It doesn't look like MySpace will replace traditional marketing any time soon.
According to a recent Jupiter Research study, 53 percent of U.S. consumers go directly to sites from which they plan to make a purchase, with just 3 percent using information gleaned from blogs to get there.
It seems that professional marketers are just as susceptible to hype as the rest of us, notes a Jupiter Research analyst in a recent silicon.com article about the firm's 2007 U.S. Retail Consumer Survey. Companies tend to gravitate to the newest and trendiest marketing methods (two words: Second Life) with little consideration as to how effective they may be.
After the spate of breathless "ain't it cool" reaction dies down, any early mover advantage gets canceled out pretty quickly in the YouTube clutter. Yet some companies are clinging to the idea of finding a magic bullet -- or blogger -- to help sell their products.
While social networking will play a part in future selling strategies, experts say, companies should focus on other online improvements such as streamlining unwieldy checkout processes and offering tools that allow customers to create virtual versions of themselves to model clothing.