Over the last couple of weeks I have been following a great example of Interactive Marketing, an Amazon.com promotion called "Amazon Customers Vote". What makes this initiative interesting is that it introduces an interactive component to traditional online marketing promotions.
|An Amazon Gift Certificate makes the perfect holiday gift!|
Typically, online marketing involves merchants setting up either advertising campaigns or affiliate marketing campaigns. Advertising campaigns are those where merchants purchase advertising on third-party sites or via sponsored link brokers such as Google. Affiliate campaigns involve merchants setting up programs that enable almost any web site (also known as the affiliate site) to promote merchant's products or services and receive a referral fee for a product sold to a customer coming from the affiliate site.
The problem with these typical online marketing initiatives is that they lack any interactivity between the consumer and the merchant. Remember when you were back in school and you had a professor who simply lectured to you vs. a professor that engaged you in a discussion during the class? Certainly we all learned much more from the more engaging professor. Amazon has brought this interactivity to online marketing.
The "Amazon Customers Vote" promotion picks 4 tremendous deals each week and allows customers to vote on their favorite one. These deals are not your typical sale but a deeply discounted promotion, far below the going price for a similar product on the market. The deal that receives the most votes during the week is offered for sale on the following Thursday morning. What is the catch? Extremely limited inventory which may be purchased for the offered price.
Here are the current deals to vote on (votes counted until Thursday, November 30, 2006):
Here are the results from the week 1 vote (ending November 23, 2006):
|Week 1 (Nov. 16-23)|
Xbox 360 Core System
Amazon Price: $299.99
Winning Price: $100
As you can see, all deals are excellent and they would quickly sell out of any such offers, so why does Amazon need you to vote on them? Because it creates a way for you to interact with the site, offer your vote (and who doesn't want to be heard these days?) and it gets you to come back again and again. While you are waiting for the deal, you may as well purchase something else at Amazon.
If you dig a bit deeper, you can see that this is a marketing trick (a good one at that). There is no real reason why you need to vote on the deals. The amount of inventory that Amazon makes available is so small that items sell out within seconds (if not fraction of a second) if you follow online discussions. The real reason is to get you to the Amazon web site and it works. So many people have tried to buy at the advertised prices that the Amazon web site came to a standstill at the time when these products became available for purchase.
So, the lesson of this campaign is... Try to include some interactivity in your marketing campaign. This is something I will be thinking a bit about and hope to have an example of something interactive here on AffiliateBrand.com.
Do you offer a way for your readers to interact with your site? Please leave a comment here and I will try to highlight your site in my later post.