from GrassHopper.com 11/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
What is Viral? A phenomenon that make easy, and encourages people to share their enthusiasm for your product or services – with their friends. This book discusses the “viral” nature of today’s Web and how to use it to succeed.
The 1st Viral Company. The Author examines some historical case studies to demonstrate that Viral Marketing has been around a lot longer than most people think. Who knew Tupperware, the famed brand responsible for saving leftovers, was the first to employ the tactic. They recruited thousands of women after World War 2 to host Tupperware parties and had the hostess act (in effect), as a Direct Sales Rep for the brand. By motivating each hostess with a financial incentive for the success of each party, Tupperware was able to mobilize an entire army of housewives, pushing their brand to millions.
To Share is Human. The Author explores the idea that Viral growth is a biological imperative. Humans seek out opportunities to pass on interesting content & products via social networks. Viral companies take full advantage of the fact that we love to share with one another. As he puts, it “We are hard-wired to socialize.”
The Obama presidential campaign in 2008, would not have succeeded without its viral components – the Author concluded There were three corner-stones essential to Obama’s victory that apply to anyone starting or running their own business:
1. A short, clear Positioning statement
2. The Multiplier Effect achieved when the campaign shared user-generated content. They pro-actively promoted the creativity of supporters.
3. Focus on the Long, narrow Tail. They didn’t care about huge donations from corporate America. Rather they tried to mobilize normal people like you & me to donate what they could.
Viral Sensations, HotMail, Facebook, Flicker, PayPal, Twitter, U-Tube – are discussed. The Author breaks down the success of each and conveniently draws some conclusions around characteristics they all share.
Viral Factors. If you’re thinking about launching your own viral marketing campaign or building virality into your next product, here are some important factors to consider:
· Web-based – frictionless
· Free – Start Free, then overlay premium services
· Organizational Tech – Do not create content, just let your user organize it (ie, Google)
· Simple concept – Easy & intuitive
· Built-in virality – Users spread word because of their own self interest
· Fast Adoption – by Early Adopters
· Exponential Growth – Each user attracts more users
· Network effects – The more who join, the more who have an incentive to join
· Virality Coefficient – Must exceed 1.0 for exponential growth. (Virality coefficient = the number of additional members every new member brings.)
· Predictable growth rates – If properly designed, product should spread at a constant or accelated rate
· Stackability – Viral networks laid over the top of one another. (ie, YouTube on Facebook)
· Non-Displacement – A “Tipping Point”, where it is impossible for competition to effectively enter a market
· Saturation – When the Viral network has spread far & wide and reaches a point of maturity, growth will level off.
Recommendation: I’d highly recommend this book to people wanting to learn more about the origins of Viral Marketing or how to implement these programs for their own companies. If you can get one new good idea out of the book, consider it a big win & it may put you over the “tipping point” on the road to success !!!
Comments: Have you read the book or observed the Viral phenomonom? If so, please share your thoughts.