With the release of Game of Thrones season 7, it seemed appropriate to explore the teachings of shopper marketing found throughout the series. If you’re having trouble finding the similarities, you might want to pay closer attention!
1. Do your research
Near the end of season 6, Jon Snow almost dies (AGAIN) because of a lack of numbers on the battlefield during his last battle with Ramsey, until Sansa comes through with more men. Don’t be Jon. Be a Sansa in the marketing world, and always know your strategy for market attack. When preparing for a campaign it’s important to note the competition and category numbers to know the best strategy to win big. (season 6, episode 9)
2. People do judge a book by its cover
Throughout the series, people doubt Khaleesi based on appearance until they see her dragons and leadership qualities. Customers may doubt your marketing strategies and products unless you find a way to present it with flash and show that is as equally as awesome as dragons. Just like Khaleesi, it is important to know what your strengths are and what you are able to leverage against competitors. During a shopper marketing campaign, know your product’s strengths and how to use them to attract new and recurring consumers. (season 6, episode 8)
3. Don’t let your marketing turn into a Littlefinger
No matter how hard he tries to move up in the world, Lord Baelish will always, ALWAYS be Littlefinger: the creepy old guy hitting on Sansa. Don’t let your marketing turn into a ‘Littlefinger.’ Instead, be a ‘Big-Thumbs-Up’ with the right first impression. In shopper marketing, it’s important to be mindful of your brand at all times. Bad impressions last longer than good ones. You don’t want the world to see you as a ‘Littlefinger.’ (season 4, episode 7)
4. You win or you die
“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground” (Cersei Lannister). Just like in Game of Thrones, in the world of shopper marketing you’re either remembered or forgotten. In season 1, Viserys Targaryen lets his pride get in the way of his claim to the throne. He wanted to be remembered and crowned as the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms so bad that it lead to his demise. In shopper marketing, your campaign can either be remembered or forgotten based on the amount of emphasis placed on the goal. Don’t let the end goal cloud the rest of the strategy. (season 1, episode 6)
5. What goes around, comes around
When the High Sparrow tries to revolt against Cersi and the Crown, he gets burned (literally). Don’t be a High Sparrow. Keep your marketing clean and avoid market wars when possible (you never know who has wildfire in hiding). In shopper marketing, if you put out an attack ad against a direct competitor, you can expect an attack on your brand in return. This isn’t always the case, but it has the potential to cause harm to your campaign. (season 6, episode 10)
6. Loyalty trumps price
When the Knight’s Watch turns against Jon and his rule over the Wall, there are a select few that stick by his side, even past his end. Upon his resurrection, those men continued to support Jon and his mission despite the price it cost the men. Just like in shopper marketing, you do not want to underestimate someone’s loyalty to a brand. Brand loyalty drives a large portion of shopper decisions and can be the final factor to determine which product to purchase—regardless of price. (season 5, episode 10)
7. Teamwork makes the dream work
We can all agree that seeing Tyrion team up with Dany (Daenerys) to take on the Iron Throne was one of the most exciting points in the series. Be like Tyrion and Dany. Realize the importance of collaboration to take on the Iron Throne of Marketing, and you too shall be successful. Opportunities arise at different points during a campaign to co-lab with another agency to expand strategy, with another product to push for sales, or even within one agency to bring new ideas and innovations. Find your Dany or Tyrion, and claim the Iron Throne together. (season 7, episode 1)
“Only by admitting what we are, can we get what we want” (Petyr Baelish). Know your strengths, and know your capabilities. This will help you achieve your goals, and succeed in the Game of Shopper Marketing.