...sign of our times...

Upon being handed a journal as a gift, a nine year-old asks his mom what it was. The mom says that it was a notebook to record his thoughts and feelings, every day. The kid replies, "You mean, it is a blog...on paper." Reader's Digest, Oct 2008 issue

Viral Marketing

In a recent article on the topic in Fast Company mag (5/2009), the authors Dan and Chip Heath share their view of the essential elements of a viral marketing campaign.

The message has to be

1. Emotional in nature
2. Have a public service flavor (such as how people feel when they share it, like they are doing a small favor by sharing)
3. Trigger

Article mentions a French psychologist, Bernard Rime, finding that people are likely to share emotional experiences (the more intense the more likely) readily. So, include an emotional element in your msg. The more intense it is, the better.

Making this msg. in the public interest makes this more powerful. People call their friends (as if they were doing their friends a favor) to share it. “Hey! I am just coming back from an awesome free 30-min massage at MySpaCompany. I know you love massages. So, check it out before this Friday” has a higher likelihood of being shared.

A Trigger is the final element that makes people want to share their story all over again. It could be some form of contact with a participant some time after the event.

Some of the most successful campaigns the article mentions are:

1. Levi’s Big Flip (a video)
2. Hershey’s sponsored house parties where chocolate was doled out.
3. HBO’s “Tru:Blood”

Incidentally, Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” talks about some of these and more.

- posted Jul 8, 12:37 pm in


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