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5 fascinating ways the board game Risk could help you hone your marketing skills

Risk, one of the most popular board games on the planet, has been challenging players to “conquer the world” since its invention in the early 1950s.

If you haven’t played Risk before, the beloved board game essentially has you annex territories on a world map in a race to control the entire board against your friends. Or, as is often the case with Risk, your enemies – if you thought Monopoly was infamous for shattering friendships, then Risk is on another level.

Though, beyond the board game’s strategy, diplomacy, and intrigue, Risk could even help you enhance your marketing skills. Continue reading to discover five ways that a simple grand strategy board game could benefit your marketing strategy.

1. Have an in-depth plan, and stick to it

At the beginning of a game of Risk, players are typically dealt territory cards to signify where to place their troops. This should ideally give you the foundation of your plan for the coming conflicts.

For instance, you can decide where to consolidate power, the best territories to establish “borders” to beat back waves of adversaries, and even identify possible routes for future expansion.

Similarly, a successful marketing strategy often relies on a well-thought-out plan long before you conduct any campaigns. In fact, if your plan outlines your overall marketing goals, it could help you monitor your progress towards them.

To create a comprehensive plan for your marketing, it may be worth conducting thorough research, as this could help you identify and understand your target audience. Then, your well-structured plan could help you make more of an impact on your desired audience, attract new customers, or even encourage existing ones to continue employing your services.

2. Patience is a virtue

Above all, patience is paramount when you’re playing Risk. A typical game can often devolve into a stalemate as no one wants to be the first to attack and leave themselves vulnerable to other players.

While this stage of the game essentially devolves into a game of chicken, this is often where diplomacy dictates the future of the campaign.

No matter how tense the standoff gets, it’s essential that you hold your ground and be patient – if you make one slight mistake in haste, your opponents could smell blood and ruthlessly attack you from all angles.

On a similar note, it’s important to remember that marketing takes time, and you should be patient with your strategy. While you might seek instant results, it’s worth noting that nothing happens overnight.

For instance, even if you’ve started to send a regular newsletter or have recently increased your social media engagement, it could take a while before this reaches and impacts your desired audience.

At the end of the day, it takes time to build your brand’s awareness and trust, and if you rush into marketing without giving it the necessary forethought, you may end up wasting resources or missing vital opportunities.

Conversely, if you take a steady and persistent approach and remember that marketing takes constant time and effort, you could avoid making any hasty decisions.

3. Keep an eye on the competition

As mentioned, Risk comes with its fair share of diplomacy, intrigue, and backstabbing. As such, it can be incredibly beneficial to understand your foe, as this could help you predict their moves and even identify when they’re likely to double-cross you.

It’s as Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, once said: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”.

While marketing may not come with the same level of intrigue, it’s still wise to keep an eye on your competition, as this could help you better understand your own advantages and disadvantages relative to other similar services available.

Better yet, you may even be able to identify areas in which your competitors are lacking and capitalise on this by filling any gaps in the market.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to turn into a super sleuth. Though, by taking some time to search your competitors’ websites, read any blogs they’ve posted, and check their social media activity, you could fine-tune your own marketing strategy accordingly to further any competitive advantage you have.

4. React to any new opportunities that arise

Risk can often become fast-paced, and it’s sometimes easy to miss an important development on the map. Regardless, it’s always worth staying vigilant for any new opportunities and capitalising on them as they arise, as this could make the difference between loss and victory.

If, say, one of your neighbours is expending their power to invade another player, this could be the perfect opportunity to forcefully claim some new territory when they least expect it. This may sound deceptive, but “all’s fair in love and war”, after all.

It’s also worth remaining vigilant when you’re marketing and checking for any new opportunities by regularly monitoring market trends and consumer behaviour.

For example, you may identify a newly emerged trend by analysing the market. If you spot it early enough, you could effectively incorporate it into your marketing strategy to give you a competitive edge.

5. Accept that you may lose at times

Even though I’ve played my fair share of Risk in the past, I could likely count the number of my victories on one hand.

The reasons for this vary – sometimes I lose my patience, others I taunt my fellow competitors so much that they focus on attacking me, and sometimes I simply can’t build up enough steam and get swallowed by my larger neighbours.

Loss is a common occurrence in Risk, but at the end of the day, these losses don’t dissuade me from playing again. In fact, they usually spur me on to play more, often just to get revenge on a friend for double-crossing me.

You should also expect some setbacks when you’re marketing, too. For instance, you may launch a campaign that doesn’t garner the level of engagement you initially desired.

It’s important to take setbacks in your stride and learn from them. It may be worth analysing the reasons that your marketing campaign went awry and gather any necessary feedback. Then, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

The key to a successful campaign is often to use setbacks as motivation to fuel a more impactful campaign in the future. Or, of course, you could always enlist the help of a company like the Yardstick Agency to take some of the complexity out of marketing.

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Unlike Risk, marketing doesn’t need to be a battlefield. We can help you market your company and supply you with engaging blog content and social media campaigns to reach and impact your desired audiences.

To find out how we could help, please get in touch by emailing or call us on 0115 8965 300.

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