Inbound Marketing – Lead Generation DO or DIE

Over the past decade I’ve had the opportunity of assisting hundreds of companies with their lead generation and marketing efforts. One thing is for certain, marketing has dramatically evolved over the past 10 years. In today’s digital age, people are engaged online now more than ever. We now have communities, activities, group gatherings, and meetings happening in a parallel digital universe. We chat, meet, study, attend seminars, watch movies, find dates, take courses, work, and consult Google for all our questions. The ability to find and distribute information to your online audience has become incredible. For small to mid-sized companies with budget constraints, it’s crucial they take advantage of this opportunity. Otherwise, companies may find themselves resembling the picture in this post.

More new digital technologies have evolved than ever before allowing small companies to compete with their larger rivals on an even playing field. This playing field “leveler” I’m speaking about has come about through strategic inbound marketing. Launching an inbound marketing campaign can literally create a lead generation machine for your company at a fraction of the cost of traditional outbound marketing such as radio, television, print and mail. It can also significantly reduce your pay-per-click and ad spends online by driving more leads to your company through organic search. Its crucial today more than ever before that your prospects “find you” online when looking to buy. Continue reading Inbound Marketing – Lead Generation DO or DIE

LudoCraft Pilots Virtual World Aimed at Virtual Conventions

You may not have heard of LudoCraft, a small games designer responsible for the realXtend engine, but it wants to get to know you. In fact, it wants you to throw your next industry convention or cultural expo in its open-source virtual world.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at how one company is banking on an increase in virtual business conferencing in 2010.

Continue reading LudoCraft Pilots Virtual World Aimed at Virtual Conventions

Guinness Markets Beer Through Create-Your-Own Virtual Worlds

Guinness Another innovative company is about to draw on the high-return potential of the virtual world: Famed brewing company Guinness bets it can sell you beer by engaging you in a virtual environment.

Guinness will be pioneering a fully integrated virtual worlds approach that draws on several open source and social networking tools. It looks like a winner.

Read on to find out what Guinness is brewing, and whether it'll satisfy virtual world veterans.

Continue reading Guinness Markets Beer Through Create-Your-Own Virtual Worlds

Audi Markets Real Car Through Virtual Test Drives

AudiE-Tron_game

         
Audi's electric R8: very very virtual

The old stereotype of the slick-haired, cheap-suited car dealer may be coming to an end, if German carmaker Audi has anything to say about it.

That's because this clever Volkswagen subsidiary is marketing their new electric Audi R8 by letting online gamers test drive it in a fantasy racing game.

Pixels and Policy investigates.

Continue reading Audi Markets Real Car Through Virtual Test Drives

Why Big Business Must Adapt to Virtual Worlds or Fail

Modern businesses may be finding they have less control over their brand identity than they did even ten years ago. According to a recent Law.com article, social media and virtual worlds are taking branding power from big corporations and giving it to any user with some creativity and an internet connection.

From the article:

Companies are embracing social media because it presents a new
opportunity to be transparent and upfront, says Paul Mussell, senior
counsel of the intellectual property group at Wells Fargo & Company.
"The best approach is to get in there and manage your brand, and don't
leave a lot of vacuum space for people to fill," Mussell says. "Because
they will fill it."


Wells Fargo, as many know,
adopted their own interactive virtual island in Second Life. Pixels and Policy takes a look at what it's going to take to keep businesses successful in the virtual world.

Continue reading Why Big Business Must Adapt to Virtual Worlds or Fail

Insurance Company Launches a Virtual World Aimed at Making Healthy Choices

IBC-logoAmericans may be brawling over President Obama's 'Universal Health Care' plan, but one Philadelphia insurance company hopes to use the virtual world to educate children about healthy life choices.

 

          

www.Good2BeMe.org is designed to counter the growing epidemic of obesity and inactivity among young children, as well as challenges related to drugs, alcohol, and the importance of immunizations.

Pixels and Policy looks at how Independence Blue Cross is taking health risk-management into the virtual world, and whether such a move is wise.

Continue reading Insurance Company Launches a Virtual World Aimed at Making Healthy Choices

Microsoft’s New FUSE Lab Explores the Potential of Virtual Marketing

Twitter-money Companies are already changing how they market products and services in the virtual world, and now the biggest computer company is taking a closer look at how social media and virtual worlds can help them retain market dominance.

Pixels and Policy takes a closer look at how Microsoft is working with new social media technology to try and break into the lucrative markets products like Facebook and Second Life create.

Continue reading Microsoft’s New FUSE Lab Explores the Potential of Virtual Marketing

Virtual Edge Summit Looks at Business Side of Virtual Worlds

UnitrinSL Pixels and Policy has seen a lot of back-and-forth about the proper role of businesses in the virtual world over the past few weeks.

One thing is certain, however: Like it or not, businesses are keen to enter the Metaverse.

Now a major summit is looking at the hows and whys of business interaction in the virtual world – what will it take to integrate business effectively into spheres of play, and what will happen when companies become a regular part of the virtual scenery?

Pixels and Policy takes a look at what we can expect from the virtual business world.

Continue reading Virtual Edge Summit Looks at Business Side of Virtual Worlds

Why Do Government Islands Frequently Fail?


Secondlife-postcard

        
Lots of cool info, few interested avatars

NIC Inc
. is best known as the company
behind dozens of state government websites. You know those countless
labyrinthine portals you click through to pay your speeding ticket online?
Thank NIC. 


As it
turns out, NIC decided to expand its business by promoting its e-government
solutions through an expansive and beautiful Second Life island.
 

The
only problem? No one seems interested in discussing government IT solutions
when there’s a dance party only a teleport away. We spoke with NASA’s Learning
Technology Project Manager and Second Lifer Greyark Hightower about why so many
government islands are isolated museums. 

Continue reading Why Do Government Islands Frequently Fail?

Designer Sells Wal-Mart Clothing Line Exclusively in the Metaverse

American Apparel made waves when it promoted its clothing through a virtual store in Second Life. Then it failed miserably . By and large, Real-world corporations found the Metaverse unwelcoming to their attempts at bridging the real-virtual gap. Now designer Norma Kamali is reversing the trend by selling her new clothing line exclusively in the Metaverse.

Closing_005

      American Apparel even chained the virtual doors.

Kamali will sell her "Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart" clothing in the fashion-obsessed virtual world Roiworld, famous for bringing fashion snobbery to an entirely new virtual level.

For their part, Roiworld was so happy to have Kamali sign on that they gave her an entire section of the world as a modern day conquest prize.

An interesting point made in an article from PaidContent, the journal of soulless virtual branding and marketing:

What makes this interesting is that Kamali isn’t selling virtual goods in Roiworld.com—which is what brands like K-Swiss and Rocawear have done in the past—the designer is using the game as a platform to sell real clothes.

As anyone who has spent time in virtual worlds can attest, the vast majority of avatars are testaments to self-idealization. Heaving busts, tall, thin, tan, most bear little resemblance to the millions of people on the other side of the computer screen. Consumers purchase clothing based on how they'd like to look, and nothing enables that more than a customizable avatar.

It'll be interesting to see if Kamali's unique take on virtual marketing works out any better than American Apparel or the sea of corporate husks floating lifelessly through Second Life. If nothing else, she's gained invaluable publicity from the unprecedented move.