social marketing

The Cold, Hard Truth About Viral Marketing

Every month I get an inquiry from a potential client who is interested in doing “something viral”. If that term isn’t familiar, allow me to explain. According to, The term “viral marketing” was coined by a Harvard Business School professor, Jeffrey F. Rayport, in a December 1996 article for Fast Company magazine. It refers to marketing techniques that self replicate – similar to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word of mouth or by Internet but the bottom line is that people pass along the message voluntarily in great numbers. These potential clients understand that a successful viral campaign would provide enormous visibility for virtually zero cost. Hence the attraction to the idea. Unfortunately, launching a successful viral campaign is not so simple. How do I know? In the last four weeks, I’ve had a pet project go truly viral. My son’s video show “Enzoology”[…]

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