It’s a rare and wonderful day when I find a real-world marketing site that seems to get the idea about how to live and work in Second Life without insulting the residents. Without appearing to gush too hard, I would say that the shop just opened by floral retailer 1-800-FLOWERS.com seems to hit on all cylinders:
1. Great freebies to keep or give away, like floral arrangements and T-shirts that don’t look too cheesy. (Most marketers and biz people in SL make freebies no-transfer, which is no-sense for me because it kills any word-of-mouth promotional value.)
2. Official Flower Fan group members on hand to greet newcomers and explain how to use the site.
3. A relatively low-lag build, by This Second Marketing, on whose sim the shop sits.
4. Relevant connections to the real-world business, with links to the company Web site, photos of arrangements you can buy, and a promotion code for dollars off any purchase that originates from the notecard that accompanies the free arrangements.
5. Evidence that the builders are real SL residents, not tourists or observers. In this case, it’s finding landscaping elements purchased from Lilith Heart, probably the best retailer of flowers, trees and other natural items in SL. (If that is starting to sound a little too Better Homes and Gardens to the guys, all I can say is wait till you acquire an SL wife and house and she wants to make the place look nice. Trust me on this.)
6. Regular events that SL residents can attend and contribute to, sort of the SL equivalent of consumer-generated content, now all the rage among next-generation marketers. This past Friday featured a virtual conference with Jim McCann, the RL flower guy you see in the TV commercials, and a contest for best floral arrangement is coming up.
What does all this mean for guys who couldn’t care less about flowers and floral marketing in SL? It means that if you want to give a girl flowers, you don’t need lindens to do it anymore. Just go here and get a free bouquet or arrangement. It’s all good, guys.