Yes, people rent stores close to clubs under the impression that traffic from a club is more or less traffic to the store, but this is false in my opinion since most people rarely venture outside of the club. The club build is not optimized for store integration because people build malls and stores as they would in RL. But... Avatar movement is not anything like rl (unless you're Nightcrawler from the xmen). So the problem is people dont walk outside of the club, period. This is from my experience anyway, i dont have any statistical data to support my statement...but, yeah, they stay in the club.
So, how do we get the avatar to walk outside of the club? NO, the question is how do we integrate club and mall into one entity that doesnt look like a huge box with products inside and a dj booth in the middle. People like to browse, thats why the marketplace is preferred -one click and you get a big selection. Inworld shopping should be similar: People should be able to cam inside the confines of the club and browse in such an easy manner too, with neat, organized sample products sitting on relevant, aesthetically adequate displays integrated into the club build (not in big ugly boxes).
In the club people usually stay in one place (so they wont bump into other people -a big issue in sl), so they choose to cam and do so within the realms of the club (because of graphical limitations of their PC they choose low draw distance). So, yes, imho club and store should become one, because that's where the avatar cam will gravitate -inside the 64m sphere of the club. I think most people's Avatar Cam Gravitation Sphere (ACGS, lol) is within 64m.
So, yup, a club should promote the stores, but not by being in people's face about it. The club could, and should, very well offer stores the possibility to display animated ads on the walls of the club. The dj and hostesses could wear outfits from the stores, and casually suggest where they got them from. The Club contests could include prizes from the shops. More clubs should be doing this already. The club could host weekly release parties/events that feature whatever the stores are launching that week. Discount events, Fashion shows with a dj playing quick snippets of songs to coincide with models walking into the club wearing new products.
Stores should supply DJs with custom mp3 ads that the dj can play between songs... i havent seen anybody doing that in clubs!! Why not have the dj and hostess wear a box with an ad over their head... i mean people are so fond of floating text, why not have ads on that too? Has anyone tried this?
I think it's pretty safe to say clubs and stores live in a kind of symbiosis, regardless if club owners do or do not realize it. Stores should put ads for the club inside the boxes too. I think it's called cross promotion? Specially now that people barely have a reason to go shopping inworlds anymore, such a thing is imperative -stores should put ads, for current events in the clubs, in the boxes they sell in the marketplace.
That brings me to another issue: If the marketplace gave the merchant the option to update and attach things like notecards and LMs to her/his products in an easy manner (one or 2 clicks for all a merchants boxes, ideally), people would be more open to promote inworld locations such as clubs, because, let's face it, nobody wants to update the LM in a 100 different product boxes twice a week. It's insanely time consuming and not a viable marketing tool for the ever changing and moving SL world.
The marketplace is here to stay, and i don't think it's smart to look at it in a inworld vs marketplace way. I think both can coexist and actually help inworld economy greatly, because anyone even without an SL account can browse the marketplace to some extent. Maybe LL should look into promoting SL in a different manner in facebook... bring people in not by promoting the chance to be an elephant avatar or an orc, but by promoting the shiny, cool things the avatar can get on the marketplace (and show off in a social environment inworld). People like buying nice things, and if LL can market the idea of buying nice stuff for your avatar as an accomplishment, instead of focusing the marketing on the avatar itself, well I think that would bring more people to SL (by such people i mean those that like to play those myriad facebook games where they earn points). LL, promote that instead, let the inworld brands, and people's natural desire for status, boost the SL brand. But i digress...
Currently LL needs to implement an easier way to update box content in the marketplace, because inworld economy would benefit greatly and avatar logetivity too. Imagine a noob comes to sl, buys some stuff on the marketplace and gets an invitation to a current event or party in the box. This solves 2 problems, the noob gets his products easily, say a vampire outfit, and also 1) gets the option to visit a perhaps similarly themed vampire club, or roleplay environment motivating that person to stay in sl, and 2) boosts club/store awareness putting a smile on everybody. The merchant and club owner would be playing a key role in the integration of all newbies into the SL world, taking some of that role from LLs hands -and perhaps this is the way it should be, because the noob would meet likeminded people faster in a club/roleplay environment that caters to the noob's interests.
Sure, these ideas may seem idiotic to some extent (they don't seem so to me), but there really needs to be more emphasis on creating a viable, beneficial club/stores/marketplace relationship. In a sea of many dumb ideas theres probably a good one that can be implemented by the right person? So i'd welcome more people to give ideas
Sorry for wall of text, but this topic interests me a lot.