Dragon Slaying For Dummies; or: How To Conquer the Beast of Marketing Success

August 7, 2023

By Seth McDuffee

In a land far, far away—just past the mountains of Monotony and beyond the sea of Sameness—resides the mighty Dragon of Marketing Success. Now, you may have heard tall tales and fables of brave adventurers who've tried and failed to conquer this beast. But fear not, O Marketing Squire, for this is your foolproof, step-by-step guide to slaying the dragon and claiming the treasure of triumphant marketing. This is Dragon Slaying for Dummies; or: How To Conquer The Dragon of Marketing Success.

What Makes A Hero?

Our tale begins in the Village of Vision, where you, our would-be dragon slayer, are armed only with an empty satchel and a burning desire to conquer. Your first task? To fill that very same illustrious satchel with the necessary weapons: the Sword of Strategy, the Shield of Specificity, the Compass of Customer Understanding, and the Armor of Authenticity.

This bad boy took me and my granny 63 hours to complete. Mostly her.

Now, the Sword of Strategy isn't something you can pick up at your local blacksmith. No, my shining baby gemstone of marketing potential. This is forged in the fires of your mind, tempered by research and understanding. You must know thy enemy—the marketing landscape—to wield this sword effectively. It involves knowing what's been done, what worked, what flopped harder than an unhorsed jousting knight, and what's as outdated as last season's chainmail.

“That’s him, boys! The one with the tacky sabatons!”

With the Sword of Strategy in hand, you’ll acquire the Shield of Specificity. This isn't your average wooden buckler—no, no, no! This shield is made from the rarest of materials: insight into your target audience. It protects you from making the fatal mistake of aiming your efforts at everyone and hitting no one. Remember, a dragon can't burn you if you know exactly where it's going to breathe fire.

“You missed, sucka.”

You'll also need the Compass of Customer Understanding. This isn't some rusty, old trinket that points North. This compass guides you to what your customers want, need, and expect. It's a magical artifact that points towards customer preferences, behavior, and feedback. Ignore this compass at your peril—nothing makes a dragon more smug than a lost and confused adversary. Then of course, there’s the Armor of Authenticity—a garb no hero should be without.

But Where Does The Story Go From There?

“Alright, fam, I’m back! That’s right, it’s ya boi—the Pop Culture Paladin! Today, we’re gonna talk about the 10 best types of armor grease—and which ones also double as a protein supplement!”

Armed with these weapons, you're ready to begin your journey toward the Dragon's Lair, but be warned, the path is littered with challenges. Lousy with ‘em, in fact! You'll need to trek through the merciless Forest of SEO, where every tree looks the same but holds a different keyword. Then you'll cross the Chasm of Content, bridged only by the power of relevant and engaging storytelling (and maybe friendship—who knows?) But don’t rest yet, because you’ll still be required to weather the Storm of Social Media, where trends whip around faster than a kraken’s arms in a tantrum.


Along the way, you'll meet other adventurers: the ultra-popular Social Platform Sorcerer, the outside-the-box dynamo Content Strategy Knight, the story-slinging Email Marketing Bard, and the quiet, contemplative Data Analysis Alchemist. You’ll see how to befriend and learn from them. They're the fellowship you’ll need to enhance your own skills and keep your weapons sharp and effective.

After surviving these challenges and more, you'll finally arrive at the Dragon's Lair. Here's where your mettle will be truly tested. The dragon may seem terrifying, with its Scales of Saturated Markets and Claws of Customer Complaints, but remember: you're gonna be armed with strategy, specificity, understanding, and authenticity. No beast can resist such a formidable arsenal.

Engage the dragon, brave adventurer! Swing your Sword of Strategy, plan your moves, vary your attacks. Use your Shield of Specificity to deflect misguided efforts. Follow your Compass of Customer Understanding to find the dragon's weak points. Trust in the fortitude of your Armor of Authenticity. And when the dragon roars, remember that every challenge is an opportunity—to learn, to adapt, to grow stronger.

Dragon Slaying For Dummies

“Alright, Jeremy—you aim for the legs. Gromular the Gross—you wait for an opening and hit him with a fireball. Me? I’m going to sign him up for a bunch of email lists.”

But, if I just told you to go, you’d be a terrible warrior! You can know what you need, but without understanding the journey, how can you be successful!? That’s why we’re going to take our time and start writing our tale. As such, we will begin where all good stories begin: at the…uh, beginning. The prologue! That’s it! Follow the magical text below for your first steps along the path of glory!

So, adventurer…do you want to slay a dragon?

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