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View Full Version : A suggestion for Newtek Marketing



hrgiger
10-24-2008, 05:16 PM
In light of the recent swallowing of XSI by the Umbrella corporation, I mean Autodesk rather, I thought this might be a good time for Newtek to pick up some new Lightwave users. It seems to me in the big thread going on over at CGTalk about this XSI buyout, that people were considering the idea of possibly picking up another application and I didn't see a lot of people recognizing Lightwave as a viable alternative. One person even mentioned that he didn't know they still made Lightwave.
Newtek, you've really turned Lightwave around with this 9.x series and this is a whole new application. You really need to get the word out about how Lightwave has changed over the last few years. We've had a lot of people who migrated to XSI, or Max, or Maya because Lightwave wasn't filling their needs. Perhaps Lightwave as it is now, is more of the application they wished it could be long ago when they left.
I think it's time to strike now while the iron is hot. A lot of people seem to not be very happy Autodesk buying up another application. They may be looking for an alternative.
I suggest a sale for new seats of Lightwave for a limited time. Something ridiculously cheap like a couple hundred dollars for first time buyers, maybe even a hundred dollars for those who have owned Lightwave in the past (if you even have a way to confirm this). Market it with this Autodesk news in mind and market it towards the people who use these products. Call it a competitive upgrade or whatever. Let people know how much Lightwave has changed, push the renderer, the node editor and the new character animation tools. The selling price is not important, it's just important to get them in the door.
It's just my .02 cents that this is a good opportunity.

Stunt Pixels
10-24-2008, 05:39 PM
Hmmm, I wonder how much Newtek would have to pay to use the word "Borg" in their marketing? Would open up all sorts of possibilities...

Dexter2999
10-24-2008, 05:40 PM
New Users Amen!

Try flyers or mailings to High Schools students promoting the EDU versions. Or save the postage and printing costs and sponsor an ad in school papers or yearbooks.
Donate to schools to get the students familiar with the product.

Hopper
10-24-2008, 06:01 PM
Try flyers or mailings to High Schools students promoting the EDU versions. Or save the postage and printing costs and sponsor an ad in school papers or yearbooks.
Donate to schools to get the students familiar with the product.
While everyone appreciates good intentions, and not to disrespect but ... that's about the worst idea ever. This is business, not a bake sale. The target market is not up and coming students, thus money spent in that area would be as bad as random mailing lists and robo-calls.

Again ... not being confrontational - just stating the truth.

Dexter2999
10-24-2008, 06:13 PM
I disagree. This is a market strategy that has worked for Apple.

By donating to schools and offering discounts to up and coming they create a new market of users.

If they don't , students will continue to wait until college to take 3D classes and be taught Maya or XSI.

Professional Post houses might be buying hundreds of seats of XSI with ICE, but average America can't afford that. Newtek could sell thousands of thousands of copies to hobbiests and beginners, i.e. people who are just learning and don't want to sink a fortune into this.

They already have an EDU license version. I am simply saying, take an agressive marketing stance in increasing the user base and ergo the talent pool of LW artists. If you increase the number of artists using the product you increase the chances of great art being done.

Hopper
10-24-2008, 07:26 PM
I disagree. This is a market strategy that has worked for Apple.

By donating to schools and offering discounts to up and coming they create a new market of users.

If they don't , students will continue to wait until college to take 3D classes and be taught Maya or XSI.
Huh? It most certainly did not work for Apple. In fact, it failed miserably. It's been written about in hundreds of industry marketing mags about Apples failed attempt at pushing their products into the mainstream by turning their efforts to the educational market instead of the corporate world. They totally missed the boat in the corporate arena. I remember several lectures in my marketing classes in college about the "what not to do's" in the marketing world and Apple was always at the top of the list. Apples were considered toys and recipe holders for old ladies for over a decade. Their market share in the 90's was less than 5%. I don't consider that successful at all. Steve Jobs attempted the same strategy with the Next Cubes and also failed. Of course the price point for those systems were extremely prohibitive, which made that colassal faiure inevitable.

Dexter2999
10-24-2008, 08:58 PM
Can't say as I know the market share in the 90's those were Mac's.
In the 80's Apple computers (Apple II, IIe, IIc). Held a large portion of the home computer market when put up against Kaypro, IBM XT, IBM AT, IMBjr. And their market was due to the initial educational system distribution. That and the fact that the early IBM "home" computers were cost prohibitive themselves. The IBMjr was a bargain for around $800. (pssst...in the 80's that was alot of money)

I think Apple initially held a large market until Commodore and Atari got some momentum going. I will aknowledge then that "large portion" of the home market then was still abysmal. The home market was nearly non-existent.

