Let your customers do the marketing for you


I’m a big fan of Ofoto.com (now owned by Kodak, and called EasyShare Gallery), but I think they’re missing a huge opportunity this holiday season.

Ofoto is an online digital photo sharing site, where you can save photos into online “albums” and then share those photos with friends, allow others to purchase their own prints online, etc. It’s a great service, and I’ve been using it for years to share photos of hoilday gatherings, family vacations, even a periodic update on my home remodel project.

They’re doing a fine job merchandising holiday-themed items on their site, including gift items that can have photos imprinted on them, greeting cards and the usual.

But what if they gave away user-friendly URLs to every customer, and encouraged their customers to create and share online holiday photo galleries with friends and family? Whether online or via widely distributed “snail mail” holiday greeting cards, current Ofoto customers could include a message that said something like “see photos from our family in 2005 at http://matt.ofoto.com.”

Now imagine an Ofoto URL on literally millions of holiday greeting cards nationwide. The traffic to Ofoto based on this would be incredible, and I bet it would immediately become their #1 traffic and membership driver at least through the holiday season.

And the beautiful thing? It wouldn’t have to cost Ofoto a thing. If they’d started marketing this to their current customers via email and on the site as early as late September, it would have been huge.

That may be an opportunity gone (at least for this year), but is there a similar opportunity in your business? Is there a new feature or seasonal/contextual spin on an old favorite that would encourage your customers to do your marketing for you?

A few minutes of creative brainstorming could make you a marketing hero.