“Peer-to-Peer Retail”: Social marketing/commerce is not just about ‘likes’

Owjo, the social commerce startup where I worked as evangelist/marketer/product guy, had a big problem. Its offering was so big, and so potentially transformative, that prospective customers couldn’t get a quick grasp of it. Part of my job was to break the product down, so that discrete offerings could be orientated to specific markets. The first fruit of my labour to be released is the concept of “Peer-to-Peer Retail”. It is being introduced in my piece “Peer-to-Peer Retail / The power of sharing” in this coming issue of the quarterly Contagious Magazine (out this week). The concept behind Peer-to-Peer Retail is that social marketing and commerce should not just be about likes, they should be about an entirely new system of retail distribution and customer acquisition, driven by more by the customer than the brand itself. This is not a small idea.

ComScore’s recent report The Power of Like  showed that when a brand succeeds in getting many ‘likes’ on Facebook this translates into sales. The researchers gathered data to show that Starbucks fans and their friends spend more in the cafe than average, and that fans and friends of fans of Southwest Airlines, another surveyed brand, were far more likely to visit its official site than the general internet population. The third brand surveyed, Bing, was used 68 percent more times by fans than non- fans. The message is that getting ‘liked’ by users on Facebook translates to sales. But this is only half of the equation. The idea behind ‘Peer-to-Peer Retail’, and which I saw within Owjo’s technology the first moment I was introduced to it, is that marketing must go beyond what ComScore call ‘The Power of Like’ to Continue reading