Marketing’s Game of Thrones

I’ll admit it.  I’m a Game of Thrones fan. 

Yes, it is violent. 

Yes, it can be confusing with too many sound-alike names. (Tyrion, Tywin, Tyrell. Really?) 

Yes, it has plots and subplots, and you need a diagram to keep all the alliances and broken alliances straight. 

But it has dragons (how did the white walkers find chains to pull up Viserion?) and layer upon layer of intrigue to keep everyone guessing.  No one is safe. Anyone can be eliminated.

So, I’ll be glued to the last season of this appointment TV to see who will gain the throne.  I’ve already had countless discussions with other fans on who will win, who will die, who will triumph and who will be deceived.


But there is a lesson in Game of Thrones for Marketers.  And no, it is not how to hatch a dragon or to be wary of the dead in the night.  

Game of Thrones is now part of our vernacular. An estimated 30 million people watched Season 7.  The New York Times even made fun of their first review where they panned the series calling it “a fantasy world of strange feuding kingdoms.”  Today, these editors have totally changed their approach. To get ready for this season, the Times, whose slogan I still remember as All the News That’s Fit to Print, came out with a newsletter to help readers get back into a Game of Thrones mindset.

Think about your own day-to-day.  

Any of these sound familiar?

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.

What do we say to the Lord of Death? Not today.

That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

The night is dark and full of terrors.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.

Winter is Coming.

Dothraki has been added to our knowledge-base as a new language. Locations, such as Westeros, King’s Landing, Braavos, Volantis, the Narrow Sea are now places we remember. And, new words are in our vocabulary.  

Can you define these?

The Citadel








White walkers


R + L =

So what does Game of Thrones have to do with marketing? 

Well, in my book R + L = S (not J!).  Relevancy plus leading-edge thinking equals success.

To succeed, you need to keep current.  Trends are always changing.  Technology continues to advance.  To even understand the discussion, you need to follow how your markets, your business, and your own methods are changing. Any business can be the next one gone.

I spend time each week exploring digital platforms.  Though only April, I’ve already incorporated new platforms into our website this year to further our digital marketing strategies.  I’ve champion conversational marketing, taking chat to a new level in our business.  I use machine learning to help optimize search engine marketing.  And, I’ve implemented targeted web content to only appear to specific personas visiting our digital properties.

It takes constant vigilance to keep up-to-speed. I love exploring new ideas and new technologies.  Keeping current sharpens my marketing chops.

After all, winter is here.

Relevancy + Leading-Edge = Success

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