What was that old adage about advertising?
I know that half my advertising is working for me...I just don't know which half?
Well, Gartner analyst Adam Sarner has a report out that indicates over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites have undertaken some kind of online social-networking initiative for marketing or customer relations, but that 50 percent of those will ultimately be classified as failures.
Why would that be?
Well, the Second Life land rush is one good example. Many brands jumped headlong into the virtual world because...well, they thought they had to...without necessarily having first clearly outlined their core marketing and communications objectives.
What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach? What actions do you want for them to take as a result of your communication?
I had this conversation...when I could stop someone about their enthusiasm of getting their first avatar long enough to listen to me...many a time with IBMers during the Second Life bubble.
Not to say I was a virtual worlds naysayer myself. I thought Second Life was so cool I went in and bought my avatar some nice threads so I didn't give myself away as a newbie.
But my point to my internal clients was pretty simple: If you wanted to use the online media for marketing, at the time there were over 1 billion people using the Internet, and a handful million or two in Second Life.
Where would you place your bets?
So, as you and yours come down with Web 2.0 and social media fever, though there are admittedly some unique and relevant capabilities that can't be found just about anywhere else, remember not to throw the 1.0 marketing baby out with the bathwater.
That is to say, basic rules of fundamental marketing and communcations still apply.
One part basic marketing objectives combined with one part social media marketing tactic can help eliminate 50 percent waste in the overall capital "M" Marketing equation.
Now, has anybody seen my avatar? I've outgrown my once new virtual suit and need to find myself a digital tailor to have it taken out a couple of inches.