*Warning: This post contains spoilers for Season 6 of Game of Thrones.
Here at Mediagistic, we’re big fans of all things Westeros. That’s why we were devastated to hear the news earlier this month that HBO would be delaying the premiere of Season 7 until next summer. In an effort to cope with the idea of waiting a full year to see the next season, we proceeded to spend the next few weekends binge-watching the entire series again.
After re-watching the (arguably avoidable) fate of House Stark’s most clueless scion — Rickon Stark — in the penultimate episode of Season 6, we started thinking. Specifically, we realized that there are a few very strong parallels between poor, hapless Rickon and the approach that many SMBs take to marketing. See if any of these similarities ring true for your business’ marketing plan.
It’s the Runt of the Litter
Rickon was House Stark’s smallest, youngest son. He wasn’t a brilliant military leader or “King in the North” like Robb. Or a brooding Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch like Jon Snow. Or a political-chess-piece-turned-remorseless-dog-feeder like Sansa. Or a shape-changing Braavosi assassin like Arya. He wasn’t even the impetuous tree-climber that Bran was.
In contrast to all his siblings, Rickon just more or less existed. If this sounds familiar, then your marketing plan very well could be the runt of the litter too. For businesses generating less than $5 million in revenue, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending between 7 to 8 percent of your revenue on marketing.
Businesses spending much less than that amount run the risk of being undersized and ineffectual in their marketing. Meanwhile, competitors are using their marketing initiatives to raise proverbial armies and vie for the “Iron Throne” that is your local market share.
People Have Forgotten About It (and Maybe You Have Too)
When Rickon and Osha parted ways with Bran and company at the end of Season 3, they didn’t reappear onscreen for two full seasons. In fact, until they reemerged in the clutches of Smalljon Umber in Season 6, many fans had completely forgotten that Rickon even existed and just conflated him with Bran in their memories.
Similarly, if your marketing efforts have fallen by the wayside for a while, then they too may have become forgotten. Remember the social media account that hasn’t been updated in three years, or maybe that neglected blog on your website? Perhaps those radio commercials you stopped running years ago? All of those have now been forgotten by your staff and your potential customers. Patent Rickon Stark move.
There’s a reason that Coca-Cola continues to spend billions on advertising and marketing consistently, despite being one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Successful companies don’t ever stop marketing and, unlike Rickon, they never disappear from the script for two full seasons.
It Doesn’t Know How to Adapt
Rickon’s ultimate undoing was that he was completely unable to adapt. With Ramsay Bolton bombarding him with arrows during the opening moments of the season’s most epic battle scene, Rickon proceeded to run in a straight line toward Jon Snow.
Despite a worldwide chorus of GoT fans yelling “serpentine!” and “zig-zag!” at their screens, the youngest Stark tragically took one right through the back. “Straight as an arrow” is an ages-old idiom for a reason, Rickon.
Likewise, if your marketing plan isn’t built to accommodate change, then it’s destined for an unfortunate outcome. Marketing and advertising are constantly changing and evolving. Google alone changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, and consumer tastes and media trends change even more often. Given this, your marketing plan needs to be able to roll with the punches and get ahead of the curve.
Tired of taking the “Rickon Stark” approach? Mediagistic can help. With the industry’s lowest cost per lead, our holistic, turn-key approach to advertising and marketing will help your business achieve the growth it needs. Talk to our team today and find out how you can get started.
Edwin Childs is the Inbound Marketing Manager for Mediagistic. His writing has been published by a range of websites and publications including Copypress.com, Jambase.com, NFLSoup.com, FootballNation.com, and Boating World, KnowAtlanta, Men’s Book, Cobb in Focus, TCL, Blush, Charged Electric Vehicles, Business to Business, and Catalyst magazines. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on Linkedin.
Image labeled for Commercial reuse with modification via Game of Thrones Youtube