Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.
According to a paper by Duncan Watts and colleagues entitled: "Everyone's an influencer", the most common risk in viral marketing is that of the influencer not passing on the message, which can lead to the failure of the viral marketing campaign. A second risk is that the influencer modifies the content of the message. A third risk is that influencers pass on the wrong message. This can result from a misunderstanding or as a deliberate move.
Marketers must also plan the procedures for crediting referrals, the number of referrals needed to claim the reward, and any other tools for proving that the referrals actually happened. For example, phone service company Vonage offers two months of free service for each successful referral, and one month free for the new signup. To track which customers should receive referral credits, the company provides a separate signup link for the Refer-A-Friend program, and new customers enter the phone number of the person who referred them during the signup process.
For banners, if some affiliates use 728-pixel-by-90-pixel leaderboards but all you offer is 300-pixel-by-250-pixel medium rectangles, you run the risk of missing out on revenue because you didn’t offer enough options. Create banner ads in multiple sizes and designs so the affiliates can choose what best fits their needs. If you’re running a promotion or sale, promo-specific banners with start and end dates give your affiliates a more customized, enticing options to advertise your site.
The Blendtec viral video series Will It Blend? debuted in 2006. In the show, Tom Dickson, Blendtec founder and CEO, attempts to blend various unusual items in order to show off the power of his blender. Will it Blend? has been nominated for the 2007 YouTube award for Best Series, winner of .Net Magazine's 2007 Viral Video campaign of the year and winner of the Bronze level Clio Award for Viral Video in 2008. In 2010, Blendtec claimed the top spot on the AdAge list of "Top 10 Viral Ads of All Time". The Will It Blend page on YouTube currently shows over 200 million video views.
If you value taking your time to make sure everything is right, you don’t want to partner with a company that cuts corners and focuses on producing quick campaigns. It will make it hard for your business to work with that Internet marketing company. If you want to have the most effective campaign, you need to partner with an Internet marketing company that is on the same page as your business.