(Topic ID: 104199)

Stern's marketing needs.......Well....they just need some!

By cooked71

7 years ago


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  • 116 posts
  • 54 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by northvibe
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    There are 116 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 7 years ago
    Quoted from Baiter:

    if they want to expand their audience they need to make the effort to do so...

    I'm just curious why you think they're not?

    I mean, we crapped all over Mustang here, but they had lines of machines at autoshows. That's was brilliant. Think of the number of people who probably at least tried it who'd never played a pinball or hadn't seen one in years, let alone the foot traffic. That's some out of the box thinking.

    Metallica was selling like hotcakes partially because they tapped the fan club, a whole new audience.

    Think about the number of people here who say they got into the hobby from playing Pinball Arcade on their iPad or whatever. Stern gets that, they'd like to do more of their games there. What if when a game shipped the digital version also went for sale at the same time, and you could "test drive" it? That's a possibility Stern has looked at.

    I think TBL looks absolutely amazing, best pin reveal in ages. But it's also $8500, and it would be suicide for Stern to try and price all their games like that. You think average people are going to spend that on a pin? Hard enough to pay for a Stern Pro ... We have to be careful where we compare things.

    #102 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    My point exactly. Stern should get their shit together when it comes to game releases & code releases. Because like you mentioned they can't afford a dud. And you can't afford to piss some of your clients off. Call me self-centred if you want to but every sale counts..even to this minority on pinside.
    I've never purchased a NIB from Stern because of the code fiascos alone / their price increases / lack of coordination. Now multiply that by the amount of people that are like me and just calculate the amounts of sales they are missing on. When a game is 5K and you lose ... oh let's just say 45 people this way.... it's no big deal...it's just 225K :O

    Interesting math. Not sure where you came up your numbers. By your own admission, you and people like you have never bought a NIB machine from Stern. So 45 people who haven't contributed any cash to Stern has suddenly lost them 225k?

    Not even sure you can say these mythical 45 customers would buy a machine if Stern changed their strategy because you state one of the reasons you haven't bought a machine because of price increases. Changing their marketing strategy wouldn't get you as a customer, nor the 45, so again, zero lost sales for Stern.

    For those sales to truly be lost, we would have to assume that those 45 machines that they didn't sell to your non-existant buyers wouldn't be bought by someone else who doesn't have your same problems with Stern. I am sure Stern doesn't really care if Bob or Charlie ends up with a machine, as long as it sells.

    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    Now tack on these release setbacks (TWD shop flyer....one facebook post...no video).....it's not so important now because most people mentioned on here that they're is no real competition. Well with TBL getting released a few months after TWDLE...some people might swing the other way now. The TBL announcement the other day was coordinated, simple and effective.

    How are these "release setbacks"? Stern is doing what they have always done, and what they have always done has caused their business to grow and sell more machines over the last couple of years than Dutch Pinball can even dream of at the moment. I agree there is room for improvement, but the conclusions you keep jumping to and posting about over and over and over aren't based on anything concrete, just idle speculation and opinion.

    In five years if Stern is in financial trouble and Dutch Pinball and JJP own the market and selling thousands of machines, and you poll people as to why and they say marketing is the primary reason, then I guess I will be eating crow.

    However, my opinion is that as long as Stern keeps making fun to play pins, based on popular themes they will be selling machines as long as people are buying them whether or not they properly coordinate the release of their flyers.

    #103 7 years ago

    Perfect response Paul.

    #104 7 years ago

    All I wanted to get at with the post was when a machine is 5K and you lose even a fraction of potential sales...it hurts the bottom line. The number 45 was just a figure to show the amounts we are talking about. Just 5 sales lost is $25K! Not all in Stern's pockets but still a big chunk.

    Now I have owned a Stern before and really loved it. I just waited until the code was complete and that prices were down. And I'm sure I am not the only doing so.

    In all this thread what I am really trying to convey at is that Stern needs to do a better job at communicating instead of assuming. They don't need to invest a lot more cash in Marketing but they need to plan better and need to communicate better with there potential clients.

    For new releases...they need to be more organized with releasing materials in a coordinated fashion.
    As for code releases when they say it will be ready in 2 months.....then make it ready in two months.

    #105 7 years ago

    I've been writing advertising and marketing copy for a cable TV network, a somewhat big one, for about 14 years. I write TV commercials, magazine ads, digital ads, pretty much any kind of ad that exists for promoting a TV show. If my network grew as much as Stern has over the last few years my creative group would be considered rockstars and my yearly bonus would be enormous.

    Stern plays their hardcore audience like a piano. Pinside flies into a tizzy over every tiny morsel of info that's released. Preorders are placed, canceled, and placed again before the first machine is even shipped. They'd be foolish to spend one dime more marketing to this place. They own us. And they'd also be foolish marketing to casuals before the product is ready. I wouldn't change a thing if I was Stern.

    Edit - And marketing wise Dutch Pinball is hitting it out of the park. That's how you get a seat at the table as a small start up.

