Marketing Lessons from Game of Thrones


When you love something, you draw parallels between those overarching themes and marketing, right? So, to express my love for Game of Thrones, I’ve chosen to honor the show with these two marketing lessons that just happen to line up perfectly with some of my favorite quotes. The truth is, the lessons have little to do with the show- other than being quality content, written authentically. Read more to see how cleverly I’ve interwoven these concepts.

You know nothing (or less than you think), marketing bloggers.

Marketing writers love to tell their followers that attention spans are shrinking, we’re all turning into gold fish, and you better figure out your microformat or you’ll face sure failure. It’s true, disappearing content and character limits have influenced the landscape for marketers. However, as any high school statistics teacher will tell you, correlation does not equal causation and to say that brands have 15 seconds to sell customers on their offering is ridiculous, and so wrong.

Long-form content and serialized storytelling (like Game of Thrones), is booming because people are desperate for quality narratives and value-adding content. The reason marketers are seeing success when they squeeze messaging into 6 second video bumpers and 140-character twitter cards is because you’re forcing them to interact with the content they don’t care about (maybe even dislike). Of course your market is going to prefer 6 seconds of pain to reoccurring episodes of torture. So instead of finding short-cuts around getting your message out, find a conversation or experience that is important and adds value to your market.

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

Consumers are smart. They know when you’re talking down to them, and they know when you’re trying to trick them. Authenticity isn’t just about ‘being yourself’ and ‘sharing wands’. It’s about making sure what you’re saying lines up with what you’re actually doing.

No one cares that an 18-year-old ‘influencer’ uses your brand of refrigerator to chill his organic, GMO-free, gluten-infused kale. Consumers ask their friends. They read reviews. They know that online marketers can camouflage the truth, and they can sense when you’re manipulating the facts.

So, instead of bending the truth, be transparent about what your offering does, what you believe in, and who your company aspires to be. Give them an amazing experience with quality content, that lines up with your messaging, and you’ll win. Give them a pile of pitches, and lose your throne.

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