5 Game of Thrones Lessons That Apply To Marketing

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Literature is packed with lessons applicable to all aspects of real life, and literature that has been turned into film has the advantage of taking these lessons to a whole new level. One such adaptation is the HBO series “Game Of Thrones” (oh, yes). Whether you’re a die-hard fan, a casual viewer, or someone who’s never seen the show before — in which case you’re probably wondering “what’s so great about it anyway?” — it’s impossible to deny the show’s huge influence on the masses.

Why has Game Of Thrones become such a phenomenon? There are lots of different reasons why people love the show but at Atlantic Health Solutions we enjoy Game Of Thrones (in large part) for its awesome marketing lessons. That’s right. GOT is a gold mine for teaching marketers valuable lessons about things like power dynamics, brand, popularity, and survival. Here are 5 marketing lessons we took from GOT. (*SPOILERS AHEAD*)

  1. The Link Between Authenticity And Loyalty. People are loyal to authentic brands. Think of it this way. House Stark has ruled over the North for centuries and even after its fall from grace, “the North remembers.” Northerners stay loyal to the Starks because they believe in what the Starks represent. They respect them for being honest and fair and therefore remain loyal, despite how long the odds may look at times.

  2. Adapt To Survive. Just think of Stannis Baratheon: hard and unyielding. Despite having a fair cause, he was not able to make it. Why? Because he refused to adapt. Just as with Stannis, a marketing business’ survival depends on their ability to stay with the times, adapt to changing technologies and practices within the industry, and be prepared to meet their clients’ evolving needs.

  3. Haters Gonna Hate. Remember Daenerys? If so, then you know that not everyone is going to like or accept your marketing methods, regardless of how strategic (or badass) your motivations are. That doesn’t mean you should change how you’re doing things as long as your loyal customers are thriving.

  4. Knowledge Is Power. Tyrion won his power by birthright, but he gained his respect through knowledge. Meanwhile, Varys and Littlefinger, though lowborn, have been (for the most part) behind every major event in the story. Knowing the market you’re in, who your audience is, what your rhetoric is, and who your partners and enemies are will always give you an advantage over the competition.

  5. Kill Your Darlings. This is more a George R.R. Martin lesson than a GOT lesson. As fans, one of the things that keeps us watching is the unexpectedness of main character deaths or tragedies. As a writer, this can be hard to do. Sure, the effect is great, but killing off a character, or an idea, that you are attached to can be difficult. This is a great lesson to marketers and copywriters that sometimes, some ideas just reach an end. If something’s not working, no matter how much time or energy or emotional attachment you’ve put into it, don’t be afraid to let it die.

GOT is pretty exciting and unpredictable, and so is marketing! Put these tips together and test them against your own organization to ensure that you are doing everything possible to stay on top. Can’t get everything down? That’s okay! We’re here to help. Be sure to check out our blog for other marketing tips or contact us for any marketing questions.