Whether you’re a die-hard Game of Thrones fan or you’ve never seen it before, it’s a show that can offer a variety of digital marketing lessons. The marketing of the show itself is interesting, but there are also lots of ways the plot and the themes running through Game of Thrones can teach you some of the most important marketing lessons. The series has a total of eight seasons.
In those eight seasons, there’s a lot to unpack and plenty of ways the characters can teach you all about the best marketing tactics.
Season 1: Set the Stage for the Competition
The first season of Game of Thrones gets everything set up for the rest of the series. It introduces all of the characters and puts everything in place for the story to progress. In the first season, we can see everyone getting themselves into position to compete for the ruling positions. Robb Stark is named King of Winterfell and rallies his armies, and Daenerys Targaryen plots an assault on Westeros to claim the Iron Throne. Everyone wants to be on top and claim the most powerful positions for themselves.
Marketers can learn from the first season of Game of Thrones that it’s important to set the stage for your reputation. Everyone wants that number one position in Google searches, and you have to know what to do to get it. It’s not something that will happen on its own, so you need to start by creating a framework that will boost your reputation. It’s not all about making a single power grab, but making sure you have the essential elements in place to find success. You need to create a strategy that will help you to get on top, from discovering the right keywords to implementing them correctly. Make sure you do your research so you know what Google expects and you know what you’re facing.
Understand how to put yourself in the best position.
Be Willing to Change your Strategy
In the second season of Game of Thrones, there are lots of escapes. Several of the characters end up in situations that they need to get themselves out of quickly. Bran escapes to the wilderness, Catelyn Stark and Brienne of Tarth and forced to flee and reunite with Robb, Jon Snow decides to defect from the Night Watch, Arya Stark has to escape from Lannister’s soldiers, and Daenerys has to escape her imprisonment in the House of the Undying. All of these characters have to react to new situations and new information to get themselves back into a better position.
Starting off with a good strategy in marketing is essential, whether you’re planning for SEO or sorting out your content marketing. However, you also need to be willing to adapt. When things are changing around you, you need to change your strategy too. For example, when Google changes their algorithm, you need to be prepared to meet any new demands. The characters in Game of Thrones constantly have to think of their next move to stay on top, and you need to be able to do the same. When a major change at Google occurs, it can send some websites into obscurity. You need to be sure that this doesn’t happen to you by always following best practice. Keep up with changes in other marketing areas too so that you stick with the latest trends.
Be Careful of Traps
Even if you’ve never seen Games of Thrones, you’ve likely heard of the infamous Red Wedding. This is when, in season three, Robb Stark and his people are massacred on the order of Lord Walder Frey, the father of the bride (Roslin) and the woman Robb was previously supposed to marry. The Starks believed that it was safe to turn up to the wedding, but it turned out to be a trap.
The big lesson here is definitely not to always place your trust in others. In marketing, it’s essential to listen to the right people and make sure that you’re making the right moves. There are plenty of myths and lots of misinformation about what you should be doing, but you need to be able to avoid those who are trying to mislead you. When you’re planning your marketing, you should listen to the leading voices and make sure that they have a track record of success.
If you’re watching what your competitors are doing, it’s also important to make sure that you’re being careful about how you respond to their actions. Sometimes they might be doing something that’s beneficial for you to do too, but you don’t want to copy what they’re doing blindly. There are all kinds of traps that you can fall into if you’re not careful.
Sort Out Your Finances
Money is an important theme throughout Game of Thrones, and debts especially come up again and again. In season four, the Iron Bank plays an important role, backing Stannis Baratheon’s men as they go to rescue Castle Black. Stannis uses the money from the bank to resupply his troops, and at the beginning of season five, he has defeated Mance Rayder and his forces. Money is important in many other areas of the plot too. You will often hear “a Lannister always pays his debts” throughout the series. Even in a fantasy world, money can rule everything.
