Rate the CM:BN pre-release PR campaign

How well did BFC handle the CM:BN pre-release PR campaign?


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Elvis

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Nope--CMSF (asymmetrical modern hypo war of limited scope, terrain and many other differences) was a major departure from all that is CM x 1. In 2007 Steve said more or less the same thing.
My point was that you said that the goal of pre-release PR was to get people to pre-order or try the demo. Looks like that was done, doesn't it? From the opinion that some on this forum have/had that wasn't a lock. Done differently there is a group of folks that would have the opposite reaction. (I'm not sure I'm articulating this correctly.. Let me know if you think I might be coming across cloudy)
 

rtwfreak

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Actually, you see I live in Texas now, you have no idea where I'm from. What's funny about all this is I don't even have a sister........do YOU?

Good Hunting.

MR
Nope no sister here. And sureeee you don't have a sister.....lmao....oh and aren't you in or around Lubbock? :)
 

Michael Dorosh

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My point was that you said that the goal of pre-release PR was to get people to pre-order or try the demo. Looks like that was done, doesn't it? From the opinion that some on this forum have/had that wasn't a lock. Done differently there is a group of folks that would have the opposite reaction. (I'm not sure I'm articulating this correctly.. Let me know if you think I might be coming across cloudy)
It's a fair point, in my opinion.

Again, you can ask - what else should the campaign be doing?

You could expect BFC to be making WWII converts out of CM:SF customers, for example, but that would be like making kids eat broccoli if they are not predisposed to do so. To BFC's credit, they haven't tried to do that. In fact, Steve has come out and said exactly the opposite. I know we roasted him for his "some of you will hate this" approach, and it's easy to overdo that (he did, in my opinion), but at the least they are not foolish enough to waste time trying to sell sand in the Sahara Desert, either.

Again, I think it comes from a clear lack of understanding on who the target audience is. And this misunderstanding is from our perspective - BFC hasn't released sales figures or advertised their own marketing strategy explicitly. It may be that they are geniuses and hitting all their targets. I doubt it, personally - I think they would be the first ones to mention that they were - but it is in the realm of possibility.

At the least, I can't figure out who the audience is, other than people who are breathing and have $60 and the willingness to believe that CM:BN will be the most realistic war sim ever. Or somefink.
 

Elvis

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I'll elaborate a touch for the sake of clarity.

There are a bunch some people who post here regularly that pre-ordered. Some of those pre-orders may have come as a surprise to others. Sgt Kelly is the most recent to come out of that closest (there are more.. but as I said earlier... I'm not outing anyone.... He wasn't even one of the ones I was referring to so he was a surprise to me too). Can you imagine a set of pre-release PR that could have happened that these people would have not pre-ordered? I can, very easily. The same can be said for folks willing to try the demo. I can imagine a pre-release PR campaign that would have had those people saying "I'm not wasting a second on this.... even if it's free". ESPECIALLY in this room.

That is what your post made me realize.
 

rtwfreak

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I think getting gamers to play both is like night and day. Plenty don't like modern day wargames and plenty love WW2 wargames and plenty are actually tired of Western/Eastern front wargames of WW2. You couldn't get me to touch a modern day wargame if you gave it to me. But, WW2 I would be on it like flies on chocolate except I'm one of those growing bored of the same old fronts. I really would like to see someone do some pacific war island hopping games with these models. HPS squad level games get boring because they have no randomness. Tillers Rising Sun Gold is rather old. Need something new in the squad level tactical department imho. But, Steves already stated they won't be doing any Pacific war squad level games and that they won't be making random generated battle maps so it's pretty hopeless BF is going to do anything for that theater. We can only hope the Panzer command series might go that direction. I've always felt developers and publsihers should broaden their market beyond European theater but it appears they don't listen or care.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I'll elaborate a touch for the sake of clarity.

There are a bunch some people who post here regularly that pre-ordered. Some of those pre-orders may have come as a surprise to others. Sgt Kelly is the most recent to come out of that closest (there are more.. but as I said earlier... I'm not outing anyone.... He wasn't even one of the ones I was referring to so he was a surprise to me too). Can you imagine a set of pre-release PR that could have happened that these people would have not pre-ordered? I can, very easily. The same can be said for folks willing to try the demo. I can imagine a pre-release PR campaign that would have had those people saying "I'm not wasting a second on this.... even if it's free". ESPECIALLY in this room.