IBM has the business market sewn up. And to be honest, they had a long-long-long history of dependability that some upstart company had very little chance of breaking. IBM has been entrenched in the business world since what? WWII? You think multi-million dollar companies are going to wager on them or some hippy-tree hugger making computers in his garage? Apple never stood a chance in the business world.

I will admit many people lost their taste for the company in the late 80's early 90's as Apple dropped the Apple line with the overpriced Apple IIGS and Lisa computers to concentrate on the cutsy little Mac line.

When Apple users then had to buy a new computer, they were presented with new options. Welcome to the world of GUI. Do you buy the Apple GUI that seems gimmiki? Or do you buy the Microsoft GUI on an IBM? Well, work uses the new Microsoft ones...it would help me at work so I will get this one.

I didn't read this stuff in a book. I lived it. I've seen others live it. So on a national scale I might be off. But in my experience this is what I know to be true.

jhogarty
10-24-2008, 09:58 PM
Just hope Autodesk doesn't try to snatch up our beloved Newtek and Lightwave. Is Autodesk acquiring the competition to eliminate or integrate with what they have? I've never been a fan of theirs so I don't know much about them.

J.

Titus
10-24-2008, 10:21 PM
Let people know how much Lightwave has changed, push the renderer, the node editor and the new character animation tools. The selling price is not important, it's just important to get them in the door.
It's just my .02 cents that this is a good opportunity.

I think the worst NT can do is to sell LW cheaper, even for a small period of time, at least if you don't want to give the signal of selling a toy product. I think the price at this moment is low enough and is way more cheaper than the rest of the Autodesk products.

jin choung
10-24-2008, 10:37 PM
We've had a lot of people who migrated to XSI, or Max, or Maya because Lightwave wasn't filling their needs. Perhaps Lightwave as it is now, is more of the application they wished it could be long ago when they left.

hmmm....

how so? i'm not as enamored as some by the awesomeness of the 9cycle. you had problems with it DURING the 9 cycle. so since that time to now, really, what's changed?

i know, there's lots of things like hair and such but most of the people who were disenchanted weren't complaining about lack of hair.

it was more fundamental.

so what's changed?

jin

jin choung
10-24-2008, 10:38 PM
Just hope Autodesk doesn't try to snatch up our beloved Newtek and Lightwave. Is Autodesk acquiring the competition to eliminate or integrate with what they have? I've never been a fan of theirs so I don't know much about them.

J.

autodesk wasn't looking to buy. avid was getting rid of it. fxnews or somewhere has an article. they approached autodesk (among others)....

who knows, avid might've approached newtek!

jin

jin choung
10-24-2008, 10:40 PM
but regardless of the facts ( :) ),

i think it IS a good marketing opportunity. play the underdog rebellion against the evil empire.

that plays great in the sticks.

jin

p.s. oh but a genuine thing that newtek can push is TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP. maya is DEBILITATINGLY EXPENSIVE when you consider how frequent (annual) and how costly their upgrades are.

JamesCurtis
10-24-2008, 11:07 PM
Our local community college went with 3Dmax about 4 years ago because they were able to get 50 seats of it for 100 bucks per pop!! I also know that they had looked into LW but could not get a good deal!!

JeffrySG
10-25-2008, 12:18 AM
I tend to think that working professionals don't need much more of a money incentive to get LW considering how inexpensive LW currently is now - especially with unlimited render nodes, and the competitive upgrade prices already available. But to get people to be aware of the potential and power of LW is another thing. I do think that getting LW into schools and training centers is a great idea - as students take that knowledge with them afterwords, and help make software recommendations later on, make their own purchases, etc.

How much cheaper than $495 for a companion upgrade does it need to get? You know all of those people will own one of the required software products, especially Photoshop. (qualifying products: Softimage XSI, Maya, 3ds max, Cinema 4D, Modo, After Effects, Photoshop, Shake, Digital Fusion)

I do find it weird and surprising that many people make jokes about LW even being around still. I mean, I know it's not as popular as Maya when it comes to film stuff. But it does get it's fair share of film work and a ton of TV work. When was the last time you heard of film or TV work being done with C4D? (nothing against C4D at all) All the fanboi 3d software stuff usually just annoys me anyway.

Maybe some different types of marketing would change the overall attitude of LW? Maybe not? And would it be worth the cost in the end? Possibly..?..?

jin choung
10-25-2008, 02:05 AM
I disagree. This is a market strategy that has worked for Apple.

By donating to schools and offering discounts to up and coming they create a new market of users.

