PokerStars in marketing shift to prevent house of cards crashing down

TAGs: David Carrion, PokerStars

PokerStars has announced the appointment of David Carrion to Director of Marketing and Interim Director of Live Events as Edgar Stuchly and Vadim Soloveychik leave the company.

After watching Frank & Claire Underwood remain in fictional office last night, I switched my sleepy eyes to Seth Godin.

PokerStars in marketing shift to prevent house of cards crashing down

Picture credit: Neil Stoddart & Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd


House of Cards.

Election Day Controversy.

Seth Godin.

What do these four things have in common?

In each case, the four of them are successful because they are, or work with, great marketers.

Netflix understands the worldview and personas, of their customers to such an emotional degree that they create TV shows from scratch safe in the knowledge that their customers will love

them. House of Cards is an example of that understanding.

The election day controversy, created by the Underwoods, early in the latest season, was another great example of marketing. The President and the First Lady used their status to create enough tension to destroy the electoral system when they could see they were going to lose. Understanding status and tension are two of the essential tools of any great marketer.

How do I know this?

Seth Godin told me so.

The other thing Seth Godin said last night was that all good marketers need a marketing plan, but the problem with most plans is they are terrible. Godin believes most plans come from either arrogance or defensiveness. When coming from these places, we try to persuade people to buy something we like, a self-centered way of looking at things.

Instead, Godin believes a modern marketing plan comes from empathy, humility, and effectiveness.

I am also sure if I asked Godin to look at PokerStars as a case study for his Marketing Seminar he would say that they have a marketing problem. I don’t know the exact issues, and so I don’t understand the exact fixes. But I have learned enough from Godin to know they need a new plan, and this morning I wake up to see they have noticed the same thing.

Godin’s five point plan:

1. Truth

2. Assertions

3. Alternatives

4. People

5. Money

I will write about these in more detail in the future, but for now, I am going to focus on People.

A company is only as good as the beliefs and values of those running it, especially those of the people filling the positions in the marketing teams, and PokerStars are about to have a little shake up.

The first move they have made is to appoint David Carrion to the role of Director of Marketing for PokerStars. Carrion will lead the global strategy of the PokerStars brand. His roles & responsibilities include managing the live events, which have suffered since the switch from the European Poker Tour (EPT) to the PokerStars Championship & Festivals brand.

Carrion has a lot of experience in live events joining the team over seven years ago as Director of Live Poker Operations for Latin America. During his time he helped grow brand recognition in the region through his sterling work on the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT), the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).

Carrion takes up his new position on July 1, and he will be busy because he will also assume the role of interim Director of Live Events after PokerStars announced Edgar Stuchly would be leaving the company. Vadim Soloveychik, Director of Brand Marketing, also leaves for pastures news.

I am sure that once Carrion gets his Gucci shoes underneath his new oak table, then more additions to the team will follow as PokerStars seek to steady a flight that seems to have hit a bit of turbulence of late. A plan will then surely follow, and I am watching with interest to see if it turns out to be like most plans Godin says are terrible or if this one has the modern touch.

I think it will be the latter.


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