Many people who know me know that I love “The Hunger Games” series, but what many do not know is that I’m equally enthralled by the marketing campaign for the series. It’s why I joined my quest-based-learning class. I won’t go too far into that now, but suffice it to say that I learned that the marketing team for the movie franchise created a viral campaign using social media, gaming, and quests.
This set me on a quest of my own to figure out how they did it. This blog post represents the answer to one of those quests. Ultimately, everything I do in the class is to satisfy my need-to-know why and how of the marketing campaign. The video at the top of the screen touches on it. My answers below talk about it a little, but this certainly won’t be the last time I write about this.
Marketing The Hunger Games…
I have a book called “80/20 Sales and Marketing” by Perry Marshall. He opens the book by telling readers about “racking the shotgun.” Basically, the story goes like this. A professional gambler would go into a noisy casino gaming floor with a shotgun. He’d cock it or rack it.
He wanted to see who among the people in the crowd would turn their heads and who would be oblivious. The ones who turned their heads were the ones that the gambler stayed away from. They would be on to people like him, being the cautious types that they were. Everyone else in the casino was fair game. (No pun intended.)
Happy Hunger Games…May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor
I bring all of this up because the overriding message is “Know your audience.” This week in my project-based-learning class, we learned basically our three things that helped us as quest-builders “rack the shotgun” or build good quests. Not all students will like all quests. Learning in the 21st century, it seems, relies on not only teaching, but the attractiveness factor of what the student learns. In other words, what does a particular student respond to?
The question is then, how do you know how to rack the shotgun for these students. The answer lies in three elements of good quest-making, which maybe in itself could be a form of marketing:
1.You know which students are interested in which quests by the quests they choose. This aligns itself with the philosophy of transmedia that I just read about. Nowadays, people can enter a story at multiple entry points. Quest-based learning allows for that, too. In other words, it meets students where they’re at instead of asking them to like something that they couldn’t care less about. It has the attraction factor.
2.You know that they enjoy the quests because they finish them. In marketing and sales, this would be akin to them following through on the sale.
3.You finally know if the quest was personally relevant by the user-rating that each participant leaves. If the user doesn’t leave a good rating for the quest, chances are it didn’t provide a relevant and meaningful experience. In sales and marketing, if they kept the product as opposed to having buyer’s remorse, and they further recommended the product to someone else, chances are good that it was personally relevant.
Learning From the Arena…
So for me as a book author, I would know that my marketing is effective if people choose my book; if they finish my book (most readers don’t); and if they leave some form of good feedback. The question for me then is to figure out what is personally relevant to them in order to create materials that fit their needs.
Here's a longer discussion about marketing "The Hunger Games." It's really insightful.