Viral Marketing 2.0, Or, I HEART Jonah Peretti
By sdnblog on Sep 17, 2008
The sessions just keep getting better. Jonah Peretti of BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post presented Viral Marketing 2.0 this morning. Loved it. From the Bored at Work Network (BWN) to the Power of the Mullet, this session rocked my world. Let's break it down, shall we?
The Bored at Work Network is you, me, our friends, our colleagues. They are the people who check and update Twitter, check into Facebook, read up on their personal email while at work. We all do it. And if you say you don't you're fibbing. :)
So in the old communication model, there was one broadcaster who decided what was popular and communicated that to multiple listeners.
The new, networked model is the BWN deciding what's popular. Whether or not something spreads in this new model depends on the network structure. If a network permits diffusion, anyone can start something if not, no one can. Jonah gave the example of a forest fire: if conditions are dry and hot and someone tosses a match the forest will catch fire. If the forest is wet and cold, the match won't catch. The fire has nothing to do with the spark (the idea, the product, the concept) and everything to do with the conditions surrounding it. Interesting, and yet a wee bit depressing for a marketing gal like me who thinks about, writes, and creates sparks. But I digress.
It boils down to this: people don't know what they like. They rely on their social networks to help them make decisions based on social information. The more people talk to each other the more unpredictable popularity is. The big problem us marketeers face is “Radical Unpredictability” --- and not totally radical in the “totally radical” way. Ahem. Perhaps I should have had decaf this morning.
So, based on the fact that we can't predict who will make something popular or what will become popular, what's a marketing gal to do? Jonah has all the answers! And they are smart AND funny.
1. Contagious Media
-Easy to understand, easy to share, and includes a social imperative
-Make media for the Bored at Work Network (BWN)
-The BWN trumps influentials
-Limits of contagious media: most things are not viral. Is usually, free, silly, and doesn't really map to products.
2. Big Seed Marketing
-Small seeds lead to failure 10 people recruit 5
-Big seeds lead to success 1 million people recruit 500K
3. Multi-seed Marketing
Try lots of creative ideas – nobody can predict what will be popular so test what is working using real data and big seed the stuff that is working best. Remove bad seeds, and grow the good ones.
4. The Mullet Strategy: Business upfront, party in the back.
The power of mullets: the front always looks sharp. No need to find influentials, let the good stuff bubble up behind your professional front.
5. Personality disorders
Help you audience and users fully express their personality disorders...make sure you give several types of folks the opportunity to express themselves
6. Learn from the Mormons
Quality is not a growth strategy. Mormons want you to be Mormon. Make evangelism core to your strategy
Focus on how the idea itself spreads, not the idea itself
To wrap up this really long post, let me say that this session really left me with a lot to think about. And I'm wondering, o blogosphere, what was the last product that caught your eye or project that came to your attention through your Bored at Work Network? Shoot me the url in the comments and Jenn and I will send out some swag from Web 2.0 to the product/project that catches our fancy! ;)