Targeted Viral Marketing may be Less Effective

clipped from www.mindhacks.com

Trend setters may only be visible in rear view mirror:

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clipped from www.fastcompany.com
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Duncan Watts's research tells advertising execs precisely what they don't want to hear: All their clever (and lucrative!) targeted viral campaigning may ultimately be less effective than good old mass marketing.


In the "two step" model of marketing, well-connected Influentials amplify a trend by relaying media messages out to the social periphery. Marketers can therefore focus on the few as a way of reaching the many.

Accidental Influentials

Watts's theory says the emergence of a trend depends not on Influentials, but on the susceptibility of the public to the "virus." Social-network effects are so complex, he says, that trends are basically random.

clipped from www.fastcompany.com

Igniting a Trend -- It's About Chance Not Choice?

"If society is ready to embrace a trend, almost anyone can start one. And if it isn't, then almost no one can."

Think about influenceability, rather than focusing on influence. Instead of focusing on individuals, focus on larger scale structures.

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  1. Mind Hacks: Trend setters may only be visible in rear view mirror
  2. Order Versus Chaos -- Mass Marketing --Duncan Watts | Fast Company
  3. order-chaos.jpg (JPEG Image, 575x225 pixels)
  4. Igniting a Trend -- It's About Chance Not Choice? | An Itinerant Mind | Fast Company
  1. Is the Tipping Point Toast? -- Duncan Watts -- Trendsetting | Page 4 | Fast Company
  2. Chicago Journals - Journal of Consumer Research
  3. Duncan J. Watts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Collective dynamics of 'small-world' networks. [Nature. 1998] - PubMed result