If they don't , students will continue to wait until college to take 3D classes and be taught Maya or XSI.

Professional Post houses might be buying hundreds of seats of XSI with ICE, but average America can't afford that. Newtek could sell thousands of thousands of copies to hobbiests and beginners, i.e. people who are just learning and don't want to sink a fortune into this.

They already have an EDU license version. I am simply saying, take an agressive marketing stance in increasing the user base and ergo the talent pool of LW artists. If you increase the number of artists using the product you increase the chances of great art being done.

doesn't quite work the same way.

software is much more specific than a computer (even though computers can be pretty specific).

you CAN run into situations where the school just doesn't want it no matter how cheap (or free) it is.

GIMP is completely free but how many schools are teaching that rather than photoshop?

and blender is a completely viable 3d app now with many features that are far in advance of lw - and like gimp, it's completely free. but there are reasons (aside from gui) that it's not being taught (very widely) in colleges or art programs.

those same barriers of perception and real world relevance (i.e. looking at frequency of job ad postings) affect lw too.


jin

hrgiger
10-25-2008, 09:40 AM
hmmm....

how so? i'm not as enamored as some by the awesomeness of the 9cycle. you had problems with it DURING the 9 cycle. so since that time to now, really, what's changed?

i know, there's lots of things like hair and such but most of the people who were disenchanted weren't complaining about lack of hair.

it was more fundamental.

so what's changed?

jin

Well, I won't go into specifics because I've lost track of what's still in beta and what's in the 9.5 release but even since I've left to buy XSI this summer, Newtek has added a few of the things in character animation that I had wished they had before (up vectors were one of them and IK/FK blending). It's still no XSI by any means but it is better and worlds away from Lightwve 8 which for me, was a disappointing release. Hair had nothing to do with it, but if they can continue to keep improving FiberFX, it would be a factor for me. The renderer and surfacing have received much of the attention this cycle and I hope we're going to see more attention paid to other areas of the program after this latest release.
And Titus, I would have to disagree with you on the price point. I'm talking about a promotion that specifically targets XSI users, many of whom have invested probably $3,000 or more on their XSI. If they are looking to look for an alternative, they probably aren't eager to drop another $1,000 or so on something else. Price just may be a motivating factor to get people to at least come in and look around. Trials are all well and good but you're not invested in a trial and sometimes if you're not invested in it, there's little motivation to teach yourself a new application.

Dexter2999
10-25-2008, 10:52 AM
I hear you Jin,

The opensource stuff is coming along. I am surprised by the number of people who seem somewhat tech savy that are completely surprised when I start telling them about the FREE stuff out there.
One person at work has a degree in electronics. He has been building his own computers for years. We got to talking about servers and he mentioned how expencive the Windows Server edition was. I mentioned that Ubuntu had a free server edition he could download...his mouth gaped.
Another guy is a DJ running an all digital set up. He runs his website. He has all the toys. He was dreading shelling out the cash for MS Office to do some tracking and records. I told him about OpenOffice, FREE. Again, totaly shocked.
MOST people are woefully ignorant of what is out there for free. I would love to see free PC's available for use, that run on Linux an use opensource software. Libraries, internet cafe's, community centers, get people used to it. Some of it does have a way to go. GIMP2 crashed my computer repeatedly. Blender is not a user friendly interface and this keeps the number of people fluent enough to be instructors in it WAY down.

But back on topic. I think distributing disks that have the demo version on it could be cool. The disks could have an HTML interface where they get the free app. and links to watch Proton's free training. And I don't even know if I would put them in schools, but at displays at places like GameStop. Or buy the customer list for that game delivery version of Netflix. These are people interested in games, maybe they are interested in doing 3d. Let's face it most of us are pretty nerdy. That is where the effort needs to be made. Distribute at gaming shops, comic shops, gift shops at the science center, or planetarium, hobby shops, art supply stores, drafting supply....wherever.

Every LW how to book should include a disk with either a free demo version or at the very least a direct link to the download.

Partner with DAVE School, to promote both. Perhaps they pay say $20,000 to DAVE School and set up a scholarship animation competition. Could be national or international. That could have HUGE potential.

It just does't seem like trade shows are cutting it and sending a demo guy around the country to limited cities for one day events isn't paying off all that much. These are tried and true methods for sales but I think it may be time to rethink the methods. Streaming live demos of the Tricaster could be about as effectual and have more chances for viewership than a travelling show. This could allow those sales resources could be redirected somewhere else...like towards LW.

adamredwoods
10-25-2008, 11:56 AM
Lightwave should begin a marketing campaign, but should not lower their price. They should be seen as the middle-range competitor, not the Carrara-range software.

