Many companies are exploring the 3-Dimensional world of Second Life as a new way to market their brands to new audiences, but the most successful ones will actually have a strategy and a purpose that seamlessly integrates and supports the environment. If you force yourself in without adapting to the virtual world, you will fail. Companies just can’t assume that they can simply duplicate real-world marketing tactics; they have to create experiences unique to the virtual world that meets the needs and expectations of Second Lifers.
For Coldwell Banker, tracking, measuring and learning was the critical part of the strategy for success. We wanted to generate valuable insights while anticipating and responding to the needs of Second Lifers, so it was important that we created the proper infrastructure to support that. We worked closely with Code4Software, who had created a new tracking technology which monitors and records who visits the Coldwell Banker metaverse, where they go, what they do, how long they stay and more – a first for Second Life.
- Together with Code4 we created the first V-Commerce function in Second Life for Coldwell Banker. When an avatar, or virtual alter ego, purchases a virtual house, it can touch a virtual palm-scanner that will automatically provide the buyer’s qualifications and simplify the purchasing process. Streamlining online transactions is critical for Second Life success.
- Coldwell Banker is the first national real estate company to sell homes within the Second Life community. Coldwell Banker’s Second Life main offices – staffed with sales associates and an office manager – are located on the mainland with a purpose, to stabilize the virtual real estate market and educate consumers on how to purchase property. When Echo Boomers have a positive experience with Coldwell Banker in Second Life, they will trust the company for real world transactions.
- Coldwell Banker’s presence in Second Life includes the largest and most organized home developments in the 3-D metaverse, with an inventory of more than 500 specially designed homes on 550,000 square meters in the Ranchero section of the Second Life mainland.
NOTE: Hats off to Kinetic Frank Puma for spearheading this innovation. And thanks to Charlie Young and David Marine at Coldwell Banker for taking the chance and making this great.