Marketers need the right financial support for their activities too. It’s essential to make sure that you have your budget in place and you know how you’re going to use your money to benefit you. Marketers can take financial lessons from Game of Thrones, from paying your debts quickly to seeking financial backing when you need it. It’s important to think about how to budget your money to use it in the most useful way. Not everyone should spend their money in the exact same way as other marketers. You need to work out what offers the best ROI so that you can plan your marketing activities accordingly. Using your money wisely and avoiding getting into too much debt will help you to market smartly.
Don’t Count in Loyalty for Your Customers
If there’s one thing that marketers need to remember, it’s that their customers are fickle. Some loyal fans might stick with them through thick and thin, but many people will switch their loyalties based on what offers them the best deal. This is definitely a lesson learned in the fifth season of Game of Thrones, although the mistakes made are a bit more serious than changing an unpopular marketing campaign. Stannis sacrifices his own daughter, which loses him the respect of his troops, who eventually desert him, leading to his death. Allegiances change all the time and could have devastating consequences.
Marketers need to be careful about keeping people loyal to them too. Customer loyalty is an essential way to maintain your sales. Although bringing in new people is important, you also need to focus on your existing customers to get them to stick around. If you do something that they don’t like, it could damage your reputation. You need to know why your customers choose your brand and understand how to keep delivering what they like. But you also need to think about what more you can do to get them to stick around and to keep buying your products. Working on customer loyalty is essential for marketing teams, and it needs to be as important as finding new leads.
Bring Content Back from the Dead
After Jon Snow is killed at the end of season five, in season six of Game of Thrones, he is raised from the dead – just like you can bring old content back from the dead. With Jon Snow back in the picture, he has the chance to change everything. He takes back control of the Night’s Watch, reunites with Sansa Stark and defeats Ramsay Bolton to reclaim Winterfell.
Marketers who want to bring their content back to life can do so in lots of different ways, and it can have some great knock-on effects too. Content can easily be repurposed to produce something new that could even have a new audience. You can turn a white paper into a blog post, turn a blog post into an infographic or create some cornerstone content that brings some other material together. You can update your older content to make sure the information is correct or just to improve the quality. Written content can be turned into podcasts or videos, and testimonials and internal data could become case studies. There are lots of ways to bring content back to life by giving it a new purpose.
Find Your Allies
Season seven shows the characters finding the right people to team up with like marketing professionals often need to do too. It’s all about alliances and allies, with Daenerys and Jon Snow getting to know each other and Cersei considering a marriage proposal. Of course, finding people to partner up with doesn’t mean that there is no more competition. The fighting continues, with battles between the Dothraki and the Lannisters. There are also secrets revealed that connect back to the murder that began the entire game of thrones.
Marketers need to be careful of who they make friends with too. Forming the right partnerships with other businesses can be very beneficial, and you need to find other brands that complement yours. As well as teaming up with other brands, it’s important to network and discover new people who can help you to stay connected in the industry. Networking both online and offline helps you to associate with other marketers who can teach you new things and ensure you stay in the loop.
Your customers can be your allies too, and sometimes it’s time to find new ones. Finding out how to attract a new audience can do a lot for your brand. If your current customers are drying up or you just need to expand your reach to improve your sales, searching for new customers like you could search for people to make alliances with is a good idea. You can think about who might be looking for an offering like yours and consider how to adjust your marketing approach to attract them.
Never be Over Complacent
Season eight is all about Daenerys, dragon, army of the dead and more fighting. First, of the victory over the army of dead after a hard long night of fight, then follow by the battle at king’s landing and eventually victory over Queen Cersei at all cost. It showcase the loss and craze over the need for security and the need for total control.
Change is the only constant in Digital marketing. New technologies, platform, tools are always appearing and with ease of access of information, it is even harder to gain attention for the audience. Never be obessessed with a particular channel for traffic, leads or even sales – Omni channel marketing is the way to go as users are more engaged in alot more platforms than ever.
Innovate and change at a fast pace to adapt to the ever changing scape. Don’t be obsessed and be a fool and hold on to old strategies to be safe. Playing it safe is dangerous.
Game of Thrones can offer you a lot of marketing lessons, and you can use marketing to understand the show too and view it from another way.