There's an interesting trend afoot in marketing that we might call Guerilla Social Marketing. It's hard to tell that it's actually marketing if it's done well. The basic pattern is to find a discussion group in a place like LinkedIn that relates to your product/service. And ask a question about your product/service. Result: you get exposure AND information.
I'm running across this a lot lately. Here's an example that was relatively nicely done, and lets me tell you about an interesting little tech company.
An advertising guy posted a question on the Innovative Marketing Group discussion regarding a product called GoldMail, a product that can embed audio in slides, put a clickable link in e-mail, and track the clickthroughs. His question was seeking creative ideas for taking this product to market.
I like thinking about problems like this, and it didn't take me long to come up with several ideas for marketing this product...
 Bloggers might be quite interested in something like this to add audio to their blogs. You could offer something through Typepad, a major blogging platform. Again, you might want to provide them a preferred rate, so that Typepad helps you market the service. Since people are already paying for Typepad, they should be more receptive to paying for additional functionality.
 Real estate agents. The leading brokers offer many innovative marketing tools to their agents, and this seems like it could be a great fit. Look for the leading brokers in major markets that are doing innovative things. If you get one major broker on side, others will hear about it and you will get demand pull.
 Partner with e-mail newsletter provider, such as Constant Contact, to offer their users additional functionality. Again, you get established base of users, and by doing a little revenue sharing, they can help you take your product quickly to a much larger market.
 As a straight promotional strategy, offer a free account for a year to everyone on the top 15 marketing blogs list. (Which is actually a few hundred bloggers, including me www.customercrossroads.com) By getting usage and buzz from this group through reviews, etc., you will quickly build demand traffic.
I assumed, as others on the discussion did, that the company is his client. So he could have just been trying to get a little buzz going, not really seeking ideas at all.
Indeed, few consultants are likely to post their actual work challenges in a place like this, for fear of looking incompetent.
So I'm assuming the actual strategy was related to buzz or linking in some way. In short, Guerilla Social Marketing. Which has likely worked, at least in a small way, since you read this post and now know about this product. I can't say I like the general trend, but it's happening a lot. If you decide to do this, be subtle about it.
After writing this post, I learned that you can become an affiliate marketer for GoldMail, and collect ongoing royalties from others who sign up. That wasn't my purpose here. Just so you know.
I have nothing against affiliate programs, it's just not something I do.