Monday, November 12, 2007

Second Life -- Marketing Perspective

Jessie Paul has written a post about Second Life ... Second Life - Hype or not? presents the marketeer's view to SL. And, its an interesting view. If we look at SL from two different perspectives, we can see the value an environment like this can add to the marketing efforts ...

1. Virtual worlds can be used as a cool new medium of interactive reach ... Think reach, or participative marketing (apologies for inventing another term which nobody would like to use), and you could think blogs ... Dynamic interactions with customers, and other stakeholders, but more often than not, asynchronous. Taking this to the synchronous level, imagine this ... rather than leaving comments on a blog like this, you could have the possibility of interacting with the blog author real time ... Think reaching out to customers, taking customer feedback, and working on the feedback real time (whether it be in the form of taking customer calls, or comments about the ifferent aspects of the product, or company).

2. A far cooler way of interacting with customers ... the experience being far richer than 2 dimensional customer feedback forms.

Or, how about this ... nstead of customers being exposed to pre-packaged advertisements, why not customers allowed to ask their own questions, and getting answers to their specific queries which they have, about the product, or the company. This is something which can be a very time-consuming process. This requires a certain kind of infrastructure, and I wouldnt think a database of FAQ's would be the way to go here. Or, a contact centre, where the customer, rather than calling a helpline, can interact with the call agent in a virtual world ... How could that enrich these interactions.


Peter-Anthony Glick said...

Virtual worlds will definitely provide new marketing tools. However, to be really effective and efficient, they will have to fully embrace the virtual aspect. Behind a "virtual" agent there is a real one, so for a customer to contact one instead of a classic helpline does not in itself add much value.
To bring value to the customer, the virtual interaction must truly provide memorable experiences that stand out from helplines or even "in person" assistance!
These value-adding differences are still to be created and perfected so let's watch this space (it wont take long).
Peter-Anthony Glick

Atul said...

Totally agree, Peter. Virtual worlds shouldnt be used only as a way of getting a "3-D brochure" to the customer!