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  • May 31, 2013

5 Modern Marketing Lessons from The Lord of the Rings

Dad, what do you do?” my youngest son Sam asked.  Ten seconds into an explanation of Eloqua and Modern Marketing his eyes glazed over and he asserted, “Not as exciting as Lord of the Rings, dad” To which I huffed, “au contraire, mon petit Lancelot!

Modern Marketing and LOTR have a lot more in common than you think; they are both journeys of epic proportions in which the good guys and gals win. In fact some of the iconic scenes from the classic trilogy provide us guidance in our own Modern Marketing voyage.

Here are some tips from great one-liners of The Lord of the Rings, and the characters who coined the phrases.

1. You Shall Not Pass!” –“Gandalf”. When it comes to Lead Scoring, resist the urge to pass inquires to sales – especially after a trade show. Just like “Gandalf” had to keep things in check as an authority, marketers act like gatekeepers with the task of ensuring that only the sales-ready leads get passed on, or else lead management is in disarray.

2. Certainty of Death, Small Chance of Success, What are We Waiting For? – “Gimli.” Take Risks! A lot of marketing initiatives will probably fail. And if everything you are trying is working you are likely not stepping outside the box to try more innovative marketing methods. You have to take chances, execute and test different campaigns, and measure your results. That's usually how the best journeys start.

3. So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide, all we have to decide is what to do with the time we are given” – “Gandalf”. Don’t wait for the ‘perfect moment’ to execute your marketing activities; just get started. If marketers spend too much timing waiting for the ideal opportunity to execute a campaign or initiative, the moment may be lost, or someone else may cash in on it before you! Rather than missing opportunities and/or allowing someone else to take the credit for an idea, just jump in the deep end and get going! Embrace and seize your moments of opportunity.

4. Come on Mr. Frodo, I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”“Sam”. Sure, sales has to close the deal, but modern marketing does not stop with lead generation, market all the way through the sales cycle. Just like Sam and Frodo, marketing and sales should be BFFs, confidantes, and rely on each other. Modern marketers need to be the Sam to sales' Frodo. They need to be the companion, and accessible to provide resources and content to simplify the decision-making process and in turn, generate more sales. And sometimes, marketing does carry sales, because content helps drive the whole conversation.

5. “End, no the journey does not end here” – “Gandalf”. “ABM”, or always be marketing. You can resurrect leads; and dead leads can come back to life. Revisit your contact engagement strategy and remember that, if you have the content and presence to interact with contacts, there is always a chance you can bring them to life – especially if you hone in on pain points and relevant trends.

How about you?  Do you have any favorite scenes from Lord of the Rings that shape your Modern Marketing Strategy? Check out our 40 Must-See Charts for Marketers to help you think big about your journey!

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