The potency of word of mouth advertising on the Internet is not new, but often for the mainstream to take the shift online seriously, they require a traditional giant to coerce them.
That’s why Proctor & Gamble’s announcing of the Internet as an emerging platform for brand building (outside of the regular banner ads and seo) is most welcome.
For those who don’t know, the web and email are now crucial for spreading your company message and so ad agencies like Proctor and Gamble are looking to offer freebies and coupons to encourage consumers to recommend their clients through these ‘new channels’.
I think this will mark an interesting shift in marketing that brings together strategies to incorporate the Web, rather than tagging it on as an extra. But they still seem to shy from the viral potential of the medium.
At Christmas last year UKFast experimented with a festive viral game, a play on the classic Space Invaders. We sent it out to about 10 sources and let them do the work and within 3 days hits to the UKFast site were up 1000% and visitors were flocking in from all over the world. The game opened up markets that UKFast had never targeted before.
Our experiment was not product driven, but it shows the potential for building brand and product awareness. With a little more imagination you can turn a coupon in to a real awareness campaign.
I have recently spoken to a number of sources including a top high street chain that are already producing viral campaigns for the web and I think the mainstream is finally catching on.