What We Digital Marketers Can Learn From Toy Story And Their Characters

Another exciting time is upon us in theaters this week as another exciting movie release date is upon us. That moment arrives this Friday as another popular movie in Toy Story 4 is finally released for us to enjoy in theaters. It promises to be an exciting movie as were the previous three Toy Story movies. No doubt that each character has their own qualities that make the movie exciting. What is overlooked is that their qualities can be applied in the world of business, especially when it comes to the fast-evolving world that is Digital Marketing. Whether you are a newcomer to Digital Marketing like myself or an experienced Digital Marketer like Neil Patel, it’s important that we know the exact qualities that we must have in order to be successful in today’s online world. In this special edition blog, I will describe how the qualities of each Toy Story character relates to the qualities that we must possess as Digital Marketers.


“You Just Need To Believe In Yourself!”

Ahhh! I present to you the Ferocious Green Rex who eats Force Field Dogs as Andy would say. 😉 Despite his insecurities about his roar, Rex’s biggest quality is being someone who is eager and enthusiastic about everything. His enthusiasm was on display big time in Toy Story 2 when he couldn’t stop talking about defeating Zurg to Utility Belt Buzz. Heck, he even caused the toy car to crash into the can of bouncing balls because of his eagerness to show everyone the book on how to defeat Zurg.

In Digital Marketing, it would be of huge help to possess eagerness and enthusiasm when it comes to dealing with clients. These Rex-like qualities prove that you’re committed to the success of your client’s online advertising campaign and also using your enthusiasm towards looking for a solution in helping your clients stand out online against their industry’s competitors similar to how Rex helped Utility Belt Buzz defeat Zurg.


“Jessie loves critters, but none more than her best pal, Bullseye!”

One of Woody’s most loyal companions is his horse Bullseye. Alongside his loyalty towards Woody, perhaps Bullseye’s best quality is his agility when it comes to helping the Toy Story gang confront a challenge. When Jessie was in danger of being flown to Japan against her will, Bullseye used his agility to help Woody and Buzz catch up to the plane and help save Jessie in the most clutch moment just as the plane was about to take off.

Digital Marketing also requires agility via Agile Marketing. What that means is that we as Digital Marketers must be willing to respond to industry changes or sudden industry news quickly and plan according as those trends occur. This could mean the difference of getting ahead of the game or falling behind when it comes in regards to your competition. In other words, we must be up to speed in today’s fast-evolving online world.


“I knew there was something I didn’t like about that chicken.”

Ahhh! If it isn’t the piggy bank that Andy calls “Evil Doctor Porkchop”. Alongside his ability to switch channels at super fast speeds via remote control, Hamm seems to be knowledgeable of what goes on in both his immediate neighborhood and around town. For example, he knew why Sid came home from summer camp early and figured out that Al The Chicken Man was the same guy that kidnapped Woody from the Garage Sale. It’s that kind of knowledge and research which helped saved the day for the Toy Story game.

This is the exact kind of knowledge that Digital Marketers must possess in order to help their clients have success in the competitive online world. In other words, we must be able to research every single behavior of your target market and the industry challenges that they face in order to gain knowledge on how to plan an effective strategy that will best help them navigate this fast-changing online world. In other words, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH and you’ll have great success just like Hamm did in helping the Toy Story gang in saving the day


“I knew you were right all along, Woody. Never doubted you for a second.”

We now arrive at the toy that Andy calls “The Force Field Dog” that shields the bad guys from Sheriff Woody. Slinky The Dog is best known for his flexibility to stretch out his body to help get the Toy Story gang from Point A to Point B. For example, Slinky used his flexibility to help get the Toy Story gang from Andy’s window to the ground on their way to Al’s Toy Barn and also to help get them across the dumpster outside of Sunnyside.

Flexibility is also important when it comes to Digital Marketing. I don’t mean stretch out your body. I mean stretch out your skills and knowledge. It will help big time when it comes time to help clients solve big time challenges. Also, it’s even more important to be flexible to change especially in this fast-evolving Digital Marketing industry. Trust me. With the recent Google updates making a huge emphasis on mobile-friendly websites that provide quality content, you’ll be glad that you are always open to Slinky-style flexibility that helps your clients get from Point A to Point B.

Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head

Oh It’s So Nice To Have A Big, Strong Spud Around The House.

Well Well Well. If it isn’t the bandits that were protected by the Force Field Dog. The Potato Heads are a pivotal part of the Toy Story gang. While Mr. Potato Head may be at times rude towards Woody while even“Tossing Him Overboard” that one time, Mr. Potato Head has a heart of gold when it comes time to save the day. He even took one for the team twice when he got put into the box by Big Baby in order to buy Woody & Slinky time to execute the first part of the plan to escape Sunnyside while also defending his wife from Lotso. Mrs. Potato Head also possesses the same caring and good-hearted qualities that her husband does. She even used her motherly-figure instincts when she told Buzz and the crew who were headed to Al’s Toy Barn to don’t talk to any toy you don’t know. Of course, let’s not forget that her caring qualities were a big part of why she decided to adopt the Three Little Aliens.

It’s no surprise why the Potato Heads are madly in love with each other and need to be kept together as Andy said to Bonnie. It’s these kinds of generous and caring qualities that Digital Marketers must possess. Always find a way to use your generous qualities by giving back to the community. For example, take part in an issue that your potential target market deeply cares about like start a donation drive for the homeless. Doing these kinds of generous things for the community will help make your potential target market view you positively and they would more likely do business with you. If you be of good heart to the community like Mr. Potato Head is towards the Toy Story gang, good things are bound to happen to you.

Little Green Men

OOOO! Strangers from the outside.

Now I bring you the adopted children of the Potato Heads who are obsessed with “The Claw”. The number one quality that the Little Green Men possess is that they have a curious mind when it comes to seeing and then learning about other people. That was especially true when they met Woody, Buzz and the crew during Toy Story 1 and 2.

The same kind of curiosity can be applied to Digital Marketing when it comes to researching your target market. Always important for Digital Marketers to display that curiosity in not only knowing your target market but also going the extra length to knowing the exact needs of what they’re looking for while being prepared to plan for upcoming changes in industry trends and consumer preferences. These kind of LGM-style curiosity will pay off in a big way when it comes time to help your clients plan out a successful online advertising strategy.

Bo Peep

“You’re cute when you care.”

The woman who has her flock of sheep by her side and also who many would call “Woody’s Girlfriend”. Bo Peep is an important player when it comes to the Toy Story Crew. Her best qualities that make her a valuable part of the Toy Story crew is that she is loyal and supportive especially of Woody and Buzz. When Buzz and the crew were off to rescue Woody from Al, Bo Peep gave Buzz a kiss on the cheek as a sign of encouragement to never rest until Woody is found. She also is always there to cheer up Woody when he’s feeling down including that time when he couldn’t find his cowboy hat.

These are huge qualities to possess as Digital Marketers. You always want to be there for your online audience and offer them something special for their loyalty in following your brand such as offering them a special promotion as a thanks for being a returning customer. Of course, we must always be there for our clients when they face challenges and support them in any way they can throughout any challenge that they face. These kinds of Bo Peep qualities are key to building long-lasting relationships.



Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl is a key player in the Toy Story crew. Her best qualities that make her that pivotal player are that she’s fun-loving, energetic and brave. From opening Andy’s bedroom door to help Buster the Dog go outside to helping the Toy Story gang take on Lotso and his henchmen, Jessie is never afraid to take on a challenge big or small. Her qualities are what make her one of the toughest members of the Toy Story crew. It’s no wonder Buzz is absolutely “WOWed” by her.

These kinds of high-energy qualities are what is needed in a Digital Marketer. The more high-energy and fun-loving that you are, the more that energy will spread to others which will be a catalyst in helping build relationships with your target market. It’s also important to be brave in the face of a fast-evolving Digital Marketing industry and be prepared to plan accordingly in order to face it head on. With these Jessie-style qualities, you will see great results in your relationship-building and planning ahead in facing the incoming industry challenges.

