Thursday, July 26, 2007

How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life

So someone has figured it out and has said it.

Wired:
Wired: How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life

GIgaOM
Virtual World Marketing, Lots of Companies But Few Visitors So Far


One of the most enlightening meetings I ever went to was in California last year. I am sitting in a room with marketing people who had budgets of about $150m combined. We were, of course, talking about social networks. And of course, we were talking about MySpace.

All the theories started. 'its just horny young boys', 'its a dating site', 'its only girls and dirty old men', 'its the future of media'... yada yada yada... It was almost like it needed to be solved. I thought it may have been a fit because they were looking to connect with a very particular community of people and social networking sites can be a good way to target defined groups of people like that.

Anyway, so we get to the part where I start asking them how they know so much about it. And I asked a stupid question to try and get a percentage of people who had a MySpace account. None of them did. So here we were. 9 people discussing MySpace for 2 hours and none of them had accounts so therefore could not click further into people's pages past their profile page. And here they are making decisions based on what.. hype.

How many people involved in making decisions on Second Life do you think actually downloaded the 50MB+ application and spent time in world ?

How could this investment be based on anything but hype when there isnt a robust measurement system in place ? When we were looking at Second Life we asked how we measure time with the brand and the answer was that there wasnt a stats package available at the time.

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