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Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 02:49
This came up in the June pricing thread so I thought perhaps people would have some new thoughts on it.

Do you think GW should begin advertising? This is not so much a general "should companies advertise" but GW specifically in this economic environment with the realities that this time brings the company.

If you do not think GW should advertise, what do you think GW should do to gain new customers?

If you do think GW should advertise, where do you see GW getting the most benefit?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To prevent a double post, here is what I think GW should do.

Twitter. GW needs to tweet about 10 times a day on new developments. They should actively monitor other tweets with GW mentioned so that they can jump in and correct misinformation and help deal with issues before the nerd rage takes off. This is an interview with Amy Worley who manages Twitter and Facebook for H&R Block. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8O1_02PoZs) It was a fantastic way to reach out and just be there.

Second Life. I know GW is adverse to the internet and this would actually cost some money beyond the wages of the person monitoring the web but the outlay is rather low. Here is a video someone did on (coincidentally) H&R Block's Second Life island. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-wrZW05qbY) I looked around and that person doesn't work for Block. He is just into Second Life and thinks that is a great island and so he is advertising for them for free.

YouTube. I know GW has been putting up a few videos now and then but GW should focus on being more like the Canadian site minwargaming.com. They are very interactive with people uploading response videos and GW answering questions. Imagine a Developer Talk special each Tuesday where a game developer comes on and answers questions like "If an IG officer rolls a 12 does that only prevent him from issuing more orders or all officers?". That will drive people to their channel where they can drop conversions with the new models released.

GW doesn't have to get commercials (although SciFi channel, Spike, and Adult Swim would be good in the US) and they don't have to advertise in other magazines (although I would consider Boy's Life and NatGeo for kids). The lowest cost options are those that I mentioned. They would have to hire someone to monitor those websites but it would be effective IMHO.

Unforgiven666
14-04-2009, 03:09
Having tv commercials would be cool, maybe something like WARHAMMER or WARHAMMER 40k in big, with some awesome music, and lets say..for warhammer 40k, you see a big space marine walk from the shade. Everyone would be like "AWESOME!"

Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 03:23
Do you think that would be feasible for GW at this time?

xowainx
14-04-2009, 08:10
TV advertising would be beyond pointless for such a niche product and would be incredibly expensive too. Also Second Life is completely retarded and I doubt that anyone stupid enough to waste their time with that would also have the time and inkling to take up Warhammer.
Twitter updates wouldn't be too bad, but a proper studio blog with a bit of insight and the odd sneak peak would be better. That said, both would be preaching to the converted rather than proper advertising.

Bregalad
14-04-2009, 08:22
Having advertising or any form of marketing is essential to business, especially, if there is an entry hurdle like with Warhammer games. This is one of the two beginner's mistakes that GW management does (the other one is that you can solve every sales problem by raising prices).

RevEv
14-04-2009, 08:22
OK - so where would GW get the money to pay for this advertising?

Price increases!

GW's best means of increasing interest and thus sales revenue is it's established customers and it's stores, not some lame series of adverts.

EmperorNorton
14-04-2009, 08:35
TV advertising would probably be too expensive, although it could work.
One of the LotR movies was on TV here yesterday and I have no doubt that a nice commercial for War of the Ring would have gotten quite a few people into the stores today.
A little cheaper would be running advertisements in movie theatres. Have a 40K commercial run before the next SciFi blockbuster, maybe some flyers in the lobby.

xowainx
14-04-2009, 08:39
Having advertising or any form of marketing is essential to business, especially, if there is an entry hurdle like with Warhammer games. This is one of the two beginner's mistakes that GW management does (the other one is that you can solve every sales problem by raising prices).

You say that, but in the UK at least, GW completely dominates its market. I've also noticed that if I mention to someone that it's one of my hobbies, they more often than not are aware of it and/or know someone who has at the least dabbled in it. All of that has been achieved without any traditional advertising campaigns.
I think one thing that could help it would include more free model promos in WD (the first issue I bought as a kid was 166 with the free statue marine) as kids are like a moth to the flame with things like that. Even just one a year would be a good idea.
I also think making Black Reach and Skull Pass more widely available in Toy Shops, WH Smiths, Argos and other places couldn't hurt as it acts as a form of advertising to people who've never been in contact with it before. That said, I remember LOTR was available in Smiths and I don't know how successfully that worked out.

zedeyejoe
14-04-2009, 08:47
OK for a business with a turnover of 100m pa what is the best form of advertising?

1) the net
2) word of mouth

don't think that they are doing bad at either of those. Hell they have their own magazine.

