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Viral Marketing: it’s not Ebola

Viral marketing seems to be the new game in town. Some call it grassroots, guerilla, word-of-mouth, horizontal influencing, community marketing. Big corporations slowly shift some of their marketing power from the traditional media to the misty uncharted inlands of  Web 2.0. The thinking is foolishly simple: post stuff, and let little green magic dwarfs on the internet spread the message for you. Save a gazillion dollar in marketing invoices.  With viral marketing, campaigns apparently will get a bubbly life of their own, spread faster than Ebola in a football locker room and conquer the world before you can sneeze. ..Great, but sadly enough it just does not work that way. Viral campaigns do not work on their own; they need to be imbedded in a complete and coherent marketing/ communication offering. They only work when the time is ripe, the idea is outstanding, and the execution is flawless. They only work when they are tailored to the target audience. If the audience does not like it, it will not click, spread, forward, link. Cyber death. Sudden end of story. Dollars cannot get an idea roller coasting over the web. Careful preparation, fruitful brainstorms and endless killing of almost-good ideas need to weed the average from the golden ideas. It’s inspiration, meditation, transpiration. It’s trying to understand the written, unwritten and fluctuating rules of a generation that feeds on the internet, that harvests impressions online. Generation X, Generation Y. They will share, link, or not. And that will determine success, eventually.  Along with this: 

  1. Become your audience, know them to the bone
  2. Be creative, threat the web as a full medium
  3. Surprise, shock, shake, rattle and hum
  4. Make it downloadable, clickable, linkable, shareable
  5. Make sure it is collectable
  6. Make it interactive: allow comments and feedback
  7. No passwords, no hassle
  8. It needs to be fab 

Trust me, I’m a consultant 😉

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