Lisa Krost Myers is Global Marketing and Brand Manager for Alienware at Dell.
The AMA with Lisa was held on November 28th, 2018. This transcript has been edited for punctuation, grammar, etc.
Hello and thank you for the welcome. I’m happy to be joining today.
How have Twitch, Influencers, and Gaming in general helped Alienware in the past five years?
In general Twitch and Esports have been changing the gaming market in incredible ways. There was always such a stigma around who a “gamer” was 20 years ago, but with all the streaming on Twitch and the popularity of eSports, that has changed dramatically.Famous people are playing and becoming influencers, but gamers are also now becoming famous and influencers in their own right.
I would love to pick your brain about the future of E gaming, as it will be bigger than almost every pro sport within the next 20 years.
It is huge! I was just looking up the numbers again today. Tournaments are selling out stadiums, and the number of people streaming is double digit millions at any point in time. That is a serious market.
There have been several questions in here on researching and managing a premium brand. Maybe I can answer more broadly to all. Yes, Alienware is definitely a premium brand with a specific target audience. We’ve been around for 20 years so have lots of information on our customers. But a large amount of this hasn’t come from standard market research. It really has come from being gamers ourselves, building up a community of gamers and spending lots of time with them. We reach out regularly to get ideas from our community, as we want to understand what they want and need, what they like and don’t like. That drives a lot of what we do both in product development and marketing. We also have stuck to our brand goals for years, which has helped define those objectives and keep us on track.
What was your favourite campaign you have worked on? And why?
That is a hard one. In general, I love working on gaming campaigns and products – there isn’t one I didn’t like. Primarily because most of my gaming projects don’t feel mainstream consumer. I feel like the projects I’m working on can always have an element of fun and edginess, which lets my personality be a bit free. So that is probably your answer – I like campaigns where my own interests and personality can come through. If you haven’t checked it out, our Alienware Game Like a Champion campaign (video on YT) was really fun. I felt that we did a good job of stepping outside of just selling a product and got into the vibe of Team Liquid and the excitement of eSports. It was really fun to work with those guys.
As Global Manager, you need to find a voice that fits the respective target market. How do you approach localization? I’m based in Germany, and I would love to hear if there were any challenges and opportunities that you encountered in Germany specifically. Thank you for your time!
Most of the organizations I’ve worked with have all taken a global approach, actually. By that, I mean we work from a US perspective, being the largest market but bring in all our regional markets during the reviews process. What we try to watch for and adjust for are any major issues. I haven’t had any specific issues for Germany other than trying to work on clear translations and making sure we can say what we want in an impactful way with as few words as possible. Hope that helps.
Do you see a market for aspiring pro gamers who don’t yet have a budget for Alienware? How are you guys addressing that trend?
We get this question a lot. We do have a premium price tag, making it harder for some to afford our systems. But what we are always striving for is that our systems can always deliver the latest in innovation and technology, so that any gamer, pro or aspiring can have confidence that our systems will always deliver to their expectations. That is so important in professional gaming. I recommend that anyone follow our esports supporters (Team Liquid), follow our community channels and keep an eye on sales and hopefully find the right time where an Alienware system will be considered the best value to achieve their pro-gamer goals.
I’m not sure if this is relevant or not, but how would you go about doing the research for a new niche market (medical insurance claims concierge service) to figure out the best way/times to market yourproduct?
I would start by looking at all the places where your audience is spending their time online. You should also consider all the needs that your audience may have. I expect that you have many ideas, given that you’ve started your product, so start digging around in any idea you might have. I don’t know anything about your market, but when I went to do research for my side hustle (small local business), I started talking to every business I went to (hair salon, nail salon, etc.), to talk about what I wanted to do and get their advice. Then I talked to other small business entrepreneurs to get their advice. I also followed all of them online. Hope this helps.
I’m wondering if you can let us know what are the main points and tips to create a marketing strategy for a nutrition app and platform having a gamification concept!
Hi there. Honestly, I don’t know much here personally. My best advice is to understand your audience well, so you know what they are interested in. Most businesses fall into the trap of only selling their product in ways they think will matter to their customer. What you need to remember is what does your customer want and need and how does your product fit into those needs. And what will incentivize them to come back and visit you more.
