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What Dumbledore Can Teach Us About Digital Marketing

As far as teachers go, Albus Dumbledore is pretty magical.

As the headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts, Dumbledore is well placed to advise us on the spells that can be cast on people.

His charisma, wit, wisdom, and bravery inspire marketers to delight and disrupt.

Digital marketing takes technology as its wand, and while Quidditch is unlikely to be the focus of its direction for the foreseeable future, it’s still a pretty magical thing.

With this in mind, I think there are some lessons that the Hogwarts head wizard could teach us about digital marketing. The answers reveal themselves below, as part of a series of quotes from the great Dumbledore…

“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”

As you’d expect from an industry grounded in technology, digital marketing is an infinitely forward-thinking industry. But as the great wizard outlines, you never know what tomorrow brings. Rather than getting pulled into fads and blue-sky thinking, it’s important to bed down and focus on doing the essentials really really well. That’s the best way to ensure true brand longevity in uncertain markets.

This means that rather than looking to the channels and tools that might benefit your business, you must first focus on and master the digital marketing tools you know will benefit your company.

That means having:

  • A quality website

  • A well defined presence on social media

  • A blog and access to the blogging community

  • Visual content like videos.

Check out this article to see examples of companies who have mastered the digital marketing tools they have at their disposal.

“Don’t count your owls before they are delivered.”

What do owls have to do with digital marketing? Quite a lot as it turns out — for owls mean success.

The lesson here is that you must review how your customers are responding, and have responded, to your marketing strategies. You must be constantly renewing and updating your marketing campaigns according to customer data, and getting to grips with complex analytics.

By taking Google Analytics as your wand, web analytics can reveal the path to success to you in the following ways:

  • Measuring the traffic to your site & where it’s coming from — what channels are working for you?

  • Looking at your most popular landing pages — what lessons can you learn from them?

  • Your bounce rate — is your messaging ‘off’?

  • Customer metrics — what are people buying, and why?

Spotify is one of the many companies who have really felt the benefit of Google Analytics — it’s a data platform that scales right up from small websites to enterprise brands. Using Analytics Spotify established that the audiobooks were content most streamed by German users. Spotify then developed a landing page focused on audio books and saw a 24% increase in its premium subscriptions.

Bed down and spend time in data if you want to get the most from your marketing campaigns. It’s no just useful for website metrics either — you can use it to measure brand perception and sentiment too.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

Digital marketing is a community, and a community is only as strong as the willingness of its participants to buy into its message of unity. Among others, your digital marketing strategy may see you working with:

  • Bloggers

  • Vloggers

  • Your social media followers

  • Your customers.

You’ll need the cooperation, engagement, and participation of all these influencers to make campaigns work. Whether you’ve started a new company, or you’re rebranding an existing venture, a negative response from any of these influencers will have an adverse affect on your launch campaign. This could damage the success and long-term health of your business.

Learning to see yourself as a participant in the community driving your digital media strategy will ensure that your campaign is strong, not weak. Ask questions, be patient, engage with people, and give back — you will feel the good karma.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

You may have been involved in a digital marketing campaign that hasn’t gone your way — some may even have crashed and burned in a way that shook your self-belief. But one bad experience should not be a hindrance to future success. Plus, even the biggest companies get marketing campaigns wrong.

Pepsi came in for a huge amount of criticism for its Live for Now campaign. The advert sees Kendall Jenner resolve a dispute between protesters and cops. Jenner does this by opening a cop’s can of Pepsi. Pepsi canned the advert, after being accused of appropriating a number of protest movements – including Black Lives Matter.

Seeking assistance for you digital marketing strategy can help you turn on the light. Whether you’re working on a sports, clothing, or food-themed campaign, a structured and targeted approach from am marketing professional will enhance your chances of success.

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

Whether written or spoken, words form the backbone of digital marketing. They are your message and your spell — with the technology you use to convey them being your wand.

What this teaches us about digital marketing is that you must value your words; while they are a force for good, they could also be your downfall.

This is especially true if you’ve used dropshipping as your business model, like any one of these established dropshipping sites. Why? Because you’ll be selling products that aren’t unique. This means that your marketing and website copy alone are what will make your goods stand out.

Zappos is an example of a company who uses the wholesale model and gets its content right. This isn’t just by writing great content – see below for a sample of the brand’s mission statement:

Credit: Zappos

Zappos writes well, uploads a lot of content, and includes a lot of UGC (User-Generated-Content) on its website. All of this is great for SEO and also helps to build-up a great brand image. Unsurprisingly, Zappos is a dropshipping success story.

Invest in quality copywriting and content to make your brand the one your target market turns to — even if what you’re offering can be found elsewhere.

As you see, Hogwarts and digital marketing are not so different and there is much that we can learn from the great Dumbledore. But before you leave, remember the words of one of Harry Potter’s most trusted friends and start your next campaign with them in mind…

Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. You’ll find tips on how to enhance your existing marketing strategy and grow your brand. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.


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