Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Scratchpad: Clickable Culture, Shanth on Marketing in Virtual Worlds

Csven (thanks for the warm welcome in SL) points to the critique by Clickable Culture of a recent post by Shanth Ideas that offers tips to marketers eyeing virtual worlds. Highlights:

1. Few of the existing virtual worlds allow and even fewer encourage marketing activities by the real world brands.
2. Very few of these worlds are open-ended and integrate user-created context within the main game.
3. In-world brands exist in the context of the overarching megabrand of the host virtual world.
4. Blogging and reporting on in-world experiences is not (yet) big enough to make any significant difference.
5. The virtual world is not a contiguous space encompassing a variety of games.
6. Outside companies might find themselves competing with established in-world businesses for the same virtual market.
7. Just because an outside brand is established doesn't mean it will be more desirable in a user-created online world. It may be more viable for outside brands to co-opt in-world brands rather than try to compete directly.

(#6 and #7 are in the comments section)

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