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AT&T Recruiting Demonstrators in the Neighborhood

Cgm AT&T is using many places to demonstrate its new U-verse TV service, including special displays in shopping malls and truck trailers dressed up like living rooms. One of their biggest efforts has been promoting TV parties, intially by employees but soon by influentials which have been identified for them by ViaNovo, the company of Matthew Dowd, who helped build community support the same way for the 2004 Republican presidential campaign. AT&T expects they will compensate their "champions" but they haven't decided exactly how. It seems likely that these influentials will get free TV service for either hosting parties are for recruiting customers. At the first parties, AT&T has averaged three new customers at the party with two more signing up the next day.

WSJ.com: Selling TV Like Tupperware, 2006-Jun-29, by Dionne Searcey and Peter Grant

060629 "From a marketing standpoint we've long been intrigued with the idea that certain people hold the power to market things and talk to others in a way that gets listened to in a different way," said Mikal Harn, vice president of consumer marketing for AT&T. "We're looking for people who are more likely than most to have a strong pull and power -- the word-of-mouth champions."

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