4 valuable marketing lessons from Game of Thrones

Marketing your business today is a lot like Game of Thrones (Think medieval sword fighting).

There are competitors fighting for the short attention spans of today’s buyers. Failing to adapt your marketing to the changing behaviors of your customers can be the downfall of your business.

On top of that, keeping up with everything there is to know about digital marketing can be suffocating…

Keeping up with marketing can be suffocating

If you don’t have a strategy in place to capitalize on the shift in buying behaviors, you’re not alone. Nearly 50% of organizations are doing digital marketing, but without a defined strategy.

Your ability to quickly develop the skills and expand capabilities in your organization can be the difference between gaining the throne and getting your head chopped off. For our customers, it can be the difference between booking parties like crazy and closing the doors.

To help you navigate through the complexities of today’s digital landscape, here are the most valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout my own journey:

1) You need strong leadership

As Joffrey demonstrated, it takes more than a title to inspire people to get behind you.

Marketing leadership is more than a title

Despite getting murdered by his own men, Jon Snow has demonstrated the ability to gain trust, take risks and do the right things. These are some of the traits that separate managers from leaders.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

Marketing leaders show the way

Another key leadership trait is vision.

A strong vision of what success looks like is powerful. It’s more powerful when you create a shared vision.

When you have a shared vision, it gives your team a sense of where the organization is headed. Without it, people won’t know what to aim for.

If you need help in visualizing where you want your marketing to be, use this visual checklist:

Digital marketing excellence

2) You need to build an army of loyal fans

Winning the throne in your market takes an army. Building an army is hard work—especially with all the noise out there.

Game of Thrones has been able to amass 18.6 million viewers, beating The Sopranos for the most-viewed HBO series.

Game of Thrones Viewer Numbers

Game of Thrones audience

How did they do it?

For starters, they knew their audience and they created the content with compelling storytelling. One of the major hurdles for marketers overcoming the fear of putting their content out there.

They also gathered 1,000 True Fans who probably told their friends about it. That’s how I heard about the show and a handful of friends heard about it from me.

If you want to build an army of diehard fans, start with your employees and coworkers. As Simon Sinek wisely said, “Customers will never love a company until its employees love it first.”

If you run a family entertainment center, just think of the impact on your business when you turn your staff into brand ambassadors.

This will lead to them going out of their way to consistently give great experiences to your customers. Your customers will then tell their friends about your facility.

Next thing you know, you have an army of loyal fans who will not only buy from you, but sell for you.

3) You need weapons to be effective.

We’re all in a battle to create the optimal customer experience. This means sending contextualized and personalized messages instead of the one-message-fits all approach.

Just as you would never bring a knife to a sword fight, you can’t rely on pen and paper or spreadsheets to keep track of all the important information about your customers.

Your marketing technology is like your weapon

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can be a powerful weapon to enhance the customer experience. It’s what allows you to take information you capture from customers and send the right message to the right people at the right time.

Let’s just say you own a family entertainment center. A customer buys a season pass, then books a birthday party, and fills out a waiver online. You can use their online behavior to create segmented email lists to send timely and relevant messages.

It cuts through all noise like Valyrian steel.

4) You need to know how to use the weapons.

With everything there is to learn about using online tools effectively to achieve desired outcomes, it can feel like learning to sword fight with your left hand.

Expanding skills and capabilities is like learning to sword fight

Lincoln Murphy wisely said, “Technology enables strategy, it doesn’t define it.”

You can have the greatest software on the market, but it doesn’t guarantee success. I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Simply having a website and social media accounts isn’t enough. Knowing how to attract and convert anonymous website visitors into customers is one of the important aspects of digital marketing.

In Conclusion

It’s always a sad time of year to see another season of Game of Thrones has come to an end. My key takeaway from this season is seeing how the characters continue to develop and mature.

That’s what modern marketing is all about. You’re always learning and optimizing.

As someone who’s been eating and breathing digital marketing every day for the past 6 years, I’ll be the first to tell you that taking your marketing to the next level isn’t easy. It takes a great deal of learning agility and persistence.

More importantly, it takes a shift in thinking, then creating a shift in thinking throughout the organization. It’s a heavy burden, but a great privilege at the same time.  

As we build our army of true fans, I ask you to join our mailing list to get the latest stories and ideas we’re working on.

Keys to online success