What Wordle Taught Me About Marketing

I finally gave in.

I’ve been intentionally ignoring Wordle because, frankly, I thought it was stupid.

But my curiosity got the best of me and now I Wordle. (Having recently started, I’m on a baby 27-win streak. Though I probably just jinxed that.)

There’s an important lesson about good marketing exemplified in Wordle.

Wordle game play loosely works like this. The object is to guess the five-letter word of the day. You’re allowed up to six guesses. Your first guess is plucked out of thin air. You can start with any five-letter word that you want; however, there is good and bad strategy for which five-letter word you should start with.

After your first guess, you get feedback in three potential areas.

  1. Green letters are the right letter in the right spot.
  2. Yellow letters are in the word but are in the wrong spot.
  3. Grey letters are not in the word.

You then use those clues to figure out your next guess until, hopefully, you guess the word of the day.

So, what’s this have to do with marketing?

As you can see in Wordle, if you guessed the word of the day on your first guess, would there be any problem-solving skill required? Any repeatable strategy?

Not really. You got lucky on your first attempt.

The same is often true with marketing. If your first attempt is wildly successful, then celebrate!

But then ask, can I repeat this success? It won’t be until the second, third, and fourth forays that you find out if you’re actually a marketing savant or not.

A great Wordler can consistently arrive at the word of the day in three to four guesses.

Why not in two guesses?

Because even getting it in two is still a product of luck either on your first guess or second. But three guesses? Three is the mark of a highly developed strategy coupled with skill.

And so it is in marketing.

Look for the marketer that consistently nails a solid marketing plan in only a handful of iterations and you have found a great marketer.

A marketer who can repeat their successes.

– Zac Smith, VC