Marketing Forum Transcript

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Notes from SLDEV Forum Topic: Case Studies, Marketing and Solution Providers Speakers: Amanda Linden, Christa Linden Date: 3 March 2009


Amanda Linden

  • Director of Enterprise Marketing at Linden Lab
  • Worked for last 15 years in technology marketing at large companies, worked with M as VP of Marketing at Organic for 5 years prior to joining Linden Lab
  • Has been at LL for about 3 months, reporting directly to M
  • Working on brand, developing marketing collatoral that illustrates the enterprise uses of Second Life, as well as what companies and organizations use it (i.e. case studies)

Christa Linden

  • Background in marketing and corporate events (Charles Schwab, Dreyers)
  • Works closely with Amanda in enterprise marketing - case studies, marketing materials, events


  • Amanda and Christa introduce themselves
  • Working hard to telling the story about how enterprises have successfully used Second Life. Example is recently released IBM case study and recent segment on CNBC about IBM case study:
  • Working with Solution Providers is important - they are the ones who develop projects and enable companies and organizations to use Second Life successfully
  • Amanda wants to work closely with Solution Providers on joint marketing case studies and information sharing about projects, as well as listen to and get feedback from SPs


General Marketing Questions

Q1: What does 'collateral' mean for a marketer (as opposed to financial or other)?


  • Collateral means the materials that are valuable in promoting a business, in this case, materials that help promote business uses of Second Life.
  • In addition to items like case studies, we also consider collatoral to be things like the website, which is the process of being overhauled and enterprise related items being relocated to more visible places

Q2: How big does an entity have to be to be called "Enterprise"? What percent of LL's commercial revenue is "Enterprise" currently?


  • >1000 people in distributed offices
  • Businesses and government are considered one group
  • Education and non-profit are considered the other group
  • Enterprise currently consists of 15-20% of LL revenue
  • Focus on enterprise because SL is most compelling for larger groups - conference calls/webex do not provide experience for a group of 80 like SL does.
  • Discussion about how SL can be used for companies/orgs that are < 1000 and are in the same office - saves time, ability to do things like track inventory through a factory, brainstorming on prototypes etc.

Q3: Will we have a marketing plan that includes the European markets? We really need to have corporate use adv in media, press, edu in order to fight the meme in Europe of SL as a game.


  • Yes, we are currently localizing the IBM case studies into German, Japanese and French (to start), Spanish and Italian soon after; committed to localizing marketing materials
  • Katrin Linden and Clare Linden also focus on Europe and work closely with European SPs

Addressing Needs of Enterprise Use of Second Life

Q1: Is LL going to roll out a separate grid that is specialized for corporate America


  • We are thinking about it, but no specific plans.
  • Realize that consumer and corporate customers have different needs and thus require different initial and ongoing experiences

Q2: Technically speaking, are there different restrictions on enterprise sims that would allow more than the maximum 100 AV's on a SIM?


  • No plans to have specific 'enterprise' vs. 'consumer' sims, all sims perform the same way and have same capabilities. We understand that there is a great need for the ability to have more than 70 AVs comfortably (w/o lag) on a sim for meetings and events.
  • As SPs already know, the way to accommodate more people at one location is to have the venue on the corner of 4 adjacent sims
  • Getting more AVs comfortably on a sim is a major technical challenge that LL is aware of and is examining
  • Discussion about how hardware and bandwidth are issues, and that huge events (more than 200 people) diminish the impact of social interaction both in RL and SL. Smaller groups are usually best for interaction

Q3: Are companies interested in SL more for virtual meetings? Have they give up on brand promotion & customer interaction?


  • While there are some companies still using SL for brand promotion and customer interaction, that has decreased since its peak in 2007
  • Large increase in companies using SL for meetings, events, training, and 3D modeling

Q4: What about a behind a firewall solution?


  • Behind the firewall solution in the works (announced by M at October 2008 Virtual Worlds Conference in London); currently in Alpha
  • Please let us know if you have clients that would be interested in participating in Beta
  • Completely separate from the Second Life Grid
  • Also working on technical white papers for both the behind the firewall solution and for Second Life

Q5: Will the behind the firewall solution be able to be coupled with a private viewer. Businesses have security concerns with using the standard SL viewer

A5: Yes, since the behind the firewall solution will be stand along, those using it can have a viewer that meets their security needs.

Q6: Has there been consideration in amending the TOS to address the needs of business clients? The current TOS reads like one for a game

A6: Amanda was not aware that this was an issue - will follow up with legal team Discussion: Has caused problems for SPs with their business clients, including issues of IP rights. Up there with firewall issues.

Q7: If/when will there be servers outside US? This is an important issue, particularly with European companies, to have servers based in Europe.

A7: We realize this is an area of interest and concern, however the technical team at LL is better able to answer that question.

How Linden Lab Will Work with Solution Providers on Marketing

Q1: I'm concerned that the lean towards business, fortune 500 companies and such like is pushing little guys like me out of it - what I do won't qualify for case studies, we're considered second rate as we don't do the gold programme - what do you plan to do to help us, or are we not wanted any more?


  • We are currently focus on enterprise because group is only 2 people
  • For potential case studies (or similar), flexible on the company name and types of companies
  • Most important item LL will consider is ROI (return on investment) - it is about the results

Q2: Will this case library only include Fortune 1000 companies (or similar), and in this case why, since middle companies are today the one which also take more risks since they are challenger and not leaders ?

A2: As stated earlier, the most important aspect of these case studies is that they demonstrate results (ROI) that is compelling to other companies and organizations and help them better understand the benefits of using SL for their businesses.

Q3: Whom we should contact when we have a SL-related presentation or other pressworthy events coming up?


  • Contact PR for press-related items; contact Amanda for SL-related presentations
  • Let LL know where you are speaking, we would like to keep you informed of where/when Lindens are speaking
  • A presentation template from LL will be available for use in the next month; as well as list of common Q&As for when talking with companies about SL

Q4: What is the role of partnerships at LL? Is LL interested in forming partnerships with SPs (like they have with Rivers Run Red on Immersive Workspaces)?

A4: We welcome the opportunity to explore potential partnerships with SPs and others. We are currently in the initial stages of developing an application program, and will have more to share about this program and potential for partnerships in the coming months. These partnerships would fall under Enterprise.

Interoperability and Open Source

Q1: Can you tell us, if/when LL are planning to create the inter world TP linking?

A1: There is discussion, but Lindens like FJ, Tom and others could talk much more about this

Q2: Would it make sense to close the client again to cut off copybot and protect content? Is that an option if enough people want it? What good does an open source sl client?

A2: LL is committed to have an open source client and would like to continue to be though leaders in this area. LL is also looking at branding challenges associated with having on open source client.


Q1: Why not use machinima more for your marketing?

A1: - LL plans to use machinima as part of its marketing activities. Extremely effectively way to convey/demonstrate the power and potential of SL without the issue of firewalls and having to log into SL. - Have a small budget to have machinima as part of LL marketing

Q2: What about Competition?

A2: LL welcomes competition within the virtual worlds market - it makes everyone stronger and all benefit