by Cosmos Revisits
on June 22nd, 2009
Navigating through virtual worlds can be tricky. Thankfully, we have five recommendations from marketing and virtual guru Wayne Porter for those interested in getting into this space:
#1. It’s extremely important to understand the fabric of the 3D virtual space (also called “metaverse”) before jumping in. Marketers should spend significant time using an avatar, participating in real world events, exploration and talking with other members. They will discover that people, functioning as avatars, do not always respond to situations the same as they would in real life.
#2. Marketers should realize that the metaverse is based on a global population, which means there is no traditional market segmentation. One will find people of all ages from the Asia.
Due to this reality, targeting a type of consumer can be difficult, and actions can easily be misinterpreted. Perhaps more importantly, the avatar form, language and communication will be different in the varying countries.
#3. Although one can participate in gaming in the Second Life, marketers should not mistake it for a game platform. There are no preset goals, monsters to slay or gold to find. It is not only a social platform that gives people a form of escapism but also an outlet that lets them socialize, travel and take part in many activities.
#4. It’s still early for brands to begin large-scale marketing in Second Life. This does not mean they should not have a presence there. But before trying to buy and sell or advertise, they might consider building their brand by helping the citizens solve some of the unique problems that are common in Second Life. For example, providing how-to info and advice on digital rights management.
#5. Marketers should avoid destroying part of the local economy. For example, an entire industry might revolve around the development of in-world vehicles. An automobile manufacturer might be tempted to drop into the game a new line of cars at no cost for the sake of branding.
But this will spread ill-will among some of the metaverse’s most important individuals — those who have been making, customizing and selling the cars. It would be far better to support the industry and offer dealerships at a nominal cost.