Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Rose

12th June 2015

Five Marketing Lessons From Game of Thrones (Season One Spoilers!)

Is there a TV show out there that can’t teach us something about the world of online marketing? So far we’ve analysed Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead, and even the upcoming Star Wars movie for pearls of marketing wisdom worthy of a blog post.

This time, after studying the Starks, being taught by the Targaryens, and getting lessons from the Lannisters, we’re ready to impart some marketing lessons from Game of Thrones onto you.

(Here lie spoilers… for the first season only, because that’s all I’ve watched so far.)

“Winter Is Coming”, or, “Panda Is Coming”

Admittedly, the prospect of a cuddly panda tottering towards us seems far less scary than freezing blizzards, several feet of snow and gale-force winds (I assume that is what winter will be like when it eventually turns up – seriously, when is winter coming?). But Google updates such as Panda, Penguin and the more recent “Mobilegeddon” could be the winter to your website if you aren’t prepared. Take a page out of the Starks’ book and stay alert. Knowledge is power, which is apparently the most important thing to these people. Stay in control by keeping up to date with all the latest Google updates and news from the marketing world to help you plot your rise to power.

“A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”

There are at least three things to take away from this much-repeated quote:

  1. Know who you are. The Lannisters have a strong sense of identity and they know what they stand for. In the same way your brand should be strong and consistent across all of your marketing channels.
  2. Be true to your word. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver – customers want to know what to expect, and you don’t want to disappoint them. Show you are reliable and trustworthy, through your website copy and customer testimonials.
  3. Keep an eye on your budget. Make sure your PPC campaigns are giving you the return you need and that you are spending money in the right places.

Loyalty Is Important

Every business wants loyal customers. Give them a reason to be loyal – unlike Sansa Stark they won’t politely agree with you if you condemn their father as a traitor, and unlike Joffrey, you can’t make them stay after you’ve had said father beheaded. Give people a reason to keep coming back to you – whether it’s a loyalty programme, special offers, or simply a great user experience and customer service.

Know Your Enemy

By enemy I mean competition, of course – you’re not a member of the Night’s Watch, after all. But like the Rangers in the Night’s Watch (or anyone in Westeros, for that matter), you should know what everyone else is doing. If you know who your competition is, what they offer and where they get their traffic from, you can get ideas yourself for how to build links, and discover other opportunities you may be missing out on. If you’re familiar with your competition, you will be better placed in the struggle for the Iron Throne – the throne being the top of Google search results, in this case.

Be Creative

If Viserys’ death-by-molten-gold-crown wasn’t creative, I don’t know what is. At least Drogo gave him what he asked for, sort of. Do the same for your users – give them what they are looking for in a creative way that they might not expect, but will still love. (By this I mean through inventive copy or website features. You are not Dothraki.)

GoT Content?

Finally, rememberthat content is king. Not Joffrey, or Robert Baratheon, or anyone else. Content. 

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