. . . Monday December 20, 2004

The Next Generation of Word of Mouth

How would you like to be part of an ad for your favorite product? Not an ad that you were paid for and maybe not even an ad that anyone else (other than your friends and coworkers) would see?

That basic description may not sound that compelling. But if it’s the right product and the right offer, you’d be surprised at how many takers there would be.

A new web-based service is offering customers the chance to turn any digital photo into their own personal iPod advertisement. And people are going for it.

This is just one more example of the new age of marketing. One of the pillars of this new age will be to figure out ways to turn your customers into evangelists. But in this case, a third party has come up with a way to run a business letting other people advertise Apple’s product.

This just sort of happened. Cool product. Great ad campaign. Right userbase. A few folks with a creative idea of how to make a few bucks.

Look for many companies to try to figure out how to make things like this happen in the future. It will not be easy to manufacture this kind of viral marketing. Even with the help of the new buzz manufacturers, success is far from a sure thing. And that’s probably good.

What if we entered a new age of marketing; one during which the product itself actually mattered?

Concentration is important!