On the other hand if they simply want to spend lots and lots of money, then TV advertising fronted by George Clooney. That should do the trick.

stroller
14-04-2009, 09:35
They do advertise. The advertising media are called "White Dwarf" and "high Street stores"

RobC
14-04-2009, 09:44
Twitter's massively over-rated, and this comes from someone with three accounts. Too much tweeting from one source is just overwhelming; I find myself only adding people who tweet occasionally, but well.

That and I doubt there are ten things each day which GW could publicise via a tweet.

Korras
14-04-2009, 10:15
Twitter's massively over-rated, and this comes from someone with three accounts. Too much tweeting from one source is just overwhelming; I find myself only adding people who tweet occasionally, but well.

That and I doubt there are ten things each day which GW could publicise via a tweet.

X is using the bathroom right now
Y is doing a battlereport
Z is .. what IS he doing?

etc? :p

though monitoring would be good, and I would think that they are already doing so.

as for advertising: the best possible way for them to do so, is in gaming magazines, like PC Gamer. slip in a page-sized advert there, and they'd be paying a lot less then when they do so for a TV add. in addition, PC gamers are more likely to look into it then Regular Joe watching TV and seeing some guy killing some pansy-looking elf types.

xowainx
14-04-2009, 10:27
But how many people who read a magazine like PC Gamer would be so completely unaware of GW that they would need advertising to, especially after Dawn of War 1+2 (DOW 2 was on the cover of many magazines of that ilk), Warhammer Online and Battle March? I don't really think it would be reaching many new potential hobbyists.

Satan
14-04-2009, 10:28
Well, GW needs to hire someone to do their digital marketing for them - that much is obvious. They're sorely lacking in the digital environment still. I know that is a sentiment not many of you may agree with and I sure don't expect the IT department at GW to do so, but as a professional I still say that it is so.

I know Andy Hall frequents Linkedin - GW seems to forget that these type of resources are also a way to market themselves in a B2B environment and that it is important in order to further their marketing/advertising in order to reach consumers via new/unexplored channels.

I think they should look towards the computer games industry - even though the industry still has a lot to learn, it's not exactly hard to just copy actions like those performed by Blizzard. Blizzard makes marketing so good it makes everyone else look like an ****.

But do I think GW ought ot advertise in the classical sense via TV ads or magazines?
No. Those are overpriced mediums at the moment and they can get free exposure via those channels just by licensing their IP for computer games for example, like they're doing right now - let someone else pay your advertising bill!

I actually run a blog (even though I haven't updated for a couple of weeks) over at http://mediagamesthesis.wordpress.com/ about marketing within the games industry, but I think alot of the same approaches might be applied to GW.

I have a whole host of (sane) ideas which they'd be able to replicate for a very low cost by just adding a single employee with a decent level of responsibility and the ability to make well-judged decisions.

blongbling
14-04-2009, 11:18
GW considers itself to advertise in two ways and didnt have any plans to move outside of these two avenues :

1. WD - reaches a large target audience and is available in most newsagents. This allows them to promote new and existing products to existing gamers and those already in the tabletop wargaming niche.
2. Stores - GW sees its own stores as the best advertising for the product that there is. They allow people to come in, be introduced and find out about the hobby in a safe, friendly enviorment. Having these stores also provides advertising through their presence. This is also copied in the push for lots of inide stores, in the UK alone there are over 800 stores carrying GW proucts (inc GW stores), all of this amounts to a lot of advertising in the toy industry and on the high street.

Gw does spend money advertising in its B2B enviorment, this it does by attending trade fairs, advertising in industry magazines and woappearing in catalogues for its partners. This is seen as money well spent as it is easily measurable and is consistent with its business strategy in growing its presence globally.

Now although this may not be considered a typical way of advertising it is one that GW is very comfortable with and one that they have repeatedly stated that they wont deviate from.

Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 11:43
OK for a business with a turnover of 100m pa what is the best form of advertising?

1) the net
2) word of mouth

don't think that they are doing bad at either of those. Hell they have their own magazine.

On the other hand if they simply want to spend lots and lots of money, then TV advertising fronted by George Clooney. That should do the trick.

How are they doing net advertising now?

Satan
14-04-2009, 11:50
Now although this may not be considered a typical way of advertising it is one that GW is very comfortable with and one that they have repeatedly stated that they wont deviate from.

That may their plan, for crying out loud, someone ought to go down to their local library and borrow MARKETING by Paul Baines, Chris Fill and Kelly Page. Someone at GW that is.

Marketing is not a one-dimensional effort. If that's somebody's opinion, then they will fail in that regard sooner or later.

Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 11:52
Now although this may not be considered a typical way of advertising it is one that GW is very comfortable with and one that they have repeatedly stated that they wont deviate from.

We know GW won't do what we say. :p People often talk about how GW should advertise and I was taking the opportunity to discuss what would actually be feasible.

Satan
14-04-2009, 11:55
The problem with this topic is putting advertising in a larger context - on it's own it's not a very professional or worthwhile effort.

Korras
14-04-2009, 12:03
But how many people who read a magazine like PC Gamer would be so completely unaware of GW that they would need advertising to, especially after Dawn of War 1+2 (DOW 2 was on the cover of many magazines of that ilk), Warhammer Online and Battle March? I don't really think it would be reaching many new potential hobbyists.

continued exposure always helps. expose someone to the something, even AFTER he knows it exists, and that person is more likely to look into it.

for example.. GTA. when the latest version came out for the major consoles, how many people were NOT aware that it was coming? but, when it came out, Rockstar still advertised it a LOT.

RobC
14-04-2009, 12:20
Let's play devil's advocate for a minute.

Do we know that advertising works for niche interests? Especially when, in the UK market, GW commands such a dominant position that it can describe itself as the 'GW hobby'?

Some anecdotal evidence. I got into GW via Heroquest and Fighting Fantasy. Heroquest wasn't a GW product, but a high-profile boardgame marketed by MB Games - then a much bigger company than GW. I discovered Fighting Fantasy via my school library, aided and abetted by the Puffin Book Club - an occasional touring shop that visited schools and allowed you to buy Puffin titles at slightly cheaper than RRP (I think).

Both of these were, to an extent, discovered through some form of marketing. But the jump to GW happened through word of mouth; people saw me reading FF books in the school library and invited me to a roleplay session, where I saw my first White Dwarf, et cetera.

So GW never advertised directly, but did very well from piggybacking on the successes of others, using them as feeders. And, of course, there's no better advertising than word of mouth.

We also seem to be assuming that the market for GW products can get bigger. In the UK, there's a GW shop in most towns; in the US, the market is much more fragmented, and we are all aware that GW miniatures are often pricier than their counterparts; so perhaps GW's market isn't going to increase massively with an expensive ad campaign?

I've got a vague recollection of a similar thread on the forums, discussing how GW markets itself. From a basic economic standpoint, everything GW does outside of producing miniatures is a way of marketing itself to the public. Every time GW licenses a computer game, or publishes a novel (remember that Legion got into the SF top ten last month!), a percentage of those sales lead to miniature sales – and people joining the 'core' GW market.

Perhaps the best thing GW could do to get more people into the hobby is to produce a standalone game in the manner of Heroquest, and allow that to be pushed as a big Christmas present. Perhaps all the rumours surrounding the return of Space Hulk are hinting at such a possibility.

Fredox
14-04-2009, 12:23
I also think making Black Reach and Skull Pass more widely available in Toy Shops, WH Smiths, Argos and other places couldn't hurt as it acts as a form of advertising to people who've never been in contact with it before.

A couple editions back 40k and possibly fantasy was available in Argos. I'm fairly sure Toys'R'Us stocked it and I know Virgin stocked it. Hobbycraft stock it at the moment but the last time I looked in my local they had a previous edition on sale next to the current edition. I can see this kind of sale leading to a lot of no repeat custom as people don't realize what they are getting into. If the new rumored Space Hulk game is available in this way I think it would be better as it would be a self contained game that could hook people into the hobby and would need little or no extra material to keep playing on its own.

Satan
14-04-2009, 12:30
And we are all aware that GW miniatures are often pricier than their counterparts; so perhaps GW's market isn't going to increase massively with an expensive ad campaign?

I've got a vague recollection of a similar thread on the forums, discussing how GW markets itself. From a basic economic standpoint, everything GW does outside of producing miniatures is a way of marketing itself to the public. Every time GW licenses a computer game, or publishes a novel (remember that Legion got into the SF top ten last month!), a percentage of those sales lead to miniature sales and people joining the 'core' GW market.

1. People will always pay premium prices for premium products. It's all about perceived value. The point of evidence being the computer games industry and the digital distribution model.

2. Licensing is a great way of earning some "free" marketing, and my bet is they could exploit it a thousandfold. And while one may argue bussiness theory about marketing leading to sales, it's useless without numbers and follow-up statistics, something which I wonder if GW even has?

zedeyejoe
14-04-2009, 12:34
And I also agree with other posters, computer games are a great (and profitable) way of promoting product.

Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 13:18
The academic research points to niche advertising working and being more effective than mass marketing.

We know GW doesn't have follow up numbers. How could they since they don't find out where their customers come from?

