To kick things off, could you just give us a little bit of background on Messiah College and your role there? Kris Hardy: Sure. Messiah College is located in Central Pennsylvania. We have around students on campus, and around of those students are part of our graduate program.
True Messiah, a game of post-apocalyptic cult warfare by Craig Stern — Kickstarter
I really enjoy my job and love being a part of everything at Messiah College. Kris Hardy: I am the director of web and digital marketing, so I oversee the public facing website, Messiah. Also recently, I took over the strategy for our digital marketing efforts for our graduate and undergraduate programs. We do a considerable amount of work there and spend a good bit of money there as well, so I oversee the strategy there. Jarrett Smith: Awesome.
Could you set the stage for us, talking from a digital marketing perspective perhaps or maybe a broader perspective? What was that pre-CRM world like? What were the main friction points that you knew about and dealt with frequently? Kris Hardy: I think one of the biggest things moving to a CRM really did for us was help us consolidate everything into one place. When I think about pre-CRM, I just think about all those different pieces of technology and systems that we were using.
We had Constant Contact emails. We had other emails just going out through Outlook with no merge. We had an in-house application system. We just had a lot of different data in a lot of different places.
Kris Hardy: It was really hard for us to manage all that, but I think another big piece of the puzzle too was just thinking through the user experience as well. Maybe that took a week or a few days. Then we then had to export that back out into Constant Contact to send out a welcome email from the admissions counselor.
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At Messiah, what made that possible at Messiah? What are the conditions in place that really allowed your team to have the kind of access that it does? Kris Hardy: I think early on, when we began the CRM search process, then enrollment team, sharp group of folks, really understood that the CRM has been evolving a lot. Five years ago, it was a tool really just for sales or for admissions, but now we see web analytic tools built into CRM platforms.
We see marketing automation with our com flow. I think that was a really … It was good for them to acknowledge that and invite myself and my marketing colleagues to the table, and that kind of played that liaison role. We were involved. When I say we, the marketing office at Messiah.
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Jarrett Smith: Mm-hmm affirmative. Kris Hardy: Yeah. If you look at the different types of communication we have with prospective students, specifically like print versus digital, at my institution, we figured print out a long time ago, how to collaborate. Obviously, the admissions team needs graphic designers, need the marketing team to role out those publications. On the digital side, that was still kind of … We were still trying to figure that out. We know that we have the ability to automate and communicate with prospective students, but now we need your help creating these email templates, writing copy, and thinking strategically about how we do this.
Our mindset needs to change. Kris Hardy: I think there was a fair amount of anticipation, just with the product demos and everyone on that strategic team knowing we wanted to do some pretty serious marketing automation with our digital pieces, text messaging, digital marketing. I think what surprised us was just all the tools that the CRM equipped us with that allowed us to do that. We keep going deeper and deeper with that. We started with just automating the com flow for inquiries. That was kind of one question I had. Got a long wishlist.
What needs to bubble to the top of that list? I think if you look at the prospective student funnel, obviously it starts with your prospects or purchase names, inquiries, applicants, admits. I think starting at the top of the funnel where we could really push out a lot of information without having to worry about those conflicts made a lot of sense for us.
Were there any other strategies that you felt were really helpful in kind of de-conflicting? It might be from the office of undergrad admissions. It might be more value proposition, just keeping us top of mind. Good stuff.
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I saw you present a high ed web on this. Did a great, great presentation. Can you talk about that a little bit? These generate coins for the player that controls them, making territory control even more important and adding texture to your decisions about where to expand your reach. If we reach this funding level, I will design one starting card for each messiah that will not appear in the starting decks for any of the others! Each card will play to its messiah's strengths while helping to communicate the distinctiveness of that messiah's play style.
If we reach this funding level, I will add a new card to every copy of the game: Brimstone. This will be a low-cost attack card that enables pursuit of a direct-damage miracle strategy earlier in the game. If we reach this funding level, I will add a new card to every copy of the game: Recruitment Drive. This will be a more powerful version of Evangelize that enables players to more directly focus on pursuing a growth-centered miracle strategy.
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If we reach this funding level, I will add a new card to every copy of the game: Create Seraph. The seraph will be a high unit that provides everyone on its space immunity to the attacks of nonbelievers--in concert with cards that create nonbelievers, it can be used to deal out punishing tactical defeats! If we reach this goal, I will commission a 3D miniature to represent the avatar unit for each player in lieu of a token.
Four of these miniatures will be included with every copy of the game. If we reach this funding level, I will commission a 3D miniature to represent the seraph unit for each player instead of a token. True Messiah's base funding goal is the lowest quoted price I've received to manufacture a small print run of the game with messiah miniatures, then ship them all overseas from the factory to our US fulfillment center.
If you'd like to help True Messiah exist, you know what to do--go click one of those pledge buttons on the right! As with any physical game, there is always a risk that something could go wrong on the manufacturing or shipping end that delays the date on which the game arrives in your hands. That said, I already have True Messiah fully designed, with finalized rules and final art formatted to the exact specifications required by the manufacturers, and I've already secured an experienced, professional shipping and fulfillment service to handle worldwide shipping of the game once it's manufactured.
Free shipping; US retailers only. Everything in the "Prophet" tier, PLUS I will mail you a special unreleased prototype miracle card signed by the designer! We'll work together to decide the specifics of what appears on your special miracle card!
Mahatma Gandhi is the messiah of the digital era
Everything in the "Miracle" tier, PLUS you'll get to work with the designer himself and help design a new game mode! The sky's the limit! Holy cow, you're amazing! You'll get everything in the "Messiah" tier, PLUS you'll get to hang out with the game's designer in Chicago over the course of a weekend. You'll be taken out for food and drinks at his favorite hang-outs, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the game is put together, and be trained in the ways of True Messiah by the world's most experienced player. Free lodgings for the weekend are included, if you want 'em!
Mar 29, - Apr 13, 15 days.
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