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Monday, April 03, 2006

How to Use Users

How to Use Users

Mobile software maker Handmark is acting on the belief that users are the best advocates of a new product, so the company will give away a Porsche to a customer who spreads the word about its products.

The company makes Pocket Express, a mobile phone download that delivers news and content. Handmark is giving away the basic version of the software in hopes that users will become hooked and upgrade to its pay-for services.

Folks who get a friend to sign up for the software get a chance to win a 2007 Porsche Cayman S, so the more you pass the word along, the better your chances.

This version of viral marketing isn't as desirable as when customers are self-motivated to rave about something new, but giving away the product for free shows great faith in a product that will become irreplaceable.

I'd bet a million bucks (if I had it) that if TiVo gave away its boxes along with 6 months of free service, that they would be able to get half of all TV watchers to subscribe. They could defray most of the cost by showing 15 second ads before each time you watch a recorded program and by selling the viewing data.

By John Gartner at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

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