If Katniss Were a Web Marketer and What Your Website Can Learn from The Hunger Games

March 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Digital Marketing, Relevant Content | 1 Comment
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First things first, SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t watched the wildly popular film, The Hunger Games or read the book that precedes it, then you may want to bookmark this post for later. I’d really hate to spoil it for you.

Ok, here goes. We all know that the world of web marketing can be a harsh one. As harsh as being thrown into an arena with 23 of your peers and having to fight to the death for the mere entertainment of rich, gluttonous onlookers? Well, no. But, I can’t help but draw some parallels between what Katniss, the darkly beautiful heroine of the film, does during The Hunger Games to walk away with her life intact and what we web marketers should be doing to fight our own battles.

So, if she were a web marketer, what would Katniss do?

Play to the Crowd

As an added element of cruelty, the Game-makers force the tributes from each district to campaign for sponsors whose gifts could very well save their lives during the Games. Basically, they have to smile and act proud that they’ve been “chosen” to represent their districts. The more beautiful and charming they are, the more likely they’ll be to win the affection of sponsors who could help them at the very moment their lives are on the line.

Katniss figures out exactly what the viewers want from her—a love story. Once she realizes this, she puts on a great show and gives the audience exactly what they want—a kiss at precisely the time they want it—when she is alone in the cave with Peeta and he’s very near death. One long kiss and she’s immediately rewarded with an ointment that heals Peeta’s wounds.

Would she have rather stood up and screamed at the cameras around her looking on as her fellow tribute dies? Of course. But, Katniss is different. She’s smart, and she knows that if she gives her audience what they want, she’ll be richly rewarded.

Takeaway: Get over yourself. It was never about you or your company or your business plan. It’s about your audience—your visitors. Give them what they’re looking for when they want it (that is, as soon as they land on your site) and they will reward you with a site-saving conversion.

Form Alliances

During the course of the Games, Katniss forms two alliances both of which save her life during the massacre. One with Peeta and one with Rue. Since the Game-makers know that the citizens of the Capital want a good love story, they favor Peeta and Katniss. The other alliance is a bit more complicated. Katniss allies with the young tribute from district 11 out of compassion and because she reminds her of her sister Prim. This alliance pays off big toward the end of the games when the male tribute from Rue’s district, Thresh, allows Katniss to live out of respect for the fallen Rue.

Takeaway: Form partnerships with like-minded businesses and affiliates. Who knows? You may be able to help each other survive in the online arena.

Hit the Target—Every Time

Katniss’ claim to fame in her district is her ability to hunt with a bow. She is known for her ability to shoot squirrels right in the eye every time. Of course, this skill pays off time and time again during the Games as she hunts for food and defends herself against her competitors. Her precision keeps her fed and helps her stay alive until the very end.

Takeaway– Identify the various segments of your target audience and hit them every time with content that is relevant and appealing to them. It may just mean the difference between your business’ success and its imminent demise.

Oh, and one last thing before you put these strategies to the test on your website. Yes, that’s right: “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Efi Rodik
Co-Founder & CEO
Relevantor LLC

Ready to heighten your relevancy? Learn more about how a content optimization service can funnel your content to the right audience at the right time, or request a demo to see it in action.

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  1. […] in the sand about just how far they want companies to go with these efforts, we’re learning some important lessons about personalized marketing and defining what’s helpful, what’s annoying, and what’s […]

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