Lost in Second Life? Well you’re probably a marketer…

March 28, 2007

After the intial rush to dive into Second Life and try to establish brand presence in the virtual world, marketers are now reigning in their ambitions as they find it a tough task understanding the world and leveraging it’s potential. Even worse, the locals (regular users of Second Life) are taking a dislike to many marketers as they are adding no value to the community and purely using it as an advertising platform to further their brand.

Disregarding the community is a fatal error. Marketers risk total failure of a venture in Second Life if they ignore the locals and fail to give something back. The same happens at MySpace as brands which launch profiles that are purely adverts find they get very little value from the venture.

The community is key. Engage them, entertain them, add value, give them a reason to interact with your brand and you’ll win. Establish a need amongst the community and give them something they will want to take part in. Fail to do any of this and you have definitely wasted your money (except perhaps a bit of launch PR).

In Second Life some shops set up by brands are all but abandoned as the marketers involved fail to work out how to make it work to their advantage. 70 percent of the locals say they are disappointed with the presence that marketers have established.

It’s a risky venture (unless you have big pockets) and one to research properly and plan a strategy for before you begin. Get it right and you could be laughing, get it wrong and you can generate a lot of the wrong type of PR.

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