Time and time again many businesses make the same mistake of undervaluing the importance of trained and experienced marketers. Knowing something is pretty doesn’t make you qualified to design ads, using Facebook does not making you an expert in social media, and it takes a lot more training than all of that to become a marketer.

While isn’t just a problem in the Magic community—you see lots of brands making marketing mistakes—within the Magic community this is a problem that is a virtual pandemic. We see the same mistakes made almost daily from all types across the community, from individual content creators all the way up to Wizards of the Coast.

The biggest issue with these marketing mistakes is many of them speak to company values, and they are mistakes that these same companies find themselves repeating over and over. Star City Games has had multiple issues with problematic writers/players, Wizards continues to do a poor job with general communication, and Channel Fireball continues to repeatedly fail at community relations.

To be fair, it’s a tough community to find an appropriate marketer for, especially when it comes to finding someone to handle the community relations aspect. The person needs to be experienced in the field and also have sufficient knowledge in the community. However, someone who fits this criteria on average makes $40-60k a year or more, so it isn’t easy for some smaller organizations to attract or afford someone capable of handling this type of work.

But marketing is definitely one of the costs of doing business. Some of these businesses have grown too large to not take the time to invest in proper marketers. It’s obviously starting to cost companies money and hurt their operation. Channel Fireball is an excellent example. They’ve struggled a lot with community relations during major tournament software crashes that have been occurring during the last year, increased pricing with a decrease in value for Grand Prix, and now the latest artist controversy and failed reddit AMA. An experienced marketing professional could have made all of these easier to navigate. They could have even helped the company save money with creative solutions and also by increasing community satisfaction.

A business’s success is directly related to its ability to satisfy customers. The Magic community is definitely one with high, but reasonable, expectations. And the businesses in the sector should not have a problem satisfying those expectations. The repeated public relations blunders from companies in our community is really an insult to all of us. Many of these companies already employ marketers, but many of them work their way up through the company and end up in the marketing department.

Marketing is a skilled trade. While some people can just pick it up, most people need to be trained before they can be truly effective at their job. I hope that companies start to listen and take the importance of marketing seriously before it starts to impact their bottom line enough for them to notice. Believe me, I can tell you that it already has.

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of card altering. Check her stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH.

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