Viral Marketing Is About Creativity

by Shelly P.
(Newark, NJ)

I read a comment by another reader where they asked what the purpose of putting so much effort into viral marketing is when at the end of the day, most of the "viral" videos and whatnot out there are put up by complete amateurs. What I would like to say is that I think that we as sales and marketing professionals should simply be trying to tap into what it is that makes a viral message and trying to recreate that in our promotional activity.

While not all viral messages need to be marketing messages, the question is, how can we as sales and marketing professionals use the power of the Internet and combine that with creativity in order to create viral message for ourselves. It is not that you need to be a marketer in order to create a viral message, but the opposite question of how we as marketers can tap into the social psyche - "zeitgest", I think the word is! - and come up with Internet viral marketing messages of our own.

At the end of the day, great advertising predates modern communication media. As you wrote in your article on the history of advertising - which was a brilliant reader, I might add! -, there were early geniuses like Thomas Barratt who made Pears soap a household name in Victorian times or whatever. Throughout the history of advertising, in fact, great men have stepped up who have been instrumental in transforming not just the industry but social culture in general (Albert Lasker getting a President elected, for example).

Our goal should be to retune our sales and marketing efforts for the Information Age which includes social media marketing and viral marketing. It is not just sales and marketers who have a monopoly on creating great communications and being agents of social chance, not by a long shot. But isn't that our goal, to reach as wide an audience as possible and to influence as many people as possible? The essential ingredient in advertising is therefore creativity and, like you say, making an entertaining, interesting and / or useful message that people will want to pass along.

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Jul 06, 2011
Thank You
by: Hussain

I appreciate the great post, Shelly!

I responded to Peter's comment in much the same way that you talk about it here. Viral marketing is like any of a number of social and market forces that we as sales and marketing professionals are trying to harness. It is like scientists and engineers trying to harness the power of nature by studying natural law. At the end of the day, there are many companies out there that have become "overnight" successes by dint of their viral marketing efforts and so we know that it is indeed something that bears fruit.

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