6 Things Mortal Kombat Taught Me About Marketing

Learned about Internet Marketing from Mortal Kombat - Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Marketing and Mortal Kombat

On June 2, 2014 NetherRealm Studios announced the next installment of the series Mortal Kombat. An entire generation of adults can conjure up memories of smashing buttons for hours playing the fast paced fighting game. From looking back at those memories of my own childhood, I’ve realized that Mortal Kombat can teach you about marketing. Here are six things I learned about marketing from my childhood playing Mortal Kombat.



1. Don’t Spam

Growing up we all knew that one person who would pick the same character every match and do the same moves over and over. It took no skill, no practice, and everyone else involved felt cheated, and left with the urge to move on to something different.

A number of marketers have taken the same approach when it comes to their strategy. They find that one tactic that works for them: i.e. (print, email, telemarketing) and use it nonstop. Email marketing is an effective and useful tool, but eventually sending the same type of message in the same way can leave your customers left with an urge for more.

Trying a new approach in your marketing strategy can do wonders for higher conversions and better customer engagement.



2. New Characters

Every edition of Mortal Kombat introduces new characters to the game. These characters that are introduced bring new play elements and game mechanics to the Mortal Kombat legacy. However, these changes forced players to evolve their fighting styles that had worked in the past, but just don’t seem to be cutting it anymore.

In marketing there are always new trends and ideas that are meant to better the industry and that push marketers out of their comfort zone. Google’s Panda update forced many changes in online strategy for marketers. These marketers realized they had to get creative to stay relevant.

At ProspectMX, we embrace new things quickly, and try to find the most effective way to use new data and tools. By accepting change, and striving to make the best out of what some may consider a bad situation, we are able to grow and give our client’s the results they deserve.



3. Practice

As a kid, everyone had his or her favorite player in Mortal Kombat that they worked relentlessly with to try and pull off the perfect 6 hit combo. Hours of practice went into pressing the same buttons over and over to get the timing down perfectly.

As adults we should spend those same hours on our career and craft. Whether it’s writing the prefect piece of content, or segmenting our data down to get a target audience, we should practice and strive towards bettering our craft and ourselves.

Becoming great at your job makes you more valuable, and helps to give your clients and customers a leg up in the marketing industry.



4. Use Your Surroundings

Anyone who plays or has played Mortal Kombat knows about using the stage to your advantage. From spikes in the ground to pools of acid, the game gave you an ample amount of ways to use the stage to turn the match in your favor.

A large part of marketing is building a rapport with clients and customers. Using any tools or relationships you have access to can make the difference in your marketing strategy. In the marketing world no one is great at everything.

So, next time you need help with coding, design, or content for a site, ask a friend for a guest blog; it may just be the best blog you’ve ever read.



5. Mistakes Can Turn Into Something Awesome

The character ERMAC came to life from a mistake and rumors. In Mortal Kombat I, there were coding errors in the game that were called “Error Macros.” It was abbreviated in the game summary as ERMAC. When players saw the ERMAC in the game, they thought it was a locked character that they could use if they figured out how to unlock him. After years of asking for the hidden player ERMAC, Midway eventually made the error a full playable character in the game.

At work we all make mistakes. It’s an inevitable part of being human. From small spelling errors, missing links in emails, or missing deadlines, it’s bound to happen at some point. In marketing, when you make mistakes and ignore them, it can be costly.

It’s better to acknowledge the mistake and try to turn it into something positive or useful, and the mistake itself could potentially be exactly what your client needed and never knew.




One of the biggest draws to Mortal Kombat are the fatalities. Pulling off a fatality instantly made you the coolest kid on the block. To actually pull off a fatality, you have to hit the right combination of buttons that will finally finish your opponent. Everyone aspired to get a fatality to have bragging rights and to feel like you accomplished something.

In the marketing industry, we all have our niches. Each of these different niches are needed to create the most effective combination that can get your clients everything that they want and need. Your team needs to be able to accomplish and achieve goals that are set by you and your clients.

While it’s important not to cause a fatality in the marketing industry, we want to pull off a big win for everyone involved in a marketing campaign.



There’s still more we can learn about marketing from Mortal Kombat and other childhood games; like perseverance, patience, dedication, and team work to name a few. Every marketer knows that it takes an acquired set of skills to work in this industry, and you have to love it, just like gaming.

Here at ProspectMX, we love what we get to do for our clients every day. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today, and then go dust off your old Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis and see what Mortal Kombat can teach you.


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