Viral marketing: no magic bullets

As Mr. Tom Fishburne says in this insightful cartoon and blog post, successful word-of-mouth marketing, over anything other than the very short term, isn’t a simple matter of making a brilliant video, watching it go viral and waiting for the sales (or donations) to roll in.

Mr. Fishburne's cartoon

I teach word-of-mouth marketing in Dublin’s Digital Marketing Institute, and the most frequent question my students ask is ‘how do you make something go viral?’  Would that it were that easy!

Success in word-of-mouth marketing, beyond the initial fad, is almost always a matter of hard work, listening to your customers, clever targeting, being different in the right way, and a fair dose of luck. In addition, a good understanding of the principles of word-of-mouth marketing can make the difference between occasional and systematic success. Idiro has a lot of experience of both success and failure in word-of-mouth marketing, and the skills and experience that we have built up over the years did not come easily.

If you have the added advantage of being able to use Social Network Analysis technology to find the influencers in your market and the people they influence, then you have a massive advantage over other marketers. But even then, there are plenty of ways to fail. Here in Idiro, we work with our customers to maximise the chances of word-of-mouth marketing success.