While Second Life and other online worlds have propagated virtual economies with their own "millionaires", 2011 saw virtual currencies break into the marketing mainstream. Facebook Credits were launched with the backing of brands including Walmart and Zynga; Google Wallet was announced and BitCoin rose, then fell, then rose then – who knows? As we enter 2012 the question ‘what is currency?’ has never been more relevant for so many people. And more applicable to marketers, how does our understanding of the 4 P's (product, price, promotion, place) change in a world of virtual currencies? This is both a philosophical and highly practical question: if you buy something with Microsoft points – have you really bought it? How much did you pay? What if you are hacked or get kicked off the platform – it is still yours?This panel will examine the state of virtual currency, where it is heading, and consider how marketers should be evolving their strategies to account for virtual currencies.
9th–13th March 2012