J. K. Rowling. Britain’s best-selling (living) author. Creator of Harry Potter. Multi-millionnaire and philanthropist. Born in Yate, just outside Bristol. There must be something in the air around here that’s good for bright ideas and hard work…
The Potter books as we know them are about growing up, finding your place in the world, and learning the value of humility and self-sacrifice (and how to fling translucent stags at the morally disagreeable). Now imagine a world where it wasn’t magic which caught Rowling’s imagination, but email marketing: wands are keyboards, grimoires are mailing lists, and Avada Kedavra means Reply To All. What would the series have to tell us in a world like that?
The Philosopher’s Stone. Harry finds out about his real parents, and is swept into an outlandish world in which everything he thought he knew turns out to be wrong. Even a kid who lives under the stairs can turn out to be something special once you show him the truth about himself: once you know your email marketing’s not perfect, you can start to put things right.
The Chamber of Secrets hides a dark and terrible… well, secret, and the only way to find the Chamber and save the school is through Tom Riddle’s cursed diary. Good job Riddle wrote everything down, really. You can learn a lot from the stories of those who came before you: a case study can put your campaigns into perspective and give you a fresh take on an insoluble problem.
The Prisoner of Azkaban. This is the one where we question everything. Was Sirius Black framed? Is Remus Lupin really dangerous? Who on Earth is Peter Pettigrew? Asking questions is smart. Finding answers is essential. You have to question everything - evaluate what you know, and what you’re doing, and ask yourself if it’s right. You may ‘know’ that automated emails are a blight on the landscape, but did you stop to ask yourself if that was true? It might be that you have friends in unexpected places, and tools that are more useful than you realise.
The Goblet of Fire. Harry’s entered (against his better judgement) into what’s less ‘inter-school competition designed to foster healthy internationalist attitudes of co-operation’ and more ‘series of deathtraps masquerading as educational entertainment’. He only survives because his friends clue him into the challenges, so he has a leg up on both the competition and the dangers ahead. It’s a testament to the value of friendship - and good data-driven strategising.
The Order of the Phoenix. By this stage things are getting critical, what with Dark Lords and dead friends and a general aura of mistrust hanging around our hero. In times like these you have to stay committed. It’s no use demanding to know why someone else can’t save the world as we know it year after year, and it’s no use demanding instant success with your content marketing either. Suck it up, keep on trucking, and get back to your Occlumency practice.
The Half-Blood Prince, or, as we prefer to call it, How To Get Ahead In Potions Classes By Nicking Off With Your Teacher’s Old Notes. Harry stands out from the crowd because he doesn’t abide by conventional wisdom - he’ll try an unusual method if he thinks it might work, and he’ll stick to his story and preserve his identity even when the whole world seems to be against him. Individuality like that is the saving grace if your content’s not that exciting on its own: be yourself, try new things, and eventually the truth will out.
The Deathly Hallows. If you want to stop the Dark Lord from taking over the known world, it’s no use hanging around in the woods doing nothing for weeks, even if you do get to slow dance with Emma Watson. Ron had the right idea: you need a goal, you need a plan, and you need to keep moving through the stages of the plan toward the goal. Whether you’re campaigning to save the world or sell some product, you’ll get nowhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
Of course, you might have missed all the life lessons, dossed off to watch the Quidditch, and watched your campaign nosedive faster than a Firebolt with its bristles coming loose. Fortunately, our kindly headmaster’s always got a few extra points for Gryffindor at the end of the year… which is a roundabout way of saying that if you still need help with your email marketing, contact Marc and he’ll sort you out. Bring a bag of sherbert lemons.