Hey Lisa, thanks for doing this – how does video fit into the marketing strategy?
I feel as though we can never create enough videos to meet the demand these days! But since there is never unlimited marketing budget (I wish), I am always looking for the most efficient ways to create video that we can use in many ways. That requires a lot of upfront planning to consider all the needs from broadcast to social, so you can shoot large and then break it down into smaller parts and pieces to keep your content fresh and interesting without losing your strategy or story line.
Also, with MSI, Razer, and other brands joining the “computer gaming” scene, how has that affected Alienware, and how are you differentiating yourselves?
This question is a bit older but wanted to touch on it. This is the ultimate question for all businesses right – how to stay one step ahead of our competitors? It is always a challenge, but we are always working in product development to assure that we are as innovative as possible, that we are as reliable as possible and that we are staying in touch with our community all the time. Community involvement and community/customer awareness is huge for us.
Thank you for answering both of my questions. I’ve been gaming since Quake 3 and stepping into the Battlefield Series. Won MANY tournaments back in the day prior to any sort of streaming platforms, so it’s great to have someone like yourself on this AMA. Would you mind if I DM’d you so that we can keep in contact in the future?
Of course, please do. Also feel free to reach out on LinkedIn and connect.
How much event marketing do you do, compared to that of your previous roles?
My experience here is a bit on the periphery. However, partnerships are a big deal for us and for the gaming industry as a whole, I feel. So when you see Alienware at events, you’ll often see us bringing in many of our partners. We want to support them, as much as we want you to see our systems. By partners, I’m referring to game publishers, esports teams and influencers. They are hugely important to us, so you’ll see their games in our booths, we’ll do interviews about their games, we’ll give the audience time to ask questions, etc.
How much do tight communities, (i.e. reddit?) play into your marketing?
Although I am not on reddit regularly, we have someone who is. It is very important, as are all social channels. They should be for any brand, actually, as social channels can do great harm to your brand. On reddit specifically, authenticity is really important, so our guys who respond there try to be as knowledgeable as possible to answer questions or join in conversations. For me and the brands I represent, we must be authentic.
What are your plans in terms of using USB-C as the only port? Are there any plans to get rid of all other ports and only use USB-C from 2019 or 2020? When do you think that the pro gaming market is ready for that? Also, what are the plans in terms of supporting external GPUs? What are your expectations as for the possibilities of using an external GPU from 2019/2020? Will there be enough demand for it to focus on that aspect so Alienware laptops will have a longer longevity?
Because I don’t want to leave you out, I’ll do my best to direct you. I recommend joining Alienware communities (try Alienware Arena to start) to ask your questions. I’m looking for another answer and will post it here if I get a quick response.
To add to my previous response… Try asking your questions to Umar or Frank on Twitter. Aw_umar or azorfrank
Does Alienware have a Discord channel?
Not that I’m aware. I love instant messaging with co-workers while doing this AMA. I was wrong. We do have a discord channel. Discord.gg/Alienware
Here is what I’m being told: There is a tech talk section where tech users, Alienware owners, and some tech reviewers hang out and talk and support each other.
What are your plans for VR gaming and having displays that support 3D? By how far will the focus grow with VR and 3D displays for Alienware laptops in 2019/2020? Furthermore, what are the plans as for using OLED displays with your laptops in the upcoming two years? Lastly, will you guys continue to focus just on laptops and desktops in the upcoming years, or is there anything else planned? Do you think that Alienware can move with the times, as technology is starting to enable devices like ultrabooks and business laptops to be powerful enough to run today’s games?
I love all the questions! I can’t really speak to our future product plans, however I can say that VR has been important to us for at least the last year. Most of our laptops are VR capable, and we partner with Oculus and Vive. As for the rest, we are always looking for ways to deliver the most immersive gaming experience, so all of your comments are always considered. I know “immersive” is such a marketing buzz word for me, but it is true. We want our consumers to really enjoy playing and get lost in their game play. So however we can deliver that in a reliable way, we do!
Thanks for joining us and taking time out of your day, Lisa Myers!
This was a great session and super fun. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime. Thank you Online Geniuses and @davidfeinman for inviting me to share my brain.