Going Viral with Askers and Tellers

by on February 13, 2014

Welcome to my new blog. Every now and then I find some intriguing marketing information that’s worth sharing. For starters, here’s some research that may impact your dream of launching the next breakout viral marketing campaign.

An article by The Futures Company presents an interesting perspective. They describe how content relevance is a function of inbound ‘asks’ not outbound ‘tells.’ For example, Google uses the number of other pages pointing to a particular page, or ‘asking’ that page for information, to determine the page’s relevance.

The article postulates that using mass media to activate the “askers” is more effective than trying to push your message out through key influencers (“tellers”).  Here’s an excerpt:

“Contagion happens because people are asking for it not because tellers are pushing for it. A breakout phenomenon satisfies what people are asking for, and once people are asking for it, anybody, not just highly influential tellers, can trigger a contagious outbreak of social influence.”

We’ve been using a one-on-one, personalized communication model for so long, this mass media approach seems blasphemous, yet it makes sense as a part of your overall strategy:  Reach people with mass media to generate “asks” and they will seek out the story from you and your key influencers.

Ultimately it’s all about the bottom line so if your mass media campaign generates a nice buzz that gets enough people seeking you out – as opposed to a global viral phenomenon – it can deliver a good marketing ROI. 

Read the article for more details let me know if you agree with their conclusions.  Also, don’t forget to sign up for my RSS feed.


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