At one end, Khaleesi buys slaves and frees them at Astapor. Far end in a different continent altogether, Jon Snow prepares for a battle with the White-walkers, zombie-like weird-looking creatures from ‘Beyond the wall’. The story of Game of Thrones is all spread over, developing every minute. It keeps the audience guessing whether Jon Snow will wake up after being pushed over the edge. What happens to Sansa Stark? Well, nobody cares about that anyway. But surely, you are at the edge of your seat every time a sub-plot of the GoT is nearing a conclusion – like the tale of Sersei Lannister being let go from prison.

Now, think of Game of Thrones as a marketing campaign. Rather, see it as your marketing strategy. You want the customers to await your latest product. Spark their curiosity and play with words and characters.

The thoughts themselves need to be edgy, lively and thrilling for the customer. Here’s how GoT goes about it. Go ahead, see if you can adopt it as well. Even if you have no idea about the series, we’ve kept it simple for you.

Always, Always optimize your ads

Situations change quickly. Alliances are broken, traitors are everywhere. That’s how the plot is twisted at every stage to leave the viewers spell-bound. Remember how Ned Stark lost his life? The Lannisters survived only because they adapted. Similarly, you have to keep revisiting your ads. Keep a check on the keywords, ad performance and make necessary changes.

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.”


Don’t make false promises!

Brienne of Tarth, a warrior, while protecting Lady Catelyn Stark, swears by the Lady’s life. She strives to fulfill Stark’s wish of ensuring her daughter Sansa is safe. You have to be the warrior. Don’t promise something you cannot deliver on. Negative keywords can pull your ad down or drive traffic that you are not looking at. Keywords like jobs, proposals, quotation etc can turn expensive. Negative keywords are like the Sons of the Harpies. You have no idea who they are; they are within your realm and can cause you a great deal of trouble like Daenerys Targaryen, the Khaleesi, found out.

A great way to increase your ad score is by matching the keywords with the landing page.


Stay clear on motives

A certain Petyr Baelish, an overly flirtatious man who couldn’t resist a go at Lady Catelyn, could have had Sansa for his own. But there were bigger battles to be fought – he gave her off to Bolton and didn’t yield to his personal temptations. There were hidden motives as we watched on thinking he would do her sooner or later.

Luckily, you can easily set your goals and objectives at the initial stage of the campaign itself. But make sure you do set it, like Baelish’s ulterior motives of a comfortable palace and a lovely companion with an eye on surviving first. Increasing your traffic by generating more hits, app downloads and conversions, a campaign’s objectives, although unlike a conquest, are quite clear. Effectiveness of the plan increases with prior strategizing.

Star attractions, just like the Dragons

The dragons make an appearance rarely, but when they do, it’s like the first battle against the White-walkers – unbelievably binding. Your ad too need these three dragons (or what they represent) to keep the audience wonderstruck. The copy has to be interesting and it has to capture the essence of your product. Use it sparingly – make users (viewers) want to see (know) more and give them only a taste of it. Keep it crisp – to the point – and ensure it breathes fire like the dragons.


Re-marketing is key!

Khaleesi is far drifting away to the edge of the sea the way she’s going about conquering kingdoms but there’s still a pattern to it. If you want the Iron Throne you cannot give up. Drift away all you want but a single large army conquest (campaign in your case) can always get you back in the reckoning. Follow and keep following. Marketers must not leave out re-marketing, especially if you are in the B2C space.

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone.” — Tyrion Lannister 


Stay safe, stay a step ahead

GoT’s most popular character, the Imp Tyrion Lannister, has a lot of marketing lessons to offer. Always drinking but always on his toes – he’s plotting. His father, Tywin, was a wonderful strategist but his son is always one step ahead. He was the king’s hand and then he fought in a war despite his height. Now, he’s drinking away in Meereen and befriended the feared dragons. That is something. Marketers have a lot to learn from him. Be a good reader (Follow Avinash Kaushik, Jon Loomer and others) and know the recent updates.

Monsters are dangerous and just now kings are dying like flies. – Tyrion Lannister

Is your Plan B ready?

The road to the top is like trekking up a hill. Once you reach the peak, you realize the next one is higher. You go there and see there’s another one behind it – one couldn’t see – which was the tallest all along. Margaery Tyrell first married Renly Baratheon. Upon his death and to a great snubbing of Lady Sansa, she ties the knot with Joffrey Baratheon, the king, next. Well, he dies strangely in his own wedding feast and she next goes to Tommen, Joffrey’s younger brother and the new king. Now, that’s a backup plan. A marketer should also have similar ad backups. If one doesn’t work, experiment with the next one. We all love to run video ads and display them in prominent places (online and offline). But we must run text ads too. We need to see what works and then take budgetary calls.

Magic, spellbound

We waited in anticipation to see if Jon Snow was really dead. It was a one-year wait to be precise but we hung in there. The Red Lady’s magic, or is it quackery, brought him back to life a week ago. While we don’t have readymade incantations to use and bring our lost spark (ad campaign in this case) back to life, we do have optimization techniques. The world advertisements is a game of constant optimization. With rich analytics, you can immediately start seeing results – be it Google ads, Facebook or Bing. Just ensure that you have the right pixels placed in the appropriate places. Optimise and see yourself as the Iron Throne ruler in this marketing game of thrones.


“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb,but they refuse. They  cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions! Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is!” – Petyr Littlefinger Baelish


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