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Frank Underwood shows no remorse. In an episode from Season 4 of House of Cards, the fictional US President picks up a table-knife and gets Catherine Durant – to pull out of the Democrat Vice-Presidential candidate race so that his wife Claire could run along with him.

Underwood is merciless that way. This megalomaniac, who can resort to anything to ensure he’s the best can still teach us the best things when it comes to survival. It’s a rat race and the survival of the fittest counts!

Here are a few marketing tips and tricks we can learn from this master of games!

Analyse, calculate, play smart!
Numbers speak. Underwood is vindictive but calculative at that. He invests time at the place where it’s needed – some place where he’s likely to garner votes. The traffic tells you – which campaigns and channels are working best for him.

“I have no patience for useless things!”

Does smart content always win the game? Sure, is does!
Well, before becoming President, Underwood was obviously the second-in-command. But he wasn’t happy about it. He desperately wanted to see the President’s chair vacant so that he could place himself there. A letter from him to the previous President makes the latter heed to Underwood’s advice and step aside or risk being impeached. That’s the beauty of content. Be genuine and know how well to voice your thoughts. Fill you content with facts, yet the message has to be from the heart.

“Shake with your right hand, but hold a rock with your left.”

Even though your hands may be dirty, keep your data clean!
Underwood was ruthless that way. Once he had no use of something or someone, it would inevitably disappear. From killing a dog to journalist Zoe Barns, Underwood played (or pushed) a hand into cleaning his own data. You might wonder why a Presidential aspirant want to commit murder but YOU have to remove unwanted data from your list, isn’t it? Unsubscribed and bounced data don’t mean anything to you, get rid of them! Use someone like a Doug or Meecham, your trusted subordinates, only when necessary.

“If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table.”

Connect, the best way to make your network grow
Underwood never undermines the importance of networking. Networking is a great resource for marketers. It provides thought leadership and free word of mouth promotion. Reach out to influencers on Twitter, LinkedIn or any social media website. Get the word out – make everyone aware who you are.

“Pay attention to the fine print. It’s far more important than the selling price.”

Keep your customers happy & know what your competition is up to!
At the end of the day, you are offering a service to a client. What service does he want? Why is he coming to you? What are his needs? Track their behaviour and web patterns so that you can plan your campaign.
Keep track of competition too. Underwood also knew his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. He got a complete rundown on Raymond Tusk, Donald Blythe, Will Conway etc. He exploited those weaknesses for his benefit. Who is your competition and what can you offer that’s better? Watch the growth, grow with it. Use Google alerts – it’s free.

“Each Achilles was only as strong as his heel.”

Building trust. It takes you a long way!
Inside, outside – you need to be approachable. Be efficient, put out products in places where users will definitely buy. Make sure you deliver what your ad promises. Don’t take users to unwanted landing pages. Elegance, not flamboyance, is an asset you can use to connect. Prove yourself as a worker and deliver. We would all vote for Underwood, right?

“The nature of promises, Linda, is that they remain immune to changing circumstances.”

One word -Omnipresence!
As a marketer, you are the 24*7 call-centre employee for your biggest clients. Online, offline and physical presence too – it’s demanding but you have to be everywhere. Underwood leaves the education bill and goes all the way to Gaffney to resolve an issue.

The risk is all worth it!
Underwood was ambitious. He was never happy as a Vice-President. He wanted it all and was willing to do anything for it. You too have to take the jump. Take chances with your campaign. Test, experiment and deliver only the best.

“For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: hunt or be hunted.”

via GIPHY

Firstly, it’s essential for all marketeers to be risk-takers and work on calculations, which are mostly predictions and market studies. We have few people to look up to and learn. That way, Underwood does offer that extra spice for he is a self-promoter on his own. It apt to point out here that only Underwood’s positives need to be seen through a membrane-like filter. Underwood obviously has made mistakes – perhaps the biggest one could be pushing Barnes into the train track in an early season of the series. It’s safe to say we need to learn from the not-so-dangerous mistakes and completely avoid making grave errors. The evil character? Well, you need to be cunning but not a monster. There’s a thin line.

But go ahead, tell us what you think. Have we left out anything else? Let us know!

Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor (Strategy & Marketing)
CEO at Unspun Consulting Group