The notion that an idea can become contagious like a virus is both sensible and counterintuitive. It makes sense because we have experienced it on ourselves, for example think of the refrain of a song that remains in our mind, but it is counterintuitive because it does not adapt to the traditional world view of marketers.
Successful ideas are those that grow and spread thanks to the relationships between customers and not between customer and marketer. Interruption Marketing, that is interruption Marketing, is no longer profitable, you can no longer afford to search for customers and send unwanted advertising messages hoping to attract attention.
Instead, it is necessary to start a network between customers, so that the product or better the idea is sold by a consumer to others. Although the power of word of mouth weakens and fades with time, our era has provided us with an excellent means of propagation for the ideavirus, convenient and fast: the web.
In the third, everything revolves around ideas. The holy grail of anyone who trades in ideas is to propagate an ideavirus . Not an inert idea but a mobile idea, which grows and infects anyone who touches. We live in a world where consumers actively resist marketing, so it is imperative to create an environment where consumers themselves advertise the idea among themselves. Word of mouth is not a new concept, nowadays it is only different, ideeviruses have always existed, but now they are more powerful and it is easier to propagate them.
Ideeviruses are important
In the third, everything revolves around ideas. The holy grail of anyone who trades in ideas is to propagate an ideavirus. Not an inert idea but a mobile idea, which grows and infects anyone who touches. We live in a world where consumers actively resist marketing, so it is imperative to create an environment where consumers themselves advertise the idea among themselves.
Word of mouth is not a new concept, nowadays it is only different, ideeviruses have always existed, but now they are more powerful and it is easier to propagate them.
Why are ideeviruses so important?
We live in a world where the “winner gets everything”, this concept is explained in Zipf’s law. Philologist George Kingsley Zipf discovered that the most popular word in the English language is used ten times more than the tenth word, a hundred times more than the hundredth and so on.
It is clear that in almost any field being the first gives greater profits than being the third or the tenth, the same is true for ideeviruses, to be successful and the first they must have an excellent propagation speed and a certain agility, that is they must be easy to propagate and must target a specific “swarm”, (target consumer group whose individuals have common interests).
What is the difference between word of mouth and ideavirus?
There are two main differences: word of mouth spreads more slowly and dies quickly.
With ideavirus, on the other hand, both principles are no longer valid, ideeviruses spread quickly and have greater longevity. Precisely because the speed of new ideas has increased, so has our respect for those who are always informed about the latest news and cutting edge, so we are more likely to listen to them and spread the ideas to others.
The traditional advertising method is a game with winners and losers. If the product gets the consumer’s attention, a fraction of knowledge is won and the consumer wastes time. Permission Marketing and ideavirus, on the other hand, are different from this type of approach in that they create a game in which everyone wins.
If there is a fantastic idea that propagates in the swarm for free, whoever is touched wins somehow: the consumer wins because proposing it to a friend increases his status as “greaser” (consumers who are more predisposed to talk about new ideas / products with friends); the recipient gets the benefits of the idea and can now also propagate it and become a greaser himself; finally the creator is successful because his idea is propagated.
So for effective marketing you have to give people a reason to pay attention and then build an infrastructure that amplifies the ability of word of mouth.
How to propagate an ideavirus through the greasers
Once you understand the essential elements of propagating an ideavirus, you can create and propagate your own virus. First of all we need to understand the importance of the greasers, the heart of the ideavirus.
They can be divided into two groups:
- promiscuous publishers: those who try to sell the ideavirus to any consumer at any time. They can be driven by compensation and are not held in high regard by opinion leaders;
- powerful greasers : they cannot be bought, they propagate the virus without personal gain.
It is important to know how to keep one’s promiscuous publishers with great promises, naturally credible and showing them how the spread of the virus can bring benefits, for example by spreading the success story of one of them; the important thing is not to change the rules halfway through the game.