Let’s take this scenario: You own a small business and a longtime customer comes in asking for your recommendation on a good place to buy dinner. You make a recommendation on a place of business and your customer thanks you.
Peer-to-Peer Marketing, also abbreviated P2P, is the practice of people engaging other people through recommendations. When deciding to buy a product or service, consumers trust their friends, families, and associates over other influences
Peer-to-peer (P2P) is effective since it doesn’t feel like a sales tactic:
People who are not ‘benefiting’ wouldn’t recommend something they don’t believe in. As more and more people gravitate away from businesses that feel pushy, P2P options offer authenticity that’s priceless.
Businesses use many peer-to-peer tactics to sell products/services. A common example would be when a company sends a message to their customers, asking them to recommend them to friends.
It is also common that those customers are offered something in return, to trigger conversions.
These tactics, even though not new, are now becoming more crucial in this day and age.
The newer generations are more interested in authenticity because peer to peer marketing benefits consumers too, since they could just network their way to a better product or service.
P2P gives a voice to others who have nothing to really gain but giving strong recommendations. Ultimately, P2P is a form of marketing that can feel increasingly trustworthy and authentic through real, genuine reviews from peers who have no incentive to promote businesses they don’t care about.
Peer to Peer (P2P) vs Influencer Marketing
To explore the difference between P2P marketing and influencer marketing, let’s consider an example.
Jessica Alba’s business, The Honest Company, has a strong referral program in which they credit existing customers $20 for each invited friend who makes a purchase.
This is a perfect example of P2P marketing and how she grew her business to a $1B company.
The P2P marketing initiative aims to tap into The Honest Company’s existing consumers to reach new prospects.
Influencer marketing, on the other hand, refers to social influencers on online platforms who tag posts signifying it’s sponsored by The Honest Company.
These are both equally valuable marketing options, but they achieve different goals.
P2P is likely more narrow in reach, but has the potential to convert quicker than influencer marketing, since it’s leveraging the power of an existing relationship with customers.
Peer to Peer Marketplaces
Some well known P2P platforms include Airbnb and Uber.
Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent out their homes with people who are looking for accommodations in that area. It has now turned into the biggest travel business in the world.
They built their company on other people’s property and recommendations. They empower people to be their own “travel agents” and promote themselves as well as one another.
Uber is a platform where those who drive and deliver can connect with riders, eaters, and restaurants.
Their company is built on people’s driving ability. Their marketing strategies also rely on self promotion by those people and their network of friends who can drive.
BAU, is a P2P platform that allows local businesses to advertise for one other to reach target customers. BAU’s stance: Businesses already have the target audience and existing relationships with customers. Let’s allow them to pay each other to advertise instead of expensive ad networks on Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yelp, etc.
The company is built on the intrinsic value of business content and empowers businesses locally, worldwide to reward each other for promotion
BAU is gearing up for launch. Learn more, follow and sign up at www.joinbau.com/home
Trajectory of Advertising
P2P marketing is the future of advertisement. As time goes on, you will see strategies change to be more authentic and natural. This is what Millenials and Gen Zers are looking for, and attracted to the most. For this reason utilize ‘peer-to-peer’ marketing strategies for your business(es).