9 Out Of 10 Forays Into The Virtual World End In Failure. Lack Of Clear Objectives To Blame.

I finished writing my Age of Conversation chapter last week. (I confess it took me rather longer than I expected!) I chose to write my 400 word contribution on “Conversation To Action”. While I will obey Drew’s edict to keep the full text under wraps, I can reveal – and this is a world exclusive (just kidding) – that I focused my article on the issue of “What Does Success Look Like?”

I am fairly bored with people in the press making broad statements about “all” money spent on [insert social media tactic here] being a “waste”, and confess I sometimes feel the same way about some people in the blogosphere proclaiming that “all” money spent on :30 TV spots to be a waste.

Its a truism to say that the traditional TV-centric approach to marketing is immensely wasteful (I have been saying that for years), but: it all depends what you are trying to achieve. That’s why this article, and particularly this paragraph, in the Kipp Report caught my eye :

“Nine out of ten business forays into the virtual world fail within 18 months, says new research by Gartner. It says the majority fail because they focused on the technology rather than user needs, or the projects were greenlighted because they were ‘cool’ – or because competitors were doing it – not business vital. A lack of clear objectives and a limited understanding of the demographics, attitudes and expectations of virtual-world communities didn’t help.

splenda second life

Ah yes, “a lack of clear objectives”. When your client asks “Why?”, it isn’t (just) enough to say “Why Not?” ! I think the above is a pretty good exegesis, and the barren deserted Second Life sims of Coca Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, Splenda, Nissan and NBC bear witness!


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