General Mills has launched a word of mouth marketing program where people can sign up to receive free product samples they can use and share with their friends.
The program is called Pssst. Here is the contract they’re asking people to agree to in order to participate:
This is similar to the now-defunct Target Rounders program that compensated college students for saying nice things about Target. However, there is one big difference: Rather than be discrete, they’re asking participants to always mention their affiliation with Pssst when pimping General Mills’ products.
This type of marketing is referred to as Word of Mouth Marketing where consumers are encouraged to pass along comments about products they use. WoM guru, Andy Sernovitz, has high praise for General Mills’ campaign:
What does this mean? It’s proof that word of mouth marketing is an essential element of your marketing plan. When money is getting tight, you need an army of fans who talk about you because they love you.
Good point. But are people participating in programs like this talking about you “because they love you” or because they’re being compensated with free products and coupons? It may be the former, but the latter certainly has some influence.
It this works, it sounds like General Mills will get one heckuva great deal considering how much they’re asking of participants in exchange for some free products and coupons.