From CubicleBot: Ian Lurie has an excellent post up on Conversation Marketing that explains how he learned everything he needed to know about his business from playing Dungeons and Dragons over the last 31 years.
The core of his D&D marketing strategy can be summed up thusly:
I like to slay monsters, take their treasure, and talk about how we all came THIS CLOSE to dying afterward.
When I realized that – that was the lightbulb. Those are basic human impulses: Defeat something bad; get a reward; tell the tale. They fit – they’ve been there all along. They’re visceral. And they translate to effectiveness in all human communications, including marketing.
I have to admit, it makes a lot of sense. Just like in D&D, if you give customers an opportunity to screw the bad guy, get free stuff (both real and imagined) and give them a personal story to tell afterwards (usually about how smart they are for using your product to slay evil and reap rewards), you are on your way to a successful business.
Of course, the motivational logic behind D&D marketing is nothing new, but when you illustrate it in a context that nerds like us can relate to, it explains a lot about why we buy the things that we buy and do the things that we do—like play Dungeons and Dragons regularly for 31 years for example.