Start Up Blog

The truth about viral marketing

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 24, 2009

It’s a crap shoot for any form of ‘commercial marketing’ to go viral. So I thought I’d summarize it with a tidy little Venn diagram.

Viral Marketing

Discuss & debate.

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4 Responses

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  1. Pieter said, on July 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    There seem to be certain common-sense things you can do to guarantee your production won’t go viral.
    1. Make it difficult to distribute/share
    2. Low value/effort ratio
    3. Make it look like you want it to go viral (partly why the brand is often hidden, unless the desperation in the attempt is part of the value – see recent Microsoft Seinfeld ads)
    4. Copy previously viral concepts and not add any value.

    Outside of these anti-rules you’re absolutely right. Dumb luck.

  2. Maurice said, on July 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I’m not experienced with venn diagrams. does that suggest that viral marketing is a numbers game where you keep trying to go vial. Going viral is worth some extra effort

  3. Steve Sammartino said, on July 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Exactly, Viral marketing is a numbers game. Simply because there are millions of funny, cool and great things that for whatever reason just don’t go viral. A massive amount of luck is involved. There are certain ingredients which are absolutely required, which Pieter summarizes nicely above, and without these you have absolute zero chance of going viral. But the general them is just keep trying to crack it. And yes, it is worth the effort.

    Steve.

  4. [...] on October 21, 2009 I’ve spoke before about the truth about viral marketing, and our probability of viral marketing success. So here’s some number to help us all quantify it with the viral marketing haven that is [...]


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