LW's brand should be built off of being professional level, since that is where people will be looking for (XSI, MAYA level), rather than cheap-o "beginner-level". I like the "workhorse" mentality they have now, and should continue to push it.

wacom
10-25-2008, 12:12 PM
When was the last time you heard of film or TV work being done with C4D? (nothing against C4D at all) All the fanboi 3d software stuff usually just annoys me anyway.


For the record it's being used more an more in that area. Not nearly as much as their marketing might lead you to believe, but there are some very solid spots and such made with it. The fact that it has native control with renderman compliant render engines might change this in the long run as well.

Still it's quite an expensive application for lacking a history stack and nodal shading, but then again it has several things LW lacks that are serious basics for most film work etc.

I went to XSI for he CA tools and found a lot to love with the flexibility of mr and the history stack by happenstance. I still don't see those things in LW even approaching that level (CA, stack), but I have hope that 10 will have those features on some level.

I for one am more than willing to go back to paying 1.5k for LW like I did when I bought 7 IF it has these features in 10.

XSI R.I.P
Avid burn in hell!

Am I the only one that feels the 3D landscape is starting to look a lot like the economic landscape of the US? There are the haves and have nots? Where are the good, "mid range" and inventive applications anymore? It's either cheap and near crap or expensive and out of range/owned by AD.

JeffrySG
10-25-2008, 12:29 PM
For the record it's being used more an more in that area. Not nearly as much as their marketing might lead you to believe, but there are some very solid spots and such made with it.
I know that it is used, and it it's a great product too. Just that you don't hear of its use that often. I was either going to get C4D or LW when I was switching apps. But the price with all the add-ons for C4D was just too much for me at the time and I happened to really like the LW community as well. So I went with LW. :) But there were many features of C4D that I did like.


Am I the only one that feels the 3D landscape is starting to look a lot like the economic landscape of the US? There are the haves and have nots? Where are the good, "mid range" and inventive applications anymore? It's either cheap and near crap or expensive and out of range/owned by AD.

:agree::agree:
(good thing LW is neither crap or expensive!)

Hopper
10-25-2008, 01:18 PM
Can't say as I know the market share in the 90's those were Mac's.
In the 80's Apple computers (Apple II, IIe, IIc). Held a large portion of the home computer market when put up against Kaypro, IBM XT, IBM AT, IMBjr.

Well, in truth, even a "large" portion of the market in the 80's was not much of a market for anyone. You couldn't really do anything with a Mac, and you could spend a ton of money on a PC so you could just type up letters in Wordstar.


I think Apple initially held a large market until Commodore and Atari got some momentum going.
So... about 3 years worth then.



IBM has the business market sewn up. And to be honest, they had a long-long-long history of dependability that some upstart company had very little chance of breaking. IBM has been entrenched in the business world since what? WWII? You think multi-million dollar companies are going to wager on them or some hippy-tree hugger making computers in his garage?
Hmmm, you mean like Microsoft?



I didn't read this stuff in a book. I lived it. I've seen others live it. So on a national scale I might be off. But in my experience this is what I know to be true.
As did I. I was flipping switches and shuffling punch cards way before some on this forum were even born. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree - I guess I just didn't see it that way.

.. now .. where'd my Heath Kit go ...

-Cheers :beerchug:

jin choung
10-25-2008, 02:43 PM
GIMP2 crashed my computer repeatedly.

2.0? or the current? anyway, i don't doubt your personal experience but just to put it out there, i'm on the current release and have used the 2.45 and it never crashed my computer. did crash itself on occasion but not notably more so than commercial apps.

jin

Hopper
10-25-2008, 03:47 PM
Ths cntry,wth ts nstttns, blngs t th ppl wh nhbt t. Whnvr thy shll grw wry f th xstng gvrnmnt, thy cn xcrcse thr cnsttnl rght f mndng t, r xrcse thr rvltnry rght t vrthrw t - brhm lncln
:lol:

Shakespeare in l33t speak is just as fun...

jin choung
10-25-2008, 04:09 PM
haha,

no not l33t speak... i'm not THAT nerdy. (edit: yeah... i am....)

naw, i had to go all hebrew on that sh1t cuz it was too long for the sig. removed all the vowels.

jin

Dexter2999
10-25-2008, 06:21 PM
2.0? or the current? jin


It was 2.0 and it was just crashing itself. I haven't tried newer releases but I own Photoshop CS2 (EDU), so there hasn't been a pressing need. I was just curious.