Viral Marketing – Washington

May 19, 2007

The question is where to start with viral marketing.

1. Rather obvious, but don’t copy an existing idea or reuse an old one.
Viral Marketing is about doing something wacky or odd, even if you think it’s really stupid.  That’s why your ad agency won’t ever show you the best ideas.

2. Expect your viral marketing project to be a total failure.
Not unlike the rest of your marketing efforts, your first stab at viral marketing will be a complete flop.  Let it be, don’t resort to traditional push marketing efforts by running ads, sending spam emails, or doing press releases, you’ll only destroy the viral marketing mojo.  Better yet, use a small team and don’t tell anyone in the company.

3. Get in the mindset.
Viral Marketing is not a groupthink, check the box, powerpoint pitch, approval matrix type decision.  It’s likely going to be a single person idea, with a lot of add on ideas supporting the main theme, and may indeed come from the mailroom or CEO’s daughter.  The most important part is to get in the right mindset – understand the brand, understand the trends, understand the outcome, but no one should be pitching ideas on the first day.  Take a week to think about it, then post a short summary on the bathroom wall with no name.

Here are some starters for corporate viral marketing:


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