I love The Walking Dead. I also love marketing. Recently, I’ve been learning things about marketing from The Walking Dead.
The people who survived the zombie apocalypse are the people who developed some sort of skill (think Michonne with her sweet sword), or people who are natural leaders. They adapted to the situation and they rose to meet it. They were prepared….well, as prepared as anyone can be for the zombie apocalypse.
Marketers should be prepared as well. Prepare for changes in the marketplace. What happens if the campaign you’re using doesn’t work? Do you have tools in place to track the effectiveness of your campaigns?
Are you prepared?
The tension in season 2 and 3 of The Walking Dead was based entirely around the fact that Rick didn’t know what he didn’t know. He didn’t know that Shane was a crazy fool that was going to try and kill him to steal his family. He didn’t know that the Governor was amassing an army to destroy the prison.
The most dangerous thing about the world in which they live isn’t the threat they’re aware of (walkers), it’s the threat they weren’t anticipating.
Such is the case with your marketing.
The biggest threat you’ll face in 2014 isn’t the threat you can see right now. Rather, it’s the threat that you can’t see. That’s why it’s critical to get visibility into EVERYTHING you’re doing.
This one doesn’t have anything to do with marketing, but they should have killed the Governor sooner, right? I mean Rick had several chances and he didn’t shoot the guy.
Kill. The. Governor.
Remember Herschel? He’s the mild-mannered farmer who’s land was overrun by walkers. He’s been the voice of reason on the show (until, that is, he was decapitated by the Governor). Anyway, at one point he says that you can’t worry about emotion, frustration, or fear, you just have to get stuff done because…well, sometimes you just need to get things done.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is they fail to do things that actually generate leads.
For example, think about your day today. How much time has actually been devoted to generating a measurable result?
If The Walking Dead has taught me anything, it’s that you have to be willing to adapt to stay alive. For example, they couldn’t just wander around the back roads of Georgia until the walkers attacked them, they had to get into the prison. They adapted to the situation or they died.
Adapt or die.
Again, I’m not sure how this applies, but they always stab the walkers in the retina (or somewhere in the cranium region). There has to be something we can learn from this.
The biggest thing we can all learn from The Walking Dead is the need for dogged persistence. The only reason those poor people are still alive–rather than undead–is because they simply won’t quit.
That’s a great lesson for marketers. Keep going, keep trying, don’t give up.
For example, if your content marketing strategy isn’t getting off the ground, keep trying. Keep going. It took us several weeks for our 3 blog post per day strategy started generating results.
Keep going. Keep trying.
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