Buzz Lightyear

“To Infinity And Beyond!”

Buzz Buzz Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! We now arrive with that Space Ranger sent to protect us from the Evil Emperor Zurg and also Woody’s best friend. While Buzz is known for his physical toughness from when he opened the gate out of Sunnyside in his Spanish mode, he is best known for his mental toughness and determination. When he was on the quest along with some of the Toy Story crew to go save Woody, Buzz never backed down even though the crew was exhausted and was determined to not rest until Woody was safe back in Andy’s room. It’s almost as if Buzz possesses Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Beard’s “4 To 1” Mentality that he installs into his team. What that means is to be more mentally tough than physically tough and that’s the kind of qualities that make Buzz a powerful part of the Toy Story crew.

In Digital Marketing, we must always show that kind of commitment when it comes to helping your clients succeed in helping guide them through the challenges that they face. When things look tough, always dig deep into your inner self and look for ways to complete the objective on hand. Showing self-determination in helping your clients succeed while being willing to find unique ways to solve the complex challenges that we as Digital Marketers face in today’s changing landscape will go a long way in leading us all to success. When faced with a situation where our backs are against the wall, think of what Buzz Lightyear would do in similar situations and then put his self-determination qualities to work.


“Reach For The Sky!”

Finally, we arrive to meet the rootinest tootinest cowboy in the Wild Wild West that is Sheriff Woody who just happens to be Andy’s favorite toy and later become Bonnie’s favorite toy. Woody perhaps is the most powerful of the whole Toy Story crew. While he may be known for his loyalty towards Andy throughout the first three Toy Story movies, the quality that makes him the most powerful and influential member of the Toy Story crew is his leadership. When the rest of the crew was left behind at Sunnyside, the team fell apart without him. After all, it was Woody who knew from the very beginning that Andy was putting the toys in the attic. Most importantly, what makes Woody a true leader is that he puts his crew first and knew that he had to go back to Sunnyside in order to help his beloved crew escape from Lotso and his henchmen. Knowing the challenges that he would face from Lotso, Woody returned anyway to help his friends plan their escape. That right there is a great example of what a good leader would do.

This is perhaps the most important trait a Digital Marketer must possess. It doesn’t mean that you have to be in a Senior role or a CEO of a top Digital Marketing agency. Leaders can come from any level of employment including newcomers to Digital Marketing. For example, if you notice that a client has an under-performing online marketing campaign that no one else has noticed, this would be a great way to prove your leadership skills by not only pointing the problem out but also finding the appropriate solution that will best address the problem. True leaders take proactive stances in situations like this and are always one step ahead of the game in working towards solutions. As USA Link System CEO Ally Spinu recently said, “Always Over-Deliver.” This will help potential clients think highly of you and would more likely be willing to do business with you. Possessing leadership qualities similar to that of Woody will go a long way in helping you achieve success in today’s online world.

Recapping The Qualities & Putting It All Together As A Team

“The important thing is that we stick together.” —Buzz Lightyear

No doubt that all these qualities that we learned from all these Toy Story characters will be a big part in helping you step up your game in the Digital Marketing industry. That being said, it’s important to put all these qualities together to complement each other by working together as a team just like the Toy Story characters did during their numerous adventures in the first three Toy Story movies. No doubt that each character played an important role with their unique qualities in each adventure but no other quality worked more than by working together as a team. Same thing goes for Digital Marketing. Each team member knows their role but it’s also important to collaborate and communicate with each other in order to overcome any potential challenges that come your way. Teamwork always makes Dream Work. If you can do all these things, you will no doubt have great success in the Digital Marketing industry for Infinity and Beyond.

I hope everyone goes out to the theaters on Friday and enjoy yet another exciting movie in Toy Story 4. It promises to be big as were the previous three Toy Story movies. I know I’ll be there for sure and you’ll always “Have A Friend In Me”.

What do you feel are great qualities to possess as a Digital Marketer? What Digital Marketing lessons has Toy Story taught you? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.