Posted by Lena L. West, Creator of The Technology Diet
In selecting my speaking topic for PodcampNYC in April, I started thinking about the plethora of marketing activities that small business-owners have to engage in just to remain competitive and ahead-of-the-game. There’s ezines, strategic alliances, referral harvesting, writing articles, delivering presentations, direct mail campaigns, keep-in-touch strategies, etc, etc, etc! Then, just when you’ve hit your stride, you’ve got your integrated marketing system humming down the road toward Clientville, along comes social media.
You know…blogging, podcasting, wikis, RSS, XML, yada, yada. Yeah, THAT stuff. Ok, so that’s been around awhile and many businesses have started corporate blogs and wikis – many haven’t. In due time…
Now, alternate universes are all the rage. Maybe you’ve heard of Second Life? No? Second Life is a virtual 3-D world where the ‘players’ own the Second Life world in which they reside. Before you dismiss this as just another Dungeons & Dragons, you should know that since 2003, the population in Second Life has swelled to almost 2.7 million people from around the World. The residents actually start, own and operate real-life businesses in the ether realm. There are consulting companies making millions advising mega-corporations like Sun Microsystems, CNET, Dell, BBC Radio 1 and Wells Fargo on how to extend their brand experience into Second Life. If all of this sounds like something off of a movie set, you’re not too far off.
What are the potential implications of something like Second Life? Well, if you’re an established small business, you might want to consider hiring a Chief Marketing Officer to manage all this marketing spaghetti. You’ll need to get some advice from a tech expert to see how all the various pieces fit together. You might also want to think about how scenarios like Second Life – and whatever comes after it (there WILL be something next, I promise) – affects your market and do your research on their reactions. If you cater to the Gen X and Y set, you need to get on top of Second Life, like yesterday.
And, circling back to my point…
So, what’s a business-owner to do? Do you jump on every bandwagon that looks like it’s headed to Clientville? Or, do you hitch a ride on a later bandwagon and risk missing the party (i.e. the cash)?
I’ll answer with a story:
A close friend and client asked me the other day if I think that he should start a blog. My response to him was, “I need to know more about your intent, purpose and direction to be able to provide a professional recommendation.”
So, that’s what I’ll ask you to do, dear readers. When new technology and online marketing opportunities present themselves, what can you do?
Get clear about your intent, purpose and direction. Then figure out how the latest thing fits in – if it fits at all. If you can’t figure it out on your own, seek help.
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