Nowadays it is seen that retailers engage their customers to become a representative of their product and market the products among their neighbours and peers.
The word of comrade is more effective than an outsider trying to sell a product as they know the customer’s mind better and can convince them to buy the quality product. "Level to level marketing is always more efficient, especially when it comes to branding, a certain kind of evangelism needs to come from the person marketing the product," branding expert Harish Bijoor said.
We can take an example of online retailer Jabong.com. The company is working on a programme where it finds a person in every neighborhood particularly in small towns and rural areas who can teach his pal to use a smartphone and shop online and drive up traffic on Jabong.
"Many people are averse to shopping on phones. So, we are identifying people in small towns to whom we can give smartphones so that they can teach their friends to place orders," Praveen Sinha, Founder & MD of Jabong.com said.
GSK too runs a similar programme with a ‘Horlicks Akka or Horlicks Didi’ in every small town and village who represents GSK in the region and markets the suite of products.
Such programmes work well for companies since it makes better economic sense to work with such partners than employ distributors in every region, and the partners too, would be able to make a few ten thousands a month by working with the companies.