    #106 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    All I wanted to get at with the post was when a machine is 5K and you lose even a fraction of potential sales...it hurts the bottom line. The number 45 was just a figure to show the amounts we are talking about. Just 5 sales lost is $25K! Not all in Stern's pockets but still a big chunk.
    Now I have owned a Stern before and really loved it. I just waited until the code was complete and that prices were down. And I'm sure I am not the only doing so.
    In all this thread what I am really trying to convey at is that Stern needs to do a better job at communicating instead of assuming. They don't need to invest a lot more cash in Marketing but they need to plan better and need to communicate better with there potential clients.
    For new releases...they need to be more organized with releasing materials in a coordinated fashion.
    As for code releases when they say it will be ready in 2 months.....then make it ready in two months.

    Every title to them is multi-million dollar sales, do you honestly think they care about 5 pins? 40 even? Fact is they sell to distributors, NOT TO END USERS. The distributors are purchasing pins at a growing rate, not a reduced rate, so why in the world would Stern change a damn thing?

    #107 7 years ago

    For Stern i think their marceting works like an ace.

    They will only change that if the sailes go down. But i have the feeling they are doing really well atm. Which is fantastic off course.

    I rather have a company bringout fun pins without great marceting, then no company.

    As a costumer.... I think this non communication slowly will bite them back. Looking at other companies.

    And i think they will make some changes in future. They are not stupid, far from it. They will do whats needed to sell the amount of pins they like to.

    Lets wait when the new factory runs full speed. I have the idea Stern will step up then.

    #108 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I'm just curious why you think they're not?

    Stern (and other manufacturers) may be trying to market to new customers, but the fact that their customer base is not rapidly expanding says one of two things: marketing is lacking, or the product is too narrowly focused to appease the existing customer base. Everyone has beat that dead horse: it's the same DMD, standard width, 7-shot layout game with a couple of ramps and few mechanics that has been built for 20+ years by the same design team that has been building them for 20+ years. Don't get me wrong, the people who love that are Stern's captive audience that does not need marketing. I'm just saying where are all the new people? It may not be for lack of effort, but the result speaks for itself.

    #109 7 years ago
    Quoted from Baiter:

    Stern (and other manufacturers) may be trying to market to new customers, but the fact that their customer base is not rapidly expanding says one of two things: marketing is lacking, or the product is too narrowly focused to appease the existing customer base. Everyone has beat that dead horse: it's the same DMD, standard width, 7-shot layout game with a couple of ramps and few mechanics that has been built for 20+ years by the same design team that has been building them for 20+ years. Don't get me wrong, the people who love that are Stern's captive audience that does not need marketing. I'm just saying where are all the new people? It may not be for lack of effort, but the result speaks for itself.

    Have you missed the resurgence of pinball in the last 5 years?

    #110 7 years ago
    Quoted from Baiter:

    Stern (and other manufacturers) may be trying to market to new customers, but the fact that their customer base is not rapidly expanding says one of two things: marketing is lacking, or the product is too narrowly focused to appease the existing customer base.

    Well to that I'd say two things:

    1) How do we know their base isn't expanding? This is the problem with this discussion, we don't have any data.

    2) The elephant in the room is the price. It's more than marketing or appeal, it's $5000 toys. The solution to which, as much as Pinside scoffs at it, is The Pin. And guess what? They're selling them. Just not to us. See point 1.

    #111 7 years ago

    My only complaint is how little effort they put into videos and pictures of their new machines. They rarely take more than a couple photos of their machines. The videos don't usually offer up any information on the game.

    If I was Stern, I'd treat each machine like car dealers treat a new car on their website. Show me 60 different photos with every angle in high resolution. Clearly layout the features and what everything does. Give me some nice video with real production value. This stuff is cheap too. An intern could do most of it.

    It's not a huge deal because usually people here fill in the blanks. But I think they make some really nice machines and seem to want to keep what's inside those machines a big secret for some reason.

    #112 7 years ago
    Quoted from sturner:

    My only complaint is how little effort they put into videos and pictures of their new machines. They rarely take more than a couple photos of their machines. The videos don't usually offer up any information on the game.
    If I was Stern, I'd treat each machine like car dealers treat a new car on their website. Show me 60 different photos with every angle in high resolution. Clearly layout the features and what everything does. Give me some nice video with real production value. This stuff is cheap too. An intern could do most of it.
    It's not a huge deal because usually people here fill in the blanks. But I think they make some really nice machines and seem to want to keep what's inside those machines a big secret for some reason.

    If this is how the thread started, I would have supported it all along. I feel like these few things are lacking a bit and are easily changed once a machine is being produced and no longer in design. I don't see how anyone can argue with your suggestions above, not even me. Haha.

    #113 7 years ago

    Pinball has now become an all theme licensed base. Now it's "I'm a fan of the movie/show/music/car so I must have one regardless"

    This is a niche market now and is really meant for people with lots of disposable income or high passion for pinball

    I think you have to ask yourself is

    Does stern need to target the people with their product or are the people already targeting sterns product?

    7 months later
    #114 6 years ago

    Just thought id resurrect this thread to say I think they've nailed the marketing of KISS. What a huge difference from the launch of TWD!

    Jared's social media feeds are fantastic, IGN's teaser video, followed by actual announcement. All great. Fantastic, high quality pics of Kiss. Giving pinside plenty to talk about. Teasers leading up to a (hopefully) professional gameplay video.

    Prior to the release, I was on the fence with KISS (due to the theme), but am 100% in now.

    #116 6 years ago

    I actually sent Stern a letter saying thank you. So much better with all this info and media coverage. I'm loving it!

    There are 116 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.

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