Angelwing
14-04-2009, 13:53
A couple editions back 40k and possibly fantasy was available in Argos. I'm fairly sure Toys'R'Us stocked it and I know Virgin stocked it.

4th ed fantasy and 2nd ed 40k were stocked by Argos for 35 compared to GW's 40.
We had an Argos across the road from our store and lots of potential core box set sales went there instead of buying from us. Even I bought fantasy from Argos before I became a redshirt!

Tolinwiz
14-04-2009, 15:16
I'm surprised all the arm-chair businessmen in this forum haven't long ago taken over and dominated the tabletop miniature market.

cool0001
14-04-2009, 15:24
Dont forget the unoffical webcomics like TSOALR are free advertising

Cane
14-04-2009, 19:08
Like others have said, GW seems to rely mostly on word of mouth and the LGS to advertise their products. White Dwarf is another form of advertisement but given its nature it only captures the market GW already has. People who buy and subcribe to White Dwarf already are GW customers and are more likely to keep buying such product than non-subscribing GW players.

I like how GW has expanded the Warhammer franchises so its exposed on shelves in brick and mortar book stores with their novels and on digital shelves with their games.

All that said and done, I think that if GW further expanded their francises to include quality animated movies/series it'd help broaden their market.

It'd also be nice to see GW making boardgames targetted towards kids; you've heard of gateway drugs they could make "gateway games" with some basic models that could be used in their bigger brother counterparts. Maybe advertising in toy/computer game/comic book/modelling magazines could also be a good avenue, magainzes like: Toyfare, Wizards, Fine Scale Modeller, etc.


I'm surprised all the arm-chair businessmen in this forum haven't long ago taken over and dominated the tabletop miniature market.

In due time :skull: :evilgrin:

Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 19:34
I'm surprised all the arm-chair businessmen in this forum haven't long ago taken over and dominated the tabletop miniature market.

There is not enough money in it for the most part.

Temprus
14-04-2009, 19:52
I do think GW should do more with youtube.

I feel, but have no numbers to back it up as to viability, that GW needs a gateway product in the toy section again. Then again, even WotC is no longer doing this.

Templar Ben
14-04-2009, 20:13
Heroscape?

Also D&D minis have those little sets that comes with a handful of minis and a book on battles. They sell those at book stores.

Edit:

Here it is. http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mi/20040520b

D&D Miniatures Starter Set

The Starter Set gives you everything you need to play fast, challenging skirmish battles. You get 5miniatures, a stat card for each miniature, two double-sided battle maps, a 20-sided die (d20), damage counters, and the Battle Rules booklet. Special hints for beginners get you playing quickly.

They also link to a soft copy of the rules.

Bregalad
14-04-2009, 22:33
1.) Many people know 40k and Warhammer through computer games .... because those non-GW companies are pro's that know the importance of advertising! Remember: not GW is responsible for or doing the marketing but the PC companies!!
2.) Yes, if you already know the hobby, there are ways to get more information. Otherwise you have to PAY a high price for getting information (not identical to advertising) or enter a shop that only has stuff you have no clue about.
3.) UK is a special case because of its tremendous network of brick and mortar stores. No other country has a comparable network. Even in Germany with a considerable network of stores, Warhammer is a very small niche only known and practised by very few. In USA, there are states without a store selling GW stuff. And keep in mind, that GW actively does everything to make B&M stores including indies go obsolete and bancrupt (-> mail order only items, buy less at indies and save postage!).
4.) Advertising needs a marketing concept. You can't target kids and make entry costs 200+ dollars. This is where a.o. entry games like Space Hulk and Warhammer Quest/Heroquest in normal toy stores fit in. Veterans entered the hobby through Heroquest and Starquest, because marketing and advertising was done by MB, a pro as well, and not GW that only reaped the profit.

TheZombieSquig
15-04-2009, 11:22
There was a mention of Warhammer in the Red Dwarf Easter three-parter.

I got into GW by word of mouth and some kids bringing the odd painted model into the schoolyard years ago.

I think a subtle advertising campaign would be ideal, like those thin booklets they used to have at stores which showed the painted contents of the big boxed sets and a load of other boxed sets, showing a good selection.

Arranging for a few generic hobby stores, after-school clubs, etc. to have a pile of free booklets would spread the word. I don't know why they discontinued those booklets.

parus_ater
16-04-2009, 02:15
It actually surprises me that Book Club Associates can bind their own editions of the best seller list and yet GW don't do something similar with a binding of LotR.... Just a thought.

