Effective promotions, the end goal of any form of marketing, are sent out through a wide variety of media. As the development of technology and communications progress, more and more means for promotions are being established, one of which is reality marketing.

What is Reality Marketing?

Reality marketing makes use of television and real-life personalities as forms of marketing, promoting a wide array of products, even personalities. Instead of merely relying on marketing slogans and conceptualized catch phrases, this type of marketing – as its name suggests – is hinged on the actual experiences of people, whether sanctioned by advertised party or not.

This form of marketing proves to be effective, since people can relate to the scenarios presented by the marketers (or participants). Upon viewing an advertisement, blog or a reality show, onlookers are indirectly guided by the marketers on what they will experience, in light of the promoted item. Therefore, the viewers can adjudge whether a product is worthy of purchase or if it's nothing but a waste of hard-earned income.

Reality Marketing Platforms

Reality marketing is a rather broad form of promotions. It spans various types of media, mostly surrounding television and online marketing. With the number of Internet users rapidly growing, reality marketing has started to branch out online, and it is slowly becoming the means of choice of many business owners and advertisers. Let's delve more on the platforms used:

  • Reality TV – TV shows geared toward placing a select group of people in numerous situations, mostly precarious, have earned much viewership at the turn of the 20th century. Since then, reality TV became a certified hit worldwide, with more and more sponsors jumping on the bandwagon. Up to now, reality TV shows are still being produced; however, the market is gradually shifting their interests towards the Internet.
  • Webisodes – Apart from where they are shown, the primary difference between reality TV and webisodes is that the latter can be produced by anyone as long as he or she has Internet access and a slew of recording equipment. Independent producers, such as bloggers or website owners, develop trust with the target market, since the webisodes are tailor-made to suit their interests or to guide probable consumers.
  • Blogs – Blogs have dominated the virtual world, as they have covered nearly every aspect of human life. As a result, a lot of companies commission bloggers to review their products or establishments, as forms of online marketing. For a write-up that boosts a product's image, a blogger is paid handsomely by companies, whether financially or in kind. Unsanctioned blog posts are even better, at least for the public eye, as they present the pros and cons of the reviewed items. Think of blogs as highly detailed walkthroughs on particular consumer products.
  • Social Media – Apart from blogs, reality marketing in the virtual realm is applied on social networking sites and online forums. Fan pages, whether made by companies or random personalities, are created to enhance product awareness. As these pages accumulate more "fans" or online friends, promoting products and new campaigns is as easy as a few mouse clicks and keyboard presses. The best part is, online consumers can post their approval on the said pages, thus creating a trend. In the case of online forums, members can promote a particular product based on their positive experiences, drawing reactions from other forum members. Negative reactions appear from time to time, but they can generate curiosity in the public.
  • Email Marketing – This branch of online marketing targets practically any Internet user who falls under a certain demographic, mostly those who might appreciate the promoted product. Emails are sent, either randomly or as newsletters, to consumers and probable purchasers.

Who are the Marketers?

Before, when reality TV was still the in-thing, select applicants who fit certain standards are chosen to market the programs, and indirectly, the sponsors' products. People who frequently watch such programs will notice that the rosters of the participants are a bit similar: Leader types, troublemakers, shy fellows, and sly and cunning individuals are often mixed together, to create controversy which boosts ratings and of course, product awareness.

Nowadays, the range of marketers is boundless. Anyone can create a blog or a social networking account. If a marketer holds a lot of influence on the public or has a lot of friends/readers/followers, boosting a product's image is easy. All he or she has to do is create a write-up or a status update, and a lot of people on his or her friends list/blog roll will be swayed to patronize the promoted consumer good.

Online marketing, however, can be a double edged sword. A single comprehensive negative review can wreck the image of a company or an establishment, which is why producers must shape up if they are to pursue reality marketing. Remember, there are more unsanctioned blogs and social networking accounts than those commissioned by companies. If satisfaction is low on a particular product or service, news about it can spread all over the world, like an epidemic.