04. Customer, Sell Thyself

Yes, Procter & Gamble is in the business of turning out consumer products by the barrelful. As its Web site boasts, “Three billion times a day P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world.” But the company has another, very different line of business as well. It offers up the services of hundreds of thousands of moms and teenagers as word-of-mouth marketers—for its own product divisions and those of other organizations as well.

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Donna Wetherell, of Columbus, Ohio, is one of those “mom connectors,” as they’re called. She’s employed at a customer service call center, where she’s known as “the coupon lady.” That’s ...

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