For the past six years the smash hit fantasy Game of Thrones has shocked and delighted us in equal measure.
Now in season seven of eight, the epic series is a tale of pretty much one thing – power, how to get it and keep hold of it.
I’m a relative newcomer to the Game but having binged on the series over the past year it’s now very much part of my life. Away from the battles, the struggle for power, the amazing scenes and the characters (of which there are many) there are some marketing lessons I’ve learned from George RR Martin’s small-screen blockbuster.
And don’t worry, there’s no spoilers below:
Winter is coming
One of the themes running through Game of Thrones is the above motto of House Stark who are one of the few remaining great families in Westeros. The meaning behind the words is one of warning and being vigilant to the long winters which can last many years; about being prepared for what is coming. Marketing is much the same; making plans, having a coherent strategy and being prepared for what is coming and being able to adapt and change to the environment you find yourself in.
Send a raven
There’s no electricity in Westeros, the only way to communicate across kingdoms is to send a bird to deliver important messages and hope it arrives in time. Having a communication and content plan is vital in the modern era, where big data can be sent at the click of a button, key messages can be seen on many platforms in order to raise your brand awareness.
“I was born to rule…”
Danaerys Targaryen has learnt about power the hard way. From nothing she has successfully built an army, has key advisors and secret weapons (three huge dragons) in her quest to sit on the Iron Throne. She’s put together a team of experts in order to succeed; a strategic expert (Tyrion Lannister), a communicator and content marketer (Lord Varys) and forged alliances where necessary by offering to create value (in her case, free slaves). These are all key to being successful in marketing; having a strategy, a concrete content plan and offering value through it to your target audience.
The element of surprise
Game of Thrones is a market leader at throwing curve balls into episodes, usually by killing off a main character (or characters). While we don’t suggest that, it is important to keep your audience on their toes with fresh, innovative ideas which will also keep their interest in you.
Tell your story
Yes, it has staggering scenes, amazing CGI and detailed costumes but without a strong story at its heart Game of Thrones would not be the huge success it has become. Marketing begins with a strong core story which you can build upon, tell your story through the mediums available to you and compel people to listen and invest.
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