Last week I had the opportunity to our very own interview Rebecca Lieb. Rebecca is the Editor in Chief for the Clickz network, which includes Search Engine Watch. We talked about how Search Engine Watch is evolving, and we also talked about the changing world of online media. For those of you who are wondering, readership and subscriptions to Search Engine Watch have been growing steadily over the past year, Partly because search is becoming more and more mainstream.
We talked a bit about how advertising has had some great successes in Second Life. Out of that discussion emerged a great point about media campaigns in general. For example, Starwood Hotels had great success with their marketing trial of the Aloft series of hotels in Second Life. This was a new series of hotels that they were thinking of creating, and they were looking for market feedback. They got a ton of useful information.
But equally important to the long term success of the campaign, Starwood knew that they had to have an end of life plan for the campaign. Once the trials were done, they donated the properties they have acquired to a non-profit organization that was active in Second Life. By doing this, they did not leave behind an abandoned property within Second Life.
Sadly, many other brands have done this, test marketed ideas, and then left behind abandoned properties on the Second Life landscape, artifacts that simple sit there and damage the brand of the company that put them up. Doesn't sound like the goal of your typical ad campaign does it?
Starwood understood their audience, and their medium. Understanding their audience got them some great feedback, and also succeeded in enhancing their brand image. Understanding the medium caused them to do a much better job in understanding what to do at the end of their campaign.