Winter is Coming: 5 Game of Thrones Marketing Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Journey with me behind the wall as I reveal five Game of Thrones marketing lessons every entrepreneur should apply to their small business.

4. Build demand and seed communications early.

Create demand before launch. This enables you to improve customer insights (clarify guesses about customer response) in a targeted way. For example, according to Mitch Wagner of The CMO Site, “HBO turned to [NY] marketing agency Campfire to help build demand for the series before it debuted. Campfire started out by researching the existing fan culture of the books.”

If you’re not in the position to hire a marketing agency, get creative – Google “marketing case studies” and learn what works for larger brands. Then scale similar tactics to meet your needs and connect your ideas. I’m a personal fan of Marketing Sherpa’s case studies.

5. Leverage insights to create cohesive tactics.

When asked how HBO activated their social TV strategy Caluori explained: “We launched the first official HBO Tumblr for Game of Thrones. It’s designed to celebrate the amazing wealth of fan generated art in homage to the series … [then] we focused our premiere day activities around a single hashtag that we used across platforms to rally the fan community: #GOTDay.”

If you plan seeding activities prior to launch, there’s a good chance you’ll receive feedback from potential customers. This data can inspire your marketing tactics, just as HBO’s advocacy of fan generated art helped them build deeper connections and drive social outreach.

Your execution should be cohesive. If an online user visits your Facebook page and your Twitter page, they should “look and feel” similar. Send mixed messages and you’ll waste time, energy and money.

6. Repeat your brand story through all marketing activities.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard and seen the phrase “Winter is Coming” — the motto of House Stark, signifying a state of preparedness … “warning and constant vigilance.” (Source: Wikia)

It’s all about repetition, repetition, repetition. As Rebecca Rapple writes over at PersonalBrandingBlog.com, the secret sauce to branding (and good marketing for that matter) is “Say it. Show it. Repeat it.” Recognition is gained through repetition. This is why you can’t do something for a day or a week and then huff and puff, “that _______ marketing doesn’t work!”

And while this isn’t a rant on “5 Game of Thrones Branding Lessons,” branding – a tool in your marketing tool box – is essential because, “with [a] great brand, comes great advantages. With a great brand, you help protect yourself in the market … You can set higher price points. Better brands increase your opportunities.  People prefer name brands over no names, and they want to work with brands they know.” (Source: Hammond Hill Executive Whitepaper)

So what are you waiting for? Pledge allegiance to better marketing habits and take your rightful place on a more profitable business “throne.”

Connect with Erica Nicole on Twitter.

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Photo Credit: HBO


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