I think there's a saturation point that any hobby can hit - there's only so many of an interested demographic that will take something up. I'm into a pretty out there hobby of WWII re-enactment and I've met dozens of people who say that they'd love to give it a go and yet will not and cannot be convinced to come along to an event on their very doorstep. No doubt in my mind these people want to just they're unwilling to give it a go. As someone pointed out, people into sci-fi and fantasy books or just plain old modelling are the same demographic as those who play war games, some folk just won't take the plung.

colmarekblack
16-04-2009, 08:13
There was a mention of Warhammer in the Red Dwarf Easter three-parter.

Arranging for a few generic hobby stores, after-school clubs, etc. to have a pile of free booklets would spread the word. I don't know why they discontinued those booklets.

Thats what got me in the hobby in the first place, remember seeing a Valhallan infantry squad and that was it. I was hooked from there on.

And the Warhammer reference in RD . "Hi Reg, sorry to interrupt the warhammer." :D

daemonkin
16-04-2009, 09:46
When the LOTR first hit the cinema we (staffers) were sent to the local large cinema as part of the deal with New Line, some in costumes (those that did reinactments), a games board and painted miniatures to promote the game.

We also got to see the movie for free - think I went 4 times for the first film.

D.

daemonkin
16-04-2009, 09:49
4.) Advertising needs a marketing concept. You can't target kids and make entry costs 200+ dollars. This is where a.o. entry games like Space Hulk and Warhammer Quest/Heroquest in normal toy stores fit in. Veterans entered the hobby through Heroquest and Starquest, because marketing and advertising was done by MB, a pro as well, and not GW that only reaped the profit.

And for me that was the gateway to the wide and wonderful world of Warhammer - a foldout leaflet with the details of Warhammer 4th and 40k 2nd edition (IIRC).

D.

Fenrir
16-04-2009, 10:43
When the LOTR first hit the cinema we (staffers) were sent to the local large cinema as part of the deal with New Line, some in costumes (those that did reinactments), a games board and painted miniatures to promote the game.


Afraid to say thats the sort of thing that would put me off. Grown men dressed up as an orc........

Poseidal
16-04-2009, 11:03
Word of Mouth is the best.

I don't think a TV ad will do anything, and I don't think a printed ad will work.

I think a lot in my generation were introduced when young from smaller games like Space Hulk and it's ilk or by friends.

I remember there was a non-GW 'space' and 'fantasy' type board game that was TV advertised back when I was a child. I don't even know it's name now.

daemonkin
16-04-2009, 11:09
Afraid to say thats the sort of thing that would put me off. Grown men dressed up as an orc........

It was not Orcs - I don't think there were any Orcs during the Middle Ages - but Rohan-esque costumes for the most part, although 1 flash staffer had plate armour.

D.

Fenrir
16-04-2009, 11:46
It was not Orcs - I don't think there were any Orcs during the Middle Ages - but Rohan-esque costumes for the most part, although 1 flash staffer had plate armour.

D.


Any grown man in a fantasy costume is worthy of a mocking, as far as I am concerned.

warhammergrimace
16-04-2009, 11:50
I may as well put my pennies worth in here;

Podcasts would be good, this could include interviews, inside tours, video painting guides

Twitter is an excellent idea

Advertising in other gaming mags, though probably already do this

Radio advertising rather than TV, done in a similar vein as the audio books.

More on-line advertising targeting specific groups, such as computer gamers,

Billboard advertising, though this would only really be done when there are big releases

The biggest problem they have is not getting those that are already in the hobby to buy, but to attract new long term loyal customers. They will eventually at some point need to advertise. Lets face it this hobby isn't seen as cool by most kids, they need to appeal to that generation of console kids. To do this may require a larger advertising campaign than they already have. I've been gaming for over 20 years, and I started with historical. It wasn't until we moved and a new friend introduced me to Warhammer, that I had even heard of fantasy gaming, that was in the early days, it hasn't changed much now. Its a different world today than it was say 10 years ago, when people came into the hobby by word of mouth. They may have to bite the bullet and move with the times.

daemonkin
16-04-2009, 12:39
Any grown man in a fantasy costume is worthy of a mocking, as far as I am concerned.

And a grown man forking over hundreds of $/ for plastic toy soldiers and playing with dice is...

Stand Alone box games are the only achievable way for GW to attract new customers. It worked in the 90's and will work again. Put the boxes in toy shops and they will sell. The AOBR and BFSP boxes show just how good GW have become when it comes to 1 piece plastic models. They are a loss leader but if it gets footfalls in the door then is it not worth it?

Re-release Heroquest/WHQ and Space Crusade/Space Hulk.

D.