That is what your post made me realize.
I may be an outlier; I was amused by Sgt. Kelly's post. He basically said he had money to burn and was interested to see what the game would be like. I preordered for the exact same reason. (That, and wanting the box.) I do have a bit of an investment in the subject in that I publish a journal on tactical wargames, run a website devoted to the same subject, and will be claiming the expense on my taxes as being for business purposes. (Yes, I also claim every penny of my income, too, from donations to the website, to book and magazine sales.) So even more than Kelly, I could afford to pre-order and perhaps in a sense, couldn't afford not to. Whether or not the game is successful, or interesting to me, I feel an obligation to be informed about it.
 

KG_Jag

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My point was that you said that the goal of pre-release PR was to get people to pre-order or try the demo. Looks like that was done, doesn't it? From the opinion that some on this forum have/had that wasn't a lock. Done differently there is a group of folks that would have the opposite reaction. (I'm not sure I'm articulating this correctly.. Let me know if you think I might be coming across cloudy)
The people on this part of GS forum, on the BF forum and CM sections of the World at War forum, just to name a few, are BF's ultra-core CM customers. They need to get 90% or so of them/us to buy just to get the launch kicked off. But what is BF doing in their marketing campaign to reach the next tier/tiers of customers? Very little from what I have seen. For the entire Spring BF should have been all over, not only this site, but also places like Wargamer, ACG, World at War, SimHQ and many more giving interviews, posting screen shots, promoting the AAR's & videos and more. I have seen virtually none of this. BF should have had a formal and regular presence at all these types of sites, as well as in sites aimed at others (e.g. FPMS) they have targeted as customers. Beyond that there is the general historical and strategy games tiers of potential customers. None of these markets/outlets have been tapped by BF, at least not to my knowledge.

If BF's current marketing efforts is centered solely on the CM core customer base, way--at great opportunity cost--did they take years to design an engine that didn't take them to new markets? Maybe they simply tried and failed, leaving them to market almost exclusively to their established customer base--which based on what Steve has said about sales of CMSF + to date, is significantly less than what BF had for CMBO.
 
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junk2drive

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As I said, my score more reflects the effectiveness of the PR campaign rather than personal preferences of what else could have been done (although that first AAR was an out of the park homer for BFC. They really kicked ass with that one, especially the story told by the US side of the battle).

I agree about the WW2 game being more anticipated than the modern was but there is more than that at play here. Did you pop into the Matrix forum much in the lead up to PC:O? While there were active conversations there it never really felt like what we are seeing onthe BFC forum. I'm not saying that as a cut at PC:O or to elevate BFC, just pointing out what I'm seeing. A quick look shows about 5,500 posts on the PC:O forum since the middle of last August and over 26,000 posts on the Normandy forum since it opened in January. Comparatively speaking it's getting more action than Paris Hilton. That tells me the PR is working.

And I don't blame you, or anyone, for holding back until you play the demo. I'm not sure what good the reviews would do me if I were in your position as the demo would tell me all I need to know about whether or not I would like the game.
I have tried keeping up with the 26000 posts at BFC but in general they are silly comments, play on words, do Germans have lasers, and the like. I thought I would go looking for an example and it was just too easy

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=96350

We have our share of looneys too but they don't post as often.
 

Mad Russian

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My point was that you said that the goal of pre-release PR was to get people to pre-order or try the demo. Looks like that was done, doesn't it? From the opinion that some on this forum have/had that wasn't a lock. Done differently there is a group of folks that would have the opposite reaction. (I'm not sure I'm articulating this correctly.. Let me know if you think I might be coming across cloudy)
I don't actually think it was done by BFC in the way you might think.

What would have been the voting results of "Not going to buy until I try the Demo" before BFC had said a word. I would bet that few have changed their minds since before BFC started the PR until now.

The did get Mike with the metal box but that was cheating.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Elvis

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The people on this part of GS forum, on the BF forum and CM sections of the World at War forum, just to name a few, are BF's ultra-core CM customers. They need to get 90% or so of them/us to buy just to get the launch kicked off. But what is BF doing in their marketing campaign to reach the next tier/tiers of customers? Very little from what I have seen. For the entire Spring BF should have been all over, not only this site, but also places like Wargamer, ACG, World at War, SimHQ and many more giving interviews, posting screen shots, promoting the AAR's & videos and more. I have seen virtually none of this. BF should have had a formal and regular presence at all these types of sites, as well as in sites aimed at others (e.g. FPMS) they have targeted as customers. Beyond that there is the general historical and strategy games tiers of potential customers. None of these markets/outlets have been tapped by BF, at least not to my knowledge.

