Going Viral For The Sake Of Going Viral Not Such A Good Idea
from the think-this-through-a-bit dept
Last month at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association summit, I was struck by how many people seemed to be interested in word of mouth marketing campaigns because it was “the thing to do” rather than something actually useful for the business. It seems that others are noticing this as well. There’s a good column in Ad Age exploring the trend of big companies to launch really, really bad viral marketing campaigns that don’t serve any purpose other than to be annoying. It’s as if some marketing folks have determined that “viral” and “word of mouth” just means putting something weird online and expecting people to flock to it. Except that it also probably involves lots of marketing people who are tinkering with the idea until it loses any sense of anything interesting, and comes off as just a bizarre marketing ploy that no one is interested in. Word of mouth marketing and viral campaigns work if there’s actually a reason for people to talk about them and pass them on. That means the product being discussed or the viral content actually is good and interesting. Just making it weird or different is a recipe for failure — but it’s not stopping plenty of companies from going down that path.