Velsharoon
16-04-2009, 13:06
yep I got into warhammer by getting warhammer quest

fact is you need the stand alone games but they (GW) dont want them as they wont sell as many models

mind you my dream is to do Warhammer Quest with most of the figures in the bestiary :)

Templar Ben
16-04-2009, 13:15
And a grown man forking over hundreds of $/ for plastic toy soldiers and playing with dice is...

Stand Alone box games are the only achievable way for GW to attract new customers. It worked in the 90's and will work again. Put the boxes in toy shops and they will sell. The AOBR and BFSP boxes show just how good GW have become when it comes to 1 piece plastic models. They are a loss leader but if it gets footfalls in the door then is it not worth it?

Re-release Heroquest/WHQ and Space Crusade/Space Hulk.

D.

I don't know if it is the only way but I agree that it worked before. Why do you say those box sets were loss leaders? The plastic is nothing and given the volumes the molds are long since paid for. The limited options will keep from cannibalizing sales too greatly.

On an unrelated note, Descent is $90. That is HeroQuest for the most part so GW could in theory come in as the low cost alternative. I would suggest though that since there is already an agreement with FFG to let them handle the game for the most part with GW giving guidance for the setting and supplying minis.

daemonkin
16-04-2009, 13:21
I don't know if it is the only way but I agree that it worked before. Why do you say those box sets were loss leaders? The plastic is nothing and given the volumes the molds are long since paid for. The limited options will keep from cannibalizing sales too greatly.

On an unrelated note, Descent is $90. That is HeroQuest for the most part so GW could in theory come in as the low cost alternative. I would suggest though that since there is already an agreement with FFG to let them handle the game for the most part with GW giving guidance for the setting and supplying minis.

Why pay 80 (Space Marine commander, dread, termies, tac squad) when for half the price you get all the above (not quite as good models but can certainly bulk out an army) + the guts of an Ork army. That is a loss leader. Give the customer something at a loss and they will generally buy more. Supermarkets do it week in week out - BOGOF, cheap bananas at the checkout etc.

D.

Fenrir
16-04-2009, 13:35
And a grown man forking over hundreds of $/ for plastic toy soldiers and playing with dice is...

Also worthy of a good mocking, which is why our club always has a good laugh each Thursday. The forum is full of good natured banter.

However, there are some that get into the game a bit too deeply

Templar Ben
16-04-2009, 13:40
Why pay 80 (Space Marine commander, dread, termies, tac squad) when for half the price you get all the above (not quite as good models but can certainly bulk out an army) + the guts of an Ork army. That is a loss leader. Give the customer something at a loss and they will generally buy more. Supermarkets do it week in week out - BOGOF, cheap bananas at the checkout etc.

D.

Perhaps the defination of loss leader is different in the UK. In the US, a loss leader is a product sold at or below cost. AoBR does not fit as it does not cost them that much to produce and ship the product. I did mention the possibility of cannibalization of sales (which is what you alluded to) but with the lack of options that is minimized.

Reinholt
16-04-2009, 15:22
Having advertising or any form of marketing is essential to business, especially, if there is an entry hurdle like with Warhammer games. This is one of the two beginner's mistakes that GW management does (the other one is that you can solve every sales problem by raising prices).

Both true, but I don't think these are the only beginner's mistakes that GW management stumbles into.

There are some other things they have done (extremely poor retail store placement in the US, the whole "we're a growth and dividend company" statement, and so on) that just scream amateur.


You say that, but in the UK at least, GW completely dominates its market.

First, assuming I grant you the definition of market that you want, then that is true only of the UK; that tells me they have a lot of the world left to cover.

Second, if I tell you GW's market is "discretionary, non-realistic gaming", they have a fantastically tiny share of the market compared to all board games, all card games, roleplaying games, and all video games thrown into a single bucket alone. I mean, WoW alone crushes GW like a bug.

Consider GW's market not as the customers they currently serve, but as the customers they could reasonably expect to potentially serve (all at least vaguely geeky gamers, for lack of a better term), and you will realize they actually have a tiny, tiny slice of what they could.


1. WD - reaches a large target audience and is available in most newsagents. This allows them to promote new and existing products to existing gamers and those already in the tabletop wargaming niche.

See my comment about market above. WD actually reaches a tiny, fractional sliver of their market, and it's the sliver that already knows about their products. Plus, they charge people to see it!

If I suggested that Warseer would charge you money to see banner ads at the top of their pages, you'd have to be mentally deficient to accept, but that's what WD is. I'm surprised they sell as many as they do.

Until GW comes out with meaningful ways to do customer outreach and a more friendly path into most of their games (which is something that LotR provided them with on a silver platter, even though it was subsequently handled very poorly), this problem will not be fixed and will lead to the company underperforming dramatically.


