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

Does Augmented Reality Have Broad Market Potential?

Every once in a while I get a
really interesting letter about the potential "game changing" business
applications of the super-hyped augmented reality "industry." I'm deeply
skeptical about AR's ability to change anything until comprehensive
standards are developed to define exactly what constitutes an "AR
product," but the article I received deserves closer review.

Today's
interesting article
comes straight from the tech blog Vision
Mobile. In the article, Andreas Constantinou, one of a new crop of
reporters looking at augmented reality, discusses the unique economies
created by augmented reality and virtual worlds with an eye towards the
future.

But is Constantinou overly
optimistic about the transformative power of augmented reality?

From the Vision Mobile article:

What's interesting is when entire new economies emerge,
new systems for creating value and monetising from that value. I
would argue that in the last few years we have been witnessing the
creation of Augmented Economics, the economy formed by superimposing
value on top of our physical world. But let me take a step back to
explain.

Let's take a look at
the market potential of augmented reality services, both tethered to the
webcam and desktop computer model of today as well as some new
innovators hoping to bring augmented technology to new and interesting
areas of traditionally old-technology business.

Continue reading Does Augmented Reality Have Broad Market Potential?

Stanford Study: Avatars Have a Big Impact on Our Real-World Decisions (Pt. 1 of 2)

One of the most interesting areas of study in virtual worlds has to do not with what we bring into the environment, but how an entirely virtual ecosystem changes the real-world player. Stanford University has been doing some very interesting research on the subject, and one of their most recent findings has the mainstream media paying attention.

According to research recently released by the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab, one of the leading virtual world research facilities in the country, players can be heavily influenced by what their avatar is doing.

Today we look at the first in a two-part breakdown of Stanford's most recent study. Today's article focuses on the potential business implications of the VHIL's findings. Saturday we'll take a look at what these findings tell us about the sociology and psychology of gamers and their avatars.

Continue reading Stanford Study: Avatars Have a Big Impact on Our Real-World Decisions (Pt. 1 of 2)

Hiro Pendragon on the Shifting Focus of Virtual World Platforms

Today's post is a great read from Hiro Pendragon (Ron Blechner), former CTO of Involve, Inc. and a long-time writer and analyst of business and professional trends in virtual worlds. Hiro recently sat as a guest for a Second Life panel discussion about PBS's "Digital Nation" documentary.

This year will see increasing corporate and academic use of
virtual worlds for private, individual ventures. Marketing efforts in virtual
worlds are pretty much frozen solid, but will thaw a little proportionate to
the recovery of the economy.

Second Life will continue to be the industry
leader for interactive virtual worlds, while opensim-based and Second Life
spinoff worlds will enjoy success for ones that stay cheap or that cater to a
specific niche. But first, let's rewind to 2009.

Continue reading Hiro Pendragon on the Shifting Focus of Virtual World Platforms

Is 2010 a Breakout Year for Virtual Economies?

A2(1) Thanks to enterprising social media developers, virtual economics hit the stratosphere in the second half of 2009. Companies like Zynga turned low-overhead, pay-for-premiums games like Farmville and Mafia Wars into a profit stream stretching into nine figures.

Can this fantastic growth in the value of virtual objects and virtual economies continue into 2010, or could developers be headed for their own virtual financial crisis?

Pixels and Policy does a little digging and takes a look at a recent Forbes interview with Slide CEO Max Levchin to assess the growth potential of the virtual economy in 2010.

Continue reading Is 2010 a Breakout Year for Virtual Economies?

Looking to Save Your Company Money? Move Business Online.

It's shocking that the cost savings of virtual conferencing and travel are so accepted in the mainstream media, but so few companies are going out of their way to streamline productivity.

A recent report from The Economic Times notes that, for all its proven value, companies still aren't jumping into digital workplaces and their cost-cutting capabilities.

Pixels and Policy takes a look.

Continue reading Looking to Save Your Company Money? Move Business Online.