Peer-to-peer Marketing

Written by Linda Alexander
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Enabling peer-to-peer marketing requires you to give your customers the tools, incentives, and rewards to spread your word-of-mouth marketing campaign. When it happens by accident, it is hard to duplicate and difficult to measure. Once something is passed around digitally, it is out of your hands. Before embarking on a peer-to-peer marketing campaign, decide how important that control is to you.

Not only will your viral marketing campaign give you free publicity, but it also gives you the credibility of being spread by family and friends, so consumers are more apt to trust the message. They can smell an ad a mile away, and if something is obviously commercial, they are less likely to spread it to their peers.

Peer-to-Peer Marketing Must Have the Cool Factor

Think of the Internet and what gets passed around. Much of it is not commercial. You need to create the right message so that people react, and that involves making the message "cool" enough so that it gets passed around for the best impact on your brand.

Word-of-mouth campaigns can be done with other digital media, too. Some companies are now leveraging text messaging on wireless phones, as the TV show American Idol did by asking people to vote for its contestants through their mobile phones. Allowing them to interact with the program this way enabled the campaign to spread among users. As new media become available, you can apply what you've learned from viral campaigns on the Internet to achieve peer-to-peer marketing success with new technology.

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