William A Smith is the Executive Vice President of the Academy for Educational Development (AED). He is also a co‐founder of the Social Marketing Institute, a columnist and editorial board member of Social Marketing Quarterly, the International Journal of Health Communication, and Applied Environmental Education and Communication: An International Journal. He recently received the Alan Andreasen Award for scholarship and practice in Social Marketing and served on the IOM committee on health literacy. Dr Smith has a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts in non‐formal education with an emphasis on gaming theory and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of South Florida. The AED is an independent, non‐profit organization that works to foster large scale social change in education, health, and the environment, and is committed to solving critical social problems and building the capacity of individuals, communities, and institutions to become more self‐sufficient.
The broadest approach to audience segmentation is targeted communications, in which information about population groups is used to prepare messages that draw attention to a generic message but are targeted using a person's name (for example, marketing by mass mail). This form of segmentation is used commercially to aim products at specific customer profiles (for example, upper middle income women who have children and live in suburban areas). It has been used effectively in health promotion to develop socially desirable images and prevention messages (fig 2).
Many advertisers are unaware of the potential of the affiliate marketing business model for their own businesses, in fact, most small businesses have never heard of it. But imagine marketing your products only to interested people for no upfront fee. Paying only when you get results is a risk-free way of advertising that requires no marketing budget to get started. As you can imagine, this is great for any start-up business with little funding for marketing their new brand.
Social media has been one of the fastest growing digital marketing channels for years now and continues to play a major role in brand development and customer acquisition and engagement. Social media now is a critical element to effective content marketing and search engine optimization strategies. These marketing strategies simply can’t exist well without one another.
The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.