Marketing: War or Warcraft?

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I’ve been hopeless about blogging lately and I apologise for even mentioning it, as this constitutes blogging about blogging.

I’ve been meaning to write a long and informed post about this theme but I don’t seem to be doing it. So I’ll write a short one and see if more follows later.

There’ve been some good posts around the blogosphere about the limits of the analogy of marketing as warfare – where we have campaigns, look for impact, outmanoeuvre the enemy etc. James has chronicled this pretty well.

Well, I’ve been thinking there might be something to learn from World of Warcraft. What if there is more to learn from WoW than from seeing marketing as war?

OK, this is in part a desperate rationalisation of my own intermittent addiction to this massively multiplayer online game. But WoW is also a great example of a brand that lets the players do a huge amount of the creation of the experience. Part of its allure is that it introduces infinite play by engaging the brains of its participants. There’s lots of infrastructure, but it’s my fellow players that make it compelling to me. And I’m happy to pay each month for the chance to play with them on WoW’s playground.

If I just think about what I learn about management styles just by forming parties to complete WoW quests, I realise how much there is to learn in that playground. And don’t get me started on the parallels between the bizarre Pavlovian impact of “levelling up” in WoW and getting the next rung on the ladder in a frequent flyer programme. And what those programmes seem to be missing that WoW seems to get. (Clue: Guilds)

But time is short, so let’s consider this a starter for ten. Maybe there’s a podcast in it.

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