If BF's current marketing efforts is centered solely on the CM core customer base, way--at great opportunity cost--did they take years to design an engine that didn't take them to new markets? Maybe they simply tried and failed, leaving them to market almost exclusively to their established customer base--which based on what Steve has said about sales of CMSF + to date, is significantly less than what BF had for CMBO.
They have over 33,000 people registered on their forum. And as we've talked about before, that does not represent the number people who have purchased their games over the years and are also on their mailing list. I would start my campaign by mining my own customer base if I were them. And that is what they seem to have done. Anecdote time: A close friend of mine and Pengs turned 50 on April 29th. He has never come close to posting on any forum, let alone BFCs, and has only purchased and played CMBO. I called him on his birthday and told him I had pre-ordered him CMBN for his birthday. He told me he had already pre-ordered it!!!!! How/why? I had no idea that CMBN was even on his radar!!!! Emails from BFC during the various stages of development. The PR campaign may have been targeted at their core customers but their core customers are not the half a dozen guys who post here frequently. However, the half a dozen guys who post here frequently are a good litmus test, especially for the "disenfranchised" portion of the customer base.
 

Mad Russian

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Nope no sister here. And sureeee you don't have a sister.....lmao....oh and aren't you in or around Lubbock? :)
Nope...I'm actually an only child. I do have some cousins...do they count? :p

Nope, not in Lubbock. What do you consider around Lubbock to mean? Texas is a big place. :crosseye:

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Mad Russian

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I've always felt developers and publsihers should broaden their market beyond European theater but it appears they don't listen or care.
MAYBE you've been talking to the wrong developers and publishers.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Elvis

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I have tried keeping up with the 26000 posts at BFC but in general they are silly comments, play on words, do Germans have lasers, and the like. I thought I would go looking for an example and it was just too easy

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=96350

We have our share of looneys too but they don't post as often.
No doubt but the percentage could be the same. Just working off a much smaller number. Plus the point had nothing to to with the quality of posts. It was about the volume... I have read so little that I don't know if what is being posted is brilliant or ********. Hardly matters when talking about impact. Do you want 1 million buyers or 10,000 that know and post insightful information? (numbers exaggerated to make a point)
 

Elvis

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What would have been the voting results of "Not going to buy until I try the Demo" before BFC had said a word. I would bet that few have changed their minds since before BFC started the PR until now.
Good Hunting.

MR
I would have agreed until we started to see, not only the number of people but the specific people who pre-ordered. And again, they are the ones who have been brave enough to publicly say they have pre-ordered................. There are many who haven't.
 

junk2drive

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I do read every post in the PCO forum and I used to do that back in the days of waiting for CMAK. I started to read every post in CMBN when it first started but most of the threads turn sour quickly. The big difference I think is the crowd brought in by CMSF. Back in the CMx1 days it was mostly groggy or semi groggy people with good topics. The casual gamer didn't know what a forum was.
 

Elvis

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Only to stave off some of the the Elvis Dust.

-dale
That just about seals my vote in this poll. Since I was "sent by them" and had the effect of causing you, of all people, to try the demo then the campaign is more than very well done. It has been brilliant!! (It also mean means that I am that good)
 

Geordie

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I dont think it really matters if BF have reached us at the CM forum, Im not sure it really matters that theyve reached 30000 people on the BF forum. What really matters is that BF are happy with those they have reached buying the game and keeping them in business.

At the end of the day Im assuming their PR is the same as everyone else's. Who do they want to reach and how much time and money can they afford to achieve it?

I personally dont know who they want to reach and I have no idea how much they spent doing it. It could be nothing.

What I have noticed though, and it sort of confirms what BF have been saying about it being predominately single player is the recent postage to the UK thread. In that thread, or threads, I see a lot of posters who have never posted before or have very few posts. They have only posted out of a concern about how much they will pay for their pre-order.

So, Im presuming BF have reached someone at least.

However, outside of CM forums I havent seen anything about this game except the one review at a site Ive never heard of before.

In sum, we are the ones that should know about it, but are we the ones they want to buy it?
 

Mad Russian

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In sum, we are the ones that should know about it, but are we the ones they want to buy it?
If you send them money you are. They want everybody to buy it! Since everybody won't they'll take the money of those that do. It's what keeps them in business.

All the things we have "discussed" probably haven't made a pennies worth of difference to BFC. Steve is still their front man. They are still selling games. They are still doing it "their way".

And most importantly it's working well enough that they're still in business. I would think that BFC is happy with the way things are going.

Good Hunting.

MR
 
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