Infiltration Marketing is a marketing strategy in which marketers try to understand and infiltrate consumer culture at a local level, by identifying and engaging thought leaders and trend setters within the community and targeting their communications. Marketers use various ways to try to make a strong emotional connection between consumers and the brand. Infiltration marketing also utilizes high-impact, exciting brand sampling events at local venues. It was pioneered by PepsiCo in 1995 with Josta. More and more companies are choosing to use Infiltration Marketing for their products and services now. (2)
According to Simon Pride, an European account director at a marketing agency: "People are absolutely saturated with advertising these days and we need to find new ways to capture their imagination and get them involved. The Internet offers great opportunities to tell interesting stories about the brand, and to do so in more innovative and entertaining ways." (4)
A very popular Infiltration marketing method used by some marketers is to access chat rooms in the guise of an everyday user, in order to spread a marketing message as if it were a personal endorsement. Glenn Collins, managing director of new-media agency Digital Outlook points out that the most active chat room users are just the kind of confident style-leaders many brands want to target. “With communities, you are hitting opinion-formers. It's classic word-of-mouth, he says. “Kids are less susceptible to traditional marketing activity, but they respect what their peers say a lot more and this is where they get a lot of their advice from." When it comes to infiltrating a chat room, it is necessary to come up with a realistic persona. Occasional interlopers will be spotted quickly and either banned by the moderators who monitor many chat rooms, ignored or flamed by other users. Digital Outlook's Collins says his company can spend several weeks monitoring a chat room before posting on it.
The Important Tactics
1. Be in the customer's life in a non intrusive way.
2. Provide self-service information.
3. Be everywhere you can.
4. Match your goals with the customer's goals.
5. Provide the complete solution.
6. Look the part.
7. Be real.
8. Show respect
All of the tactics above derived from feedback of consumers. There are many more theories in the industry when it coems to which ones work best, but all opinions from industry professionals are pretty similar when it comes to the list above. (2)
Ways to Build a Successful Infiltration Marketing Campaign
- Building Awareness
- Going into the Customer's World
- Creating Events Your Customers Wants to Attend
- Cross Promotions
- Speeches, Classes, Columns, and Other Publicity
- The Internet
Companies can choose any one of or a combination of all of these ways to run their campaign. Because some of these are more costly, smaller companies tend to stick with the lower cost methods but many of them still achieve tremendous success with their campaigns. (2)
1. Infiltration marketing. (n.d.) Wikipedia.org. (2005). Retrieved March 1 2008 from http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Infiltration+marketing
2. Debelak, Don. Infiltration marketing: achieve astounding sales increases on a very low budget by entering your cutomer's world. Adams: 2000.
3. "New techniques for targeting children". Food Magazine. Jul/Sept 2006. http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/PDF%20files/targeting_kids.pdf
4. "Volvo's spoof within a spoof for the S40 - Mystery of Dalaro". The Commercial Archieve: Adland. Feb 2004. http://commercial-archive.com/node/109135
5. "Marketing of foods to children" The Food Commission. Oct 2005. http://www.which.co.uk/files/application/pdf/0601marketingfoodskids_rep-445-76878.pdf
As of right now, there is only one book in the market that focuses on Infiltration Marketing and it is titled "Infiltration Marketing: Achieve astounding sales increases on a very low budget by entering your customer's world" by Don Debelak.