marketing, hero's journey, superhero

The Marketing Campaign: A Hero’s Journey

Marketing is all about storytelling. And most stories are all about the hero’s journey. But how can we apply this timeless storytelling pattern to brand marketing and what can we learn from it?

First of all, let’s note here that a hero isn’t necessarily heroic (we’re not talking about firefighters here). In the literary sense, the hero is the protagonist of their own story, and faces several obstacles on their journey to achieve the ultimate goal. People rarely think of marketers and PR folk as heros, and truly, that’s not the role they fill. They are the behind-the-scenes actors, the Alfred to the brand’s Bruce Wayne, so to speak.

Clearly, the hero of the story is the brand. The larger narrative is clear (the brand launches, faces challenges, succeeds or fails) – but what if we apply this structure on a smaller scale? Each marketing campaign is also a narrative and we can easily use the hero’s journey to explain what a brand can expect in its duration. We can adapt the classic 12 stages into six main parts:



  • The Call To Adventure


The brand listened to their target market and is answering a need. They know that this product is offering a solution the audience can benefit from.



  • The Threshold


The brand does their research. Who is their audience? What do they like? What social media platforms do they prefer? From here we can start to build audience personas and see what kind of campaigns fit them best.  



  • The Initiation


The initial steps of the campaign begin, including consulting experts and gathering the tools (for example, BlogsRelease, to get blogger reviews) necessary to launch the campaign.

Here the challenges – competitors, time constraints, budget – are made clear.



  • The Ordeal


The campaign pitch and plan is ready – we can launch! Brands start implementing and promoting the campaign on the relevant platforms.



  • The Reward


The campaign is a success! Hopefully. If it’s not, however, the reward becomes the learning experience.



  • The Return


Now it’s back to the drawing board, with the brand being wiser and savvier, transformed by the experience. The necessary adjustments to the strategy can be made so the cycle can begin again.  

So, where are you currently on your hero’s journey?

This post was originally published on Susan Solovic