Misdirections In Viral Marketing

Jonah Berger is an academic who has studied viral and word of mouth marketing. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities in this area. And what he says is commonsensical, but comes with substantiation and evidence. His observations are clear and focused, and his conclusions are validated by numbers. That is why what he says is tremendously powerful. The key here is that there is a dependable framework for creating a successful marketing campaign by focusing on the word of mouth.

In this conversation we dispel prevalent perceptions and myths about viral marketing that may to some extent, mislead or misdirect people who want to make their products or ideas go viral. To many, viral marketing may seem to show non-repeatable, unscientific and serendipity based outcomes. But that is not true, not only is it repeatable, it can be made successful by design. You don’t need to copy a super successful viral campaign. What you need is to know and follow the right principles.

And that’s what we talk about in this conversation. We bring the focus back on what’s important, what’s relevant, what’s necessary, and demonstrate that there is significant return over your investment if you focus on word of mouth and viral marketing. Even if you are a small business, you have opportunities that were earlier only available to large corporations with deep pockets, because the channels that make ideas and products go viral are available and accessible to all types of companies, whether they are big or small.

So check out our conversation with the much lauded Wharton Professor Jonah Berger who studies how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and become popular. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, as well as much admired popular publications like New York Times, Science and Harvard Business Review. He teaches a course on viral marketing at Wharton and has also written a book on the subject - Contagious: How Products, Behaviors, and Ideas Catch On.