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P2P Marketing: How Peers Influence Gen Z Purchases

by | February 1, 2023

Peer-to-peer marketing uses trusted personal connections to reach college students. Here's how your brand can benefit from P2P marketing relationships.
p2p marketing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Imagine you’re planning a vacation to a new destination. You’re looking for the best places to eat and shop. You want to know the best brand of sunscreen and maybe find a reliable cab company. Chances are you’ve spoken with friends and family for their suggestions. Welcome to P2P marketing, also known as peer-to-peer marketing.

You’re not alone. When it comes to getting a trusted recommendation, 93% of folks rely on the recommendations of people they know. It makes sense, right? We trust those who know us to consider our tastes, style, and budget.

With P2P marketing, customers make recommendations to those around them. This form of marketing uses word of mouth to create brand trust and recognition. In fact, word-of-mouth advertising influences up to 54% of customer purchase decisions, it’s a tool you can rely to build good will in the long term.

Peer-to-peer advertising is different from influencer marketing because it uses your existing customers to recommend your brand. Meanwhile, influencers are often well-known public figures who recommend products or services even if they don’t use them on the regular. Influencer campaigns can be incredibly successful — but P2P marketing uses the natural trust built between community members. This natural trust is especially important when marketing to college students.

Should My Brand Use P2P Marketing?

The answer is yes! Here are three reasons why P2P marketing can work for you:

  1. Affordability is the name of the game. Whether you’re looking to save on advertising costs or you’re a small business with a limited budget, P2P marketing uses the consumer base you already have to create a reliable advertising campaign. You can literally get started for free.
  2. Authenticity is key when building brand trust among consumers. Most customers know companies pay influencers or spokespeople to make recommendations. When consumers share their positive customer experiences or brag about your brand, we know it’s not because they’re being paid to do it. Their interest in your brand is real. You can’t put a price on being authentic. 
  3. Build consumer and employee morale by incentivising sales. Incentive programs are great for customers, but they can also reward employees for spreading the word about the brand. Some of the best word of mouth marketing happens when employees share how much they enjoy their work. How can you encourage and motivate employees to increase their word-of-mouth advertising?

Curious on how to get started? Here are some tips for developing an effective P2P marketing program.

Word-of-Mouth: That’s the Ticket!

A man whispers advice into another man's ear.
  • Ask for feedback on social media platforms and directly from customers. This means you should make it easy to give feedback and even easier to resolve issues as they arise. Use the feedback you’re getting to direct business operations and future marketing programs. 
  • Make it easy to spread the word. Whether it’s asking for a Yelp review, a like on social media, or to tell others about incentives, spreading the word should be easy to do. 
  • Reward repeat business. Use incentive programs to encourage repeat customers and keep employees engaged with your P2P program. As a result, you’ll have a steady stream of happy customers and motivated employees is a win-win for everyone.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means to P2P

A steak sliced into strips.

Effective P2P marketing strategies rely on genuine connections with your customers. Creating that reliability among Gen Z consumers ensures they keep coming back. 

Remember that vacation you were planning earlier? Imagine you’ve already left, and you’re headed to that steak house your Aunt Muriel recommended. When you arrive at the restaurant, the host recognizes Muriel’s name.

In honor of Muriel, a loyal customer, they give you a great table with a good view. She might pinch your cheek at family get-togethers, but there’s one thing Muriel does know and that’s her steak. The chef prepares it just to your liking. It’s delicious. 

You’re not one of those social media influencers, but still, you snap a photo of the view and the steak. You post it with a review of the restaurant’s excellent customer service on your social media platforms.

Throughout this leisurely dinner, you’ve experienced several forms of P2P marketing. By using these P2P strategies, the steak house is rewarded with another loyal customer and some free digital marketing (thanks for posting that steak pic!)

The restaurant is probably not relying on your Aunt Muriel to run their peer marketing strategy. Yet they’ve benefited from her word-of-mouth recommendations and secured your endorsement by treating you with respect while offering a quality product. 

Maybe it’s time you found your own Aunt Muriel…

We Know Buzz

College Marketing Group (CMG) understands how beneficial P2P marketing strategies can be. Through our years of marketing experience, we can help you find your target audience and build a P2P marketing strategy with longevity. Let us help your sales team set up effective word-of-mouth marketing strategies as part of your customer journey.

The Tub Thumper


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