Christopher Nolan: B2B Marketing Lessons from the Oscar-Winning Director of Oppenheimer with Jellyfish CMO Kyle Lacy

Guided by our guest this week, Jellyfish CMO Kyle Lacy, we’re taking marketing lessons from the Oscar-winning director, Christopher Nolan. Together, we talk about mastering each channel, building the day-to-day life of your buyer into your content, and much more.

Episode Summary

Director Christopher Nolan once said:

“You have to do something that really excites you. It’s the things that you can bring to what you’re doing that maybe not everyone else is doing. That’s what’s going to distinguish the thing.”

That's the energy we’re taking into this episode of Remarkable.

Guided by our guest this week, Jellyfish CMO Kyle Lacy, we’re taking marketing lessons from the Oscar-winning director, Christopher Nolan. Together, we talk about mastering each channel, building the day-to-day life of your buyer into your content, and much more.

About our guest, Kyle Lacy

Kyle Lacy is CMO at engineering management platform Jellyfish, the pioneer Engineering Management Platform that enables engineering leaders to align engineering work with strategic business objectives. There, he helps engineering leaders translate and maximize the business impact of their teams. Kyle has 17 years of experience in high-growth software. Prior to joining Jellyfish in November 2022, Kyle served as CMO of Lessonly. He has also led marketing at Seismic, OpenView, Salesforce and ExactTarget. He is a published author of three books: Twitter Marketing for Dummies, Branding Yourself, and Social CRM for Dummies. He is a marketing and digital trends speaker, having spoken at marketing and technology industry events around the world on content marketing, collaborative consumption, email marketing, technology trends, and more. He has been recognized as one of Indiana’s Forty-under-40 by the Indianapolis Business Journal, Anderson University’s Young Alumni of the Year and TechPoint’s Young Professional of the Year. But most importantly, he says, he’s the father of two boys, an energetic dog, and one too many books on World War II.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From Christopher Nolan:

  • Master each channel. Reach a deep understanding of what your audience wants and needs from each channel and create content for it. Kyle says once you've mastered the channels, “you can start creating brand content that is more creative and entertainment oriented and more about the human that's buying the product, not necessarily the product itself.” It’s like how Christopher Nolan has mastered fiction with Memento and Inception and non-fiction with Dunkirk and Oppenheimer. He understands what viewers of each genre are looking for and creates content specifically for them.
  • Build the day-to-day life of the buyer into your marketing. Include different storylines and details in your content so that it shows an understanding of your audience and their lived experience. The more your content clicks with them, the more they’ll remember your brand when they’re ready to buy. Kyle says, “We sell to an engineering leader. There are 500 other things that that engineering leader is dealing with on a day to day basis that might not necessarily pertain to our product, but does lead to exuberance, stress, productivity…the Amazon package being late for his daughter's birthday present. So how do we build more of the day in the life of the buyer into our content? It's the human element that's the most interesting part of marketing.”

*”When you've mastered your craft and you understand the minute technical details that make it enjoyable, whether that's marketing or producing a movie, you can make decisions and take risks because you understand what the impact will be because you've spent so much time obsessing over it. ” - Kyle Lacy

*”Christopher Nolan got very lucky that he has a brother that's a very good screenwriter. But he also understands how to surround himself with people that are very good at what they do. And I think part of being a manager - and it doesn't even have to be marketing - is that you have to find the people that truly love their craft and are good at what they do so that the end product, no matter what it is, is the best that you could possibly do.” - Kyle Lacy

*”Anybody can tune into a podcast about leadership values. And what does it take to be a great manager? Like there's 500 of them because it's easier to do. It's harder to do what we're doing right now. Y'all prepped for a Christopher Nolan-slash-CMO interview. But it's interesting, right? And that's why people like to be on it. That's why people listen to it. And that's, I think, this idea of illogical marketing, right? Like the more illogical you can be, the more creative it is and the more people enjoy it. It's just hard to grasp for a lot of marketers.” - Kyle Lacy

*”I think the nuance Is how you balance the extremely illogical podcast, weird direct mails, lego building sets, all the stuff that I think surprises and delights people with the other things that might not be as fun and creative but drive business value. And that's where I would love to tell you that there's a framework you should follow. But it's, what is enjoyable to the customer? How do you understand that they like it, whether that's an increase in listeners or shares, or you got more people wanting to be interviewed? And then it's that you're hitting the numbers that you put in front of the board, and that's ultimately the value.” - Kyle Lacy

*”You kill creativity when you try to apply too much ROI to a project. Doesn't mean you shouldn't track it, doesn't mean there shouldn't be ROI. But you sit down with a creative team and say, ‘Hey, let's think about how many downloads we can get or how much pipeline this thing is going to drive. And they just glaze over. Good creatives glaze over because you're not starting with the most important thing, which is the experience that thing is driving. You can work back, you can figure out the business impact of the thing. And it really depends on the piece of content, right? Like a playbook is going to be different than a podcast.  But I'd like to start with the experience and then back into the business impact because I think it just has more value and people are more creative when you start with the experience.” - Kyle Lacy

Episode Highlights


Connect with Kyle on LinkedIn

Learn more about Jellyfish

About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Jess Avellino, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

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