A recent viral email that was a little more business-related and that had clear commercial objectives was Volkwagen’s ‘The Fun Theory’ where the brand used a series of experiments to find out if one could make people healthier and more environmentally conscious if mundane activities were made more fun. While piano stairs and the world’s deepest trashcan were examples of things people suggested, it’s not clear if the resultant viral emails directly led to sales.
Another type of ‘viral’ marketing communication is, of course, that which is transmitted across mobile devices. Marketers are able to send consumers special offers in the form of SMS vouchers, they can tag them onto ‘Please Call Me’ messages, load them into USSD scripts, and more. And it’s not just vouchers that consumers can engage with, practically any promotional tactic hitherto used in the world of marketing has a mobile equivalent that outperforms the old-style promo device.
Clever use of the mobile medium to deliver promotional messages has the potential to develop into the cellular world’s version of ‘word of mouth’ communication. The ease and speed by which mobile communication takes place means literally anyone on a consumer’s contact list can be a recipient of a special offer that’s gone viral.
A good mobile campaign can directly translate into feet in stores, or tangible online purchases. The key to driving sales through voucher conversations is to apply a time limit to the special offer that one is transmitting via SMS or OTT channels such as WhatsApp. A time limit has the effect of ensuring that the consumer has a certain amount of time in which to make a decision – it adds an immediacy that helps FMCG staff in stores to move product.
Let’s conclude with an interesting that really drives home the message that things have, well, changed in the world…
“Nothing but a newspaper can drop the same thought into a thousand minds at the same moment…”
—Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
You better get with mobile!