of measurement could tell somebody about themselves when they themselves couldn't give you an answer - it was fascinating to me. The idea that someone could know why you reacted to the red dress and not the blue dress when you yourself can't say it, I thought was awesome."

For Heidi, this was the moment the veil was lifted. She realized that the key to effective marketing isn't just understanding what people say they want, but what their brains are secretly craving. It's like being a puppet master, but instead of strings, you're pulling psychological levers. Heidi knew she had stumbled onto something big.

2. The Philosophy Behind Pharma Marketing

After academia, Heidi took a hard left turn into the high-stakes game of pharmaceutical marketing at WebMD. It was a world where every decision was scrutinized under a microscope.

"What I like about pharma marketing, and something I try to bring into entertainment, is that it's very deliberate. There's not a lot of 'let's throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.' It's like, 90% of people like this color, 80% of people like this face. It's very data-driven."

In the entertainment biz, where everyone's flying by the seat of their pants, Heidi's is a voice of reason, preaching the gospel of data. She's determined to bring some of that pharma rigor to the wild west of TV and movies.

3. AMC's Going All-In on the Superfans

For season two of Interview with the Vampire, Heidi and her crew at AMC aren’t catering to fair-weather fans, but instead are going all in on the true believers.

"With the first season of any show, just like the first iteration of any product, you have to do some broad audience testing. But eventually, your money goes to a much wider funnel. With season two, we got permission to dive deeper and do cooler stuff."

They're whipping up some next-level, in-your-face experiences that'll hit hard for big fans. It's all about giving the die-hards what they want, and then some. AMC knows that in the age of peak TV, it's the fanatics that keep the lights on.

4. Heidi's "Guiding Human Truth Strategy" Is Her Silver Bullet

Heidi's not just a number-cruncher - her ability to conceptualize and implement philosophies like her "guiding human truth strategy” is what sets her apart as a top-tier marketer.

"We've instituted this guiding human truth strategy, which is an internal direction that we put together at the beginning of any brand campaign or rebrand."

It's like a magic formula for getting the whole team singing from the same hymn sheet. Instead of just throwing together some half-baked brand guidelines, Heidi's crew rallies around a deep, visceral human insight that grabs you by the guts. It's the North Star that guides every move, from the billboard to the break room.

5. AMC's Giving the Finger to Walled Gardens

While every other media company builds fortresses around its content, AMC goes where the people are.

"What I really like about what we're doing, especially in the past year or two, is that we're pretty platform agnostic. We're not trying to say, 'spend your money with us instead of this other platform.' We're going to the audience on different platforms and saying, 'hey, here's our great content.'"

They're not getting hung up on exclusivity or hoarding their golden goose. AMC knows that in 2024, audiences are spreading their love across a million different apps and screens. So, instead of fighting the tide, they're riding the wave.

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