I'm surprised all the arm-chair businessmen in this forum haven't long ago taken over and dominated the tabletop miniature market.

Because some of us have much more profitable jobs in much larger and more interesting markets already.

Cane
16-04-2009, 15:46
Reinholt, you should definitely post more often. Your posts make clear and concise points all the while not flaming anyone - all the while pointing out the major faults within the GW organization that many questionably look over or put aside.

At times I think the best thing to happen to GW and its customers would be if they hit into financial trouble and were bought out by a higher quality organization.

Temprus
17-04-2009, 04:20
Heroscape?

Also D&D minis have those little sets that comes with a handful of minis and a book on battles. They sell those at book stores.

Edit:

Here it is. http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mi/20040520b

D&D Miniatures Starter Set

The Starter Set gives you everything you need to play fast, challenging skirmish battles. You get 5miniatures, a stat card for each miniature, two double-sided battle maps, a 20-sided die (d20), damage counters, and the Battle Rules booklet. Special hints for beginners get you playing quickly.

They also link to a soft copy of the rules.Neither of those are sold in toy stores though. When Heroscape was moved to WotC, it became a "non-toy/board" game and almost all mainstream stores sold them off as clearance soon after (I got my copy of the Marvel version for like $10 at Kmart because of this). The D&D Minis game is being phased out completely soon and is only in book stores because the RPGs sometimes are (even RPGs are being slowly pulled from shelves in many mainstream book stores). I have never seen the 4e D&D Roleplaying Game Starter Set in a book store out here (which could just be the local market).

tassiewargamer
17-04-2009, 09:34
In my local cinemas buisnesses can advertise before films for $3 Aus a screening. Local store or GW should put a commercial on when the new star trek or terminator movies come out.

RobC
17-04-2009, 09:47
It actually surprises me that Book Club Associates can bind their own editions of the best seller list and yet GW don't do something similar with a binding of LotR....Book clubs pay a lot of money to print book club editions of books. GW would have to approach Christopher Tolkien and try to make a deal - because GW only hold the film licence, not the book licence.

Lewis
17-04-2009, 10:52
I'm not convinced GW really has the same market as WoW, and anyway their attempt to tap into that market through Onlinie gaming has, as I understand it, not gone according to plan.

The areas available for expansion as I see it are either:

1) draw in distainful roleplayers/ mature gamers with other tabletop systems etc. Who represent a tiny number of people for the amount of effort it would require. Spacehulk might be a nod to this however

2) drug even more ten year olds.

Trying to persuade WoW players to spend months building an army when they have all that grinding (or whatever it is they do) to get on with.


Then ten year old thing works better than we're giving it credit for because firstly the stores are in every town centre of any size (in the UK at least) and they are the only stores in said town centre that encourages early adolescents to come in and have a go on their stuff. Imagine what Gamezone would be like if the staff were constantly putting pressure on you to have a go on Halo to see if you like it? GW is a unique store on the high street in that respect and as such is has a unique way of advertising.

The threat to their business comes from the rise in potency of computer and console gaming, and there's not a lot they can do about that other than release more computer games under license themselves

parus_ater
17-04-2009, 16:51
Book clubs pay a lot of money to print book club editions of books. GW would have to approach Christopher Tolkien and try to make a deal - because GW only hold the film licence, not the book licence.

I think you'll find it would be Harper Collins......

Either way, stocking any edition of the book would be a good move.

warhammergrimace
17-04-2009, 17:47
When Dagostini ran the LOTR mag, it brought in a huge amount of new gamers, and yes a lot didn't stay the course so to speak, but a lot of them became hobbyists and moved across to Warhammer and 40K. Surely something along this line could be done again to draw in new gamers to the store.

Or more freebies with WD, could be another option, though I suspect that would just appeal to those of us already in the hobby.

Brining in new gamers is the key, which I guess is why they are reducing box contents from 20 minis to 10 minis. It looks cheaper from the out set, then once they start building an army or two, it's TOO LATE, they're hooked, before they realise that the hobby is expensive.

Though the LOTR mag was an excellent way of introducing people to the hobby, even if it was LOTR.

Bregalad
17-04-2009, 19:29
When Dagostini ran the LOTR mag, it brought in a huge amount of new gamers, and yes a lot didn't stay the course so to speak, but a lot of them became hobbyists and moved across to Warhammer and 40K. Surely something along this line could be done again to draw in new gamers to the store.
If this Dagonesti mag was the one with one sprue and some rules in it, I second that it was a huge source of new young gamers to the hobby, starting cheaply and then drawing them into the Warhammer world and shops. But again, it was a non-GW company doing all the marketing for GW, until GW stopped them.

