Disclaimer: If you’re not caught up with GOT, you should be, and you should also know this post will contain spoilers.


Sunday marked the long awaited return of Game of Thrones. While I watched to learn that Jon Snow is still dead, and that the Red Woman is the most amazing Catfish in all of Westeros, I also realized that there is a lot that marketers can learn from The Seven Kingdoms.


The road to the Iron Throne is a lot like acquiring new customers. The usurpers must attract leads, convert them to follow their banners, close many battles, and then delight their followers — for risk of being poisoned, beheaded, burned, or have to do extremely embarrassing walks of shame.

Yes, their tactics might be a bit more extreme and the stakes a lot higher, but the Game of Thrones is really just one massive lead generation campaign. While I’m sure no one has ever said “when you play the game of leads, you either win or you die,” we can learn from the mistakes of the fallen kings.


Here are 5 Lead Generation Mistakes Learned from GOT:


Robert Baratheon – No Analytics, No Clue

King Robert was the first King of Westeros we were introduced to, and also the first to perish. While Robert had many flaws — drinking, whoring, beating — his most fatal was that he did not take the time to run any analytics on his campaign. Yes, they told stories of days when he was a fierce warrior who was loved by many, but then he got lazy. He didn’t take the time to check in with the people of Kings Landing to see if his leadership was working. He was so oblivious, he didn’t even know his wife was having an affair.. WITH HER BROTHER.


The Solution: Prevent Hunting “Accidents” with HasOffers

Just like Robert, you might think you know the cause of your last campaign success, but it could be just the opposite. The only way to produce continuous results and improvements is to test, test, test. HasOffers provides real time tracking of campaigns for both advertisers and publishers, what better way to test the mood of the commons than in real time with KPI pixels.



Renly Baratheon – No Clear Call-to-Action (or Claim to the Throne)

When Robert died, Stannis was the rightful heir to the throne, but Renly thought he had a better chance because he was loved by the people. He had no claim to the throne and met his doom by way of his brother’s weird child-ghost-warrior. The lesson here is that if you don’t have a clear call to action, it doesn’t matter how much people love your brand.


The Solution: Prevent Paranormal Peril with Hubspot

Your CTAs are what drive your conversions, so they must be very clear. They should begin with a verb that promotes the desired action like “buy now,” “start your free trial today,” or “protect me from ghosts”… Wait that one might just apply to Renly. Hubspot has many resources you can read on CTA best practices to help you acquire new leads.


Robb Stark – Mixed Messaging, Mixed Feelings

Robb Stark was running a pretty great campaign. He had a good cause, loyal followers, a strong army, and a wicked direwolf. Rob ran into an issue that is easy for marketers to fall into: he promised his people too much. He wanted to make everyone happy, and in doing so got his messaging mixed up, like who he was planning on spending the rest of his life with. Rob learned the hard way that if you don’t provide your customers with stability they will leave you, or in his case, kill your entire family at your wedding.


The Solution: Send Red Weddings Away with SendwithUs

Once you have acquired a lead, your work is not done. You need to make sure you can deliver on what you promised and that your messaging is consistent with every customer interaction.  SendwithUs allows you to build transactional email templates so that all of your customer outreach stays on brand.



Joffrey Baratheon- No Kings Landing Page Optimization

Joffrey was THE WORST. He was cruel and sadistic brat that brought on his own death by not optimizing Kings Landing. He provided no value for his people, and never offered ways to solve their problems. The city was filled with unqualified leads who had no love for their King. He was betrothed to a girl who prayed for him to die and then exchanged her for a wife that plotted his death using the necklace of the first girl. You could say his kingdom was a mess.


The Solution: Avoid Poisoned Wine with Unbounce

If your landing page is a mess, you aren’t going to acquire any new customers. You must have a targeted value proposition, beautiful visuals, and clear CTAs. If you’re struggling with organizing your landing pages, Unbounce has a ton of great templates to get you started!



Stannis Baratheon – No Empathy, No Loyalty

Stannis was stubborn. While he might have been willing to do almost everything to become King (like burn his own daughter at the stake, NBD), he would never admit he might be wrong. He thought he was the rightful heir to the throne and alienated a lot of people trying to prove that point. He didn’t listen to the needs of the few followers he had; he didn’t care about what they were experiencing. The timing was all off, and in the end, he led what few followers he had into a battle they never could have won.


The Solution: Get The Battle Timing Right with Pretio

When acquiring new leads, you need to consider what they will be experiencing when they see your ad. If you are running a mobile campaign, try congratulating leads who are reaching Achievement Moments in apps and games with rewards like discounts, coupons, and exclusive offers from your brand. Playing into those feel-good moments will not only help you acquire new leads but help build loyalty behind your banners.