What Warcraft’s Isle of Conquest Can Teach You About Marketing Focus

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“All in!”

That’s a familiar refrain you’ll hear as your team of 40 soldiers of the Alliance or Horde attempts to kill off the opposition’s general in World of Warcraft’s 40-man battleground, Isle of Conquest.


For those that don’t play, here’s the scenario in short. You and 39 other players face the opposition on a large battlefield with one objective: knock down the gates to your enemy’s keep, storm inside, and kill their general. There are several methods of doing so, but in the end, once the gates fall, you face either Overlord Agmar or High Command Wyrmbane, and your entire team (or a significant portion of them) must attack the enemy general. He’s too strong for just a few players to handle effectively. Oh, and the enemy team is trying to do the same thing to your keep and your general.

In order for your team to win an Isle of Conquest battleground, you have to do several things right. First, your team has to seize one or more battlefield objectives, such as the workshop or docks that make vehicles with which you can knock down walls.

Second, your team has to coordinate and work together. Alliance players of this battleground know the acute pain of watching glaive siege vehicles get destroyed by the enemy and having fellow players stand around obliviously.

Third, your team has to focus. Isle of Conquest demands that you pick a strategy and stick to it. Sending 5 people to each of the battlefield’s 7 objectives is a sure way to lose, as a small squad will simply get overrun and crushed. The path to victory lies in seizing two objectives (usually docks and hangar) with overwhelming force and then focusing on bringing the enemy’s walls down. Once the walls are down, everyone cries “All in!” and (ideally) everyone converges on the boss.

When your team nails its strategy and executes on it, victory is swift. Usually the battle is over in just a few minutes on those painfully rare occasional. When your team is scattered and unfocused, defeat is equally swift as the enemy steamrolls you.

This, of course, should sound familiar to anyone in marketing. When you try to do too much with a fixed pool of resources, whether they’re 40 players or a handful of marketing dollars, your efforts are rarely rewarded and often brutally punished in the short-term. When, alternately, you focus on just a couple of objectives and one goal, you can have much, much greater impact, especially for short-term objectives and goals.

Ask yourself this question: what are you calling “All in!” on in your own marketing programs? What deserves that much focus and effort that you’re willing to strike hard and fast to achieve?

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