Break The Wheel: The Daenerys Targaryen Marketing Plan - PCG Digital

Game of Thrones (the TV show) is officially over.

Now that the dust at Kings Landing has finally settled and the clanging of bells has faded off into the distance, it’s safe to say that Daenerys Targaryen might not have been the great ruler we all thought she was.

Regardless of how it all ended, you have to admire how an exile with no lands, armies, or ships came into possession of all three—not to mention three fire-breathing dragons.

How’d she do it? Fire, mostly.

She was also the greatest marketer on either side of the Narrow Sea.

Yes, a marketer.

There’s a lot we can learn from her successes, so let’s take a look.

Have a Plan

Daenerys has had only one, seemingly simple dream her entire life.

Take back the Iron Throne.

While circumstances forced her to adjust her plan, the goal always stayed the same.


Now, I doubt anybody thinks the next great marketing campaign is their divine destiny, but if we can learn one thing from The Unburnt (in my unbiased opinion I think we can learn four) it’s that a plan with clear objectives and goals is a must.

Give it Time

We waited (and waited and waited) for Dany to finally take the greatest army the world has ever seen to conquer Westeros, and when she finally did—well, I’m sure you know how that went by now.

So, why didn’t she do it earlier? The answer is simple and rings just as true for her as it does for marketers.

It takes time.

Sure the dragons were great, but they needed to grow and she needed an army, and ships to carry that army, and advisors to tell her what to do with that army and…you get the picture.

While we like to envision our marketing efforts playing out as a screaming Dothraki horde racing towards an unsuspecting Loot Train, the reality is it’s more like Dany’s time in Essos; a lot of waiting, watching, learning, tweaking, building, and testing.

You’re call-to-actions aren’t garnering any attention? Test different verbiage and placements.

Is your city restless? Open the fighting pits.

A piece of content didn’t deliver the results you were expecting? Target a different audience.

Dragons eat a shepherd’s flock? Pay him double.

Not sure which message will resonate with your consumers? Do some A/B testing.

Sons of the Harpy have you trapped in the aforementioned fighting pits? Dracarys.

As marketers we need to understand that whether our goals are liberating an ancient city or trying to promote an upcoming event, very few things happen overnight and it will take time.

It is known.

Build a Strong Brand

Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.

It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but nobody can deny that Daenerys is good at branding herself.

Why is this important?

While I haven’t shored up all the numbers, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there are a lot of people in the world. If you’re trying to get someone to pay attention to you it helps to stand out as a thought leader, an active member of the community, or whatever it is you’re trying to convey to your audience.

Being synonymous for low prices, great deals, or Fire and Blood is great, but a visual component can go a long way.

Do you think this fact was lost on the greatest marketer on either side of the Narrow Sea?

Of course not.

When Dany went to conquer Mereen she did so without invading at all. Instead she hurled a very powerful symbol over the walls of the slave city—broken collars of slaves she had already freed. With the launching of that one powerful symbol the entire city understood what Daenerys stood for and the results speak for themselves.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be an unbelievably powerful symbol, it can be a spokesperson, an animal or even a sound. As long as it encapsulates who you are as a brand and resonates with your audience you’ll be conquering cities in no time.

It Helps to Have Dragons

How insightful, right? Helpful to as I’m sure you all fly a dragon into work every day.

But seriously, it helps to have dragons.

While Daenerys is formidable in her own right, I think it’s safe to say that she wouldn’t be taken nearly as seriously as a conqueror if it weren’t for her scaly, winged children.

Of course, there are no dragons (where have I heard that before?).

What I mean by “dragons” is some kind of secret weapon, the big guns, the show stoppers.

For a dealership it can be an exclusive new model, a much-anticipated sales event, a vibrant GM or literally anything as long as it cuts through the noise and gets people to pay attention.

As marketers we know that the name of the game is eyeballs. The more we can get to look at our ads, content, emails and commercials the better our results will be.

It’s not that you aren’t formidable on your own, it’s just that people tend to look up more when they hear dragon wings.

*PCG Digital is not responsible for any leveled, razed, or conquered cities.

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