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AMD Gaming eNews Misfire

Click to zoom: AMD's eNewsletter, Sept. 2009

We can debate which audience contains the more rabid members: knitters or 3D gamers. I happen to fall into the latter group, so I twitched with anticipation upon receipt of AMD’s gaming “newsletter.” I enclose newsletter in quotation marks because upon opening it I discovered not engaging content, but gratuitous sales copy:

“Behold, the revolutionary new ATI Radeon™ HD 5800 Series of GPUs.”

There’s nothing wrong with sales copy, except when it tries to masquerade as something it’s not. The key deficiency here is lack of customer focus, from which all the subsequent and incidental insults arise. In this newsletter, we see sales copy with a couple of links to AMD Community, which in turn links to the “AMD at Play” blog, which itself turns out to be MORE SALES COPY disguised as a blog.

To fix this email newsletter, I would turn the content inside-out. The front page should profile customers and their use of the products, perhaps covering industry events such as gaming face-offs, conferences, and other game industry events. Technical content could include performance hacks, and even gaming technology fundamentals, e.g., how will gaming performance improve over time and what are the likely technologies driving innovation?

By earning the customers’ attention, AMD could then intersperse product messages and strengthen its brand attraction.