No see, no buy

Yesterday afternoon a curious Twitter account called the NESL caught the attention of many people within the eSports Twitter-scape. Named the National eSPORTS League, the goal of this new organization is to “take eSPORTS to the next level & changing the way the community is managed, played, and portrayed – The next step in eSPORTS.” Over the next 6-8 hours many individuals throughout eSports tweeted at the account asking for more information or providing what I will call useful criticism. Some of this criticism centered around the branding problems of naming a new eSports organization extremely similar to an established brand (the National ESL). While that was definitely an issue (one that is apparently being fixed with a re-branding), what stood out to me was something else entirely.

Look, I’m all for new blood entering the scene and I think entrepreneurial ventures within eSports is an important thing, but this NESL (not National ESL) situation highlights one of the biggest problems surrounding companies within eSports today – marketing.

Now that may seem like an odd statement considering the fact eSports as a whole is essentially driven by a marketing and advertising effort, but within the industry there is sever lack of effective marketing and quality execution to follow. Let me simplify this problem to fit the current scenario a bit better.

Back when I was in graduate school, I had a marketing professor who worked for years at Proctor & Gamble (P&G). For those who are unaware, P&G owns just about every brand that you have in your house from Tide to Gillette to Crest to Duracell and everything in-between. P&G is considered a market leader in marketing and brand development. Back to topic at hand, my professor told us the most important thing he ever learned about marketing came during his time at P&G while he was still relatively new and working for one of their senior marketing staffer. This senior staffer used to tell him if he were to learn anything about marketing at P&G, it was this nugget – “No see, no buy.”

The concept is as big as it is simple: No see, no buy. If your customers cannot see your product or service, chances are they aren’t going to buy it. This tenant is one I see many within eSports violating and my primary problem with this whole NESL situation. It’s understandable that when you are new within an industry that you may not have everything figured out yet or even have the resources, but you have to be able to demonstrate some value or at least the intention of value. Operating from a single anonymous Twitter account or email address and offering little information about the people or plans behind the business, outside cliche phrases such as “taking eSPORTS to the next level,” has probably done more harm to NESL than if they waited a few weeks and kept things under wraps until they were ready to show more.

The eSports industry has seen and heard too many of these cliches from the likes of CPL, CGS and others to bend quickly at the knees at every request without any substance behind it. The problem is really just that simple. No see, no buy.

  • Tim Brugman

    But eSPORTS man!

    • Ted Ottey

      Ain’t nobody got time for that! 😉