How do animal rights activists relate to your interactive marketing plan? Well, they may just have the secret for making your site a smash success in the virtual sector. Let me explain
Camille Hankins of Brooklyn, NY, runs an animal rights group, called Win Animal Rights (WAR). The group has made it a mission to close down animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences, and towards that end, they have pursued and protested professionals even slightly associated with the company, like the former VP of the stock exchange where its stocks are traded or the general council for a Huntingdon customer. WAR’s success at finding individuals to target, not to mention its very survival, is owed largely to the prevalence of cell phones and the power of the internet.
Hankins has used MySpace, where she has 18,000 friends; the site Rise Up, which connected her to 10,000 like-minded activists; and a list of 2,000 email addresses to stay in touch with her following. Using cell phones, protests can be organized in hours or even minutes from among Hankins’ extensive contacts, while the internet coughs up details like addresses and phone numbers for targets, even if they have unlisted information. Employees and associates of Huntingdon have taken out court orders to limit WAR’s interference in their lives, but the group still finds creative ways to embarrass whoever they find with the slightest connection to Huntingdon.
This blog entry is not meant to inspire you to start a protest against animal laboratories, or any legal organization for that matter. Whether you support the efforts of WAR or you’re in favor of a more placid approach, the point here is that the internet is unmatched in its ability to give people a relatively inexpensive platform for making their passions a reality.
What’s most exciting is that this success can be yours. Figure out what makes your customers excited about your products, then find a way to market it on social media sites so that they will be inspired to connect with you. Be creative: use the depth of the internet to find potential business customers in creative ways. If there are organizations with similar or complementary products to your own, get in touch with them and see if you can develop a deal for affiliate marketing.
Interactive marketing, after all, is about going beyond classical advertising to connect with your target audience.