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A recap on stealth marketing techniques also known as clandestine or undercover marketing

Clandestine marketing is a marketing technique where a product and/or service is marketed to an audience in such a manner that the audience is unaware that an advertisement is taking place. This kind of marketing technique may rely on friend to friend (F2F) or peer to peer (P2P) concepts which means it is decentralized in certain ways. An example of clandestine marketing would be for a clothing company to give it's clothing away for free to attractive individuals on instagram. These individuals should not be known industry models because it would take away from the power of clandestine marketing which benefits from the fact that an audience is unaware that it's an advertisement.

A company would have to select actors/actresses based on different criteria which ought to be determined by the product or service which is being marketed. In clandestine marketing anyone is a potential actor or actress and the only requirement is that the actor or actress actually genuinely like the product they are selling to the audience because it can help them to sell the product if their expressions are genuine. This kind of marketing can be as simple as giving physically attractive individuals free outfits to wear (for life) in exchange for them showing it off on instagram or it can mean giving free game consoles and games to gamers identified as thought leaders in the gaming community.

One of the most important criteria for clandestine marketing to be effective is to identify who the thought leaders are in the community. A thought leader is a person who has opinions that other people listen to and/or follow. One of the first steps a company attempting to initiate a clandestine marketing campaign must take is to identify the most influential thought leaders in the demographic they are targeting. This identification process would require the company to internally track certain metrics, which may include a quantification of the influence level of certain thought leaders so that these individuals can be brought on board quickly.

To bring these thought leaders on board the company should require that each thought leader who agrees to the clandestine marketing campaign sign an NDA/confidentiality agreement which would legally require that they do not make the details of their relationship known to the general public. These thought leaders can then be given a package or kit which includes the product, with some basic instructions on how to leverage their thought leadership position in a way which would be favorable to themselves and to the success of the product. These thought leaders can be rewarded in exchange for talking about or making use of the product in a publicly visible fashion.

Many of the techniques used in clandestine marketing are also the techniques used by political parties to sell their ideas. A lot of the same concepts are at play with the same goal of winning hearts and minds but the difference is that the idea is the product. Clandestine marketing seeks to put an idea in the audiences heads which makes them desire the product, thereby creating demand by inducing desire.

Virtual treasure chests can be a technique used in clandestine marketing

A virtual treasure chest can be described as a mechanism to digitally deliver virtual prizes. These virtual prizes are locked and can only be unlocked by the individual who obtains the key. The key can only be obtained by the individual who has the right set of attributes / accomplishments to unlock the virtual treasure chest. Inside the virtual treasure chest can be gift cards, vouchers, or any kind of IOU.

As an example if a person has the right attributes such as being on a select list, having an instagram account, and if they follow the instructions, then every step of the way a proof of process is generated which audits their activity on a blockchain level. This could allow the attractive individual who is doing clandestine marketing of clothing to receive prizes based on metrics which calculate their accomplishments such as how much of a thought leader they are based upon how many followers they have, and how many images they make which includes the product in it. Artificial intelligence allows a bot to scan their account to collect these metrics, including finding the company logo in the image, tracking the number of likes they receive, and scanning the comments to determine if discussion about the product is taking place which uses the desired talking points. Specific attributes + specific metrics + notary chains = the key to open the corresponding virtual treasure chest.

Virtual treasure chests reward activity by using a sort of proof of activity based on notary chain technology

Notary chain technology is discussed here because it is a project which can make this possible. Just as the blockchain was a breakthrough allowing value to be transferred in a decentralized ledger the notary chain allows individuals the ability to verify and document that certain events took place in a decentralized notary. So if you want to confirm that certain things happened according to a predefined process then you can use notary chains to determine some rules of the process and then verify that each step of the way the rules have been followed through proof of process. A centralized company can use this technology but perhaps more importantly a DAC (decentralized autonomous company) can make use of this technology someday to apply clandestine marketing techniques with gamification in the form of virtual treasure chests.

In my next writing titled “Gamification of clandestine marketing” I discuss further how the techniques of gamification can be used manner by DACs which utilize clandestine marketing techniques.

Marketing | Business


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