Wildeyedjester
29-04-2009, 03:21
GW already does considerable advertising - in the form of White Dwarf. This hits their audience and shows off their new models. And they are tricksy to book - getting you to shell out cash for a few painting and tactics articles, which in turn also shows off their new stuff.

TV advertising would be a total wast of time and money.

Think about it - an analogy - if there was a nice sewing machine commercial on TV, even if it was well produced, you still wouldn't care less. It's all about the size of the target markets and how to effectively reach them without wasting cash.

Bregalad
29-04-2009, 10:35
Another analogy:
If you are forced to pay for watching TV commercials, would you watch at them? White Dwarf is an expensive niche magazine, not an advertisment. Ads are for drawing new people in, expensive mags and GW-stores are for people already familiar with the stuff (at least in principle ;)).

Lets recapitulate the big waves of new gamers:
1.) Hero Quest/Space Crusade -> professional massive advertising by MB, including TV commercials and presence in normal toy stores.
2.) Dagostini LOTR mag with sprue -> professional massive advertising by Dagostini including TV commercials and presence in normal magazine stores.
3.) Dawn of War/Warhammer Online -> professional massive advertising by those PC companies including TV commercials and presence in normal PC games stores.

(let's not talk about REALLY successful toys like WoW, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Mattel-stuff etc.)

Do you see a pattern? Do you see how successful marketing works and what GW misses? Can you guess why GW sales go down (only partly compensated by increasing prices or not at all)?

Poseidal
29-04-2009, 11:57
(let's not talk about REALLY successful toys like WoW, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Mattel-stuff etc.)
I'm just wondering, is Yu-Gi-Oh! bigger than Magic: The Gathering at the moment?

Because I read somewhere that GW is bigger than Wizards (but not Hasbro).

jimbobodoll
29-04-2009, 12:57
Another analogy:
If you are forced to pay for watching TV commercials, would you watch at them?
Eeeerrrrr.... ITV advertises when we pay a tv license to watch terrestrial tv... People buy Sky and yet that also advertises... Getting people to pay to be advertised to is the best marketing scam EVER, you just have to not poke consumers in the eye with it....

forthegloryofkazadekrund
29-04-2009, 13:20
Eeeerrrrr.... ITV advertises when we pay a tv license to watch terrestrial tv... People buy Sky and yet that also advertises... Getting people to pay to be advertised to is the best marketing scam EVER, you just have to not poke consumers in the eye with it....

The License fee does not pay for ITV, only the BBC channels and BBC radio

jimbobodoll
29-04-2009, 13:26
The License fee does not pay for ITV, only the BBC channels and BBC radio
I knew this would be pointed out! But the fact remains that if you can pick up the beeb channels you have to pay the license fee, and if you can watch the beeb then you can watch itv.
Also, there is the better argument of channel 4. Here is a channel that is partially funded through the license fee and yet also advertises. I think that pretty much settles the point right there eh?! :D

Templar Ben
29-04-2009, 13:37
I'm just wondering, is Yu-Gi-Oh! bigger than Magic: The Gathering at the moment?

Because I read somewhere that GW is bigger than Wizards (but not Hasbro).

You read it here. We have a poster that has access to Hoovers and he noted that GW is larger than the WotC brand. Hoovers would know as that is their business.

Bigger in this sense means more revenue and not necessarily market penetration or size of the customer base given the very different costs associated with being a customer.

Poseidal
29-04-2009, 14:04
Hmm, I can't imagine their costs to be greater than GWs, at least for MTG:

The cards are printed in China rather than being models cast in Britain; they don't need to employ sculptors and in-house painters while both need to commission artists. They might have more rules developers, but I don't think it that would be a huge cost in the whole infrastructure.

Of course, that's not their only product as things like DnD is quite different.

Templar Ben
29-04-2009, 14:30
I was meaning the cost for the customer.

If you buy the three books for D&D you will pay under $100 and can run a group of 6 people. Presumably the 6 will buy the $35 PHB but that group has a total outlay of about $310. How much money would 7 people spend if they had 40K armies? Even if they just bought 5 Battleforces and 2 split the starter box you are looking at $510.

That is why I said it is hard to compare.

Poseidal
29-04-2009, 14:45
Oh, I agree. It's a different kettle of fish there; that sort of game has a much smaller imprint on my wallet than my Wargaming does. (though with Wargaming, my Full Thrust fleets have been pretty cheap, free rules and much lower model counts for the average game than 'army men/tank' based games)

Though the local Magic the Gathering players here dwarf my spending.