Short note on the Second Life phenomena. We are Second Life members now. Not sure exactly what that means, but I know we are having a lot of fun exploring. So far, the only thing I've noticed is that when you 'arrive' in Second Life, you're naked. Hmmm...
Well, in reading about the trends for 2007, you can't escape mention of this virtual world. The pundits (and no, I don't really know WHO they are, only that they are out there) are saying CMOs will rise in stature. That's Chief Marketing Officers, for the uninitiated. If you're a small business owner, that's you. Along with all the 'other' titles you hold - you are now a Chief Marketing Officer. I hope you know that means paying a lot of attention to marketing to women online.
Over at BtoB Online, they're saying, "Marketers will embrace Web 2.0." Naturally, their example is Second Life. If you aren't part of it yet, get on it. According to BtoB, "Several companies, including Sun Microsystems, ad agency AKQA, Reuters and Wells Fargo have set up online storefronts and identities on Second Life, were they sell products and services..."
Other trends noted are the increase in online video ads - but we all saw that coming, didn't we? And, global expansion - which seems old hat. The exciting news is in "measuring engagement." The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) says, "By using interactive, marketers can target the audience that really matters to their brand." The quest to "measure effectiveness" seems to be the Holy Grail, these days.
Nielsen BuzzMetrics has been quoted by Forrester as " a Leader in the Brand Monitoring Market. Overall, Forrester "found that the vendor has the strongest strategic vision and currently competes at a scale unmatched by any other competitor." Click here to gain access to their downloadable report.
One interesting item in the report on trends that surprised me was this one: "Trade shows make a comeback." It seems that the Trade Show Exhibitors Association has a new print publication called The Journal of Face-to-Face Marketing, touted as "an encyclopedia of the events industry." No link was available (though I didn't search very hard).
Instead, I did find THIS great site, which deserves more exploration: About-Face. The site is aimed at improving women's self-image. I think it deserves more press - watch for more information in future posts. Meantime, visit this page and then come back and comment.
In the end, trends are just the stuff of "what-ifs." Reality, like Second Life, is what you make of it. Make women a part of your marketing this year. You'll be glad you did.