The Third Law of Marketing in the age of Zipfluence: The new rules are the old rules
We live in the era of anti-marketing. It is the grand narrative of our times. Who needs to advertise when your customers can do all the talking? That's the power of the network in action. That's the power of social media.
The unlimited potential of Viral Growth is available to you. You just need to ignite your network into action. Unleash your network effects and the market will share the good news. You just need to focus on what you do best - developing the best products and services in the market.
But what if you don't have any customers? Who does the talking then?
Good question. Let's examine a couple of popular anti-marketing success stories to find out how the world's most popular new Brands achieved ignition.
We'll begin with Facebook. The anti-marketing myth tells us Facebook ignited the collective imaginations of Harvard's student body and went onto become the goto social messaging experience for over a billion people. Problem with this story is it doesn't account for Facebook receiving national press coverage in the New York Times and on CNBC while it was still just a fledgling Harvard start-up back in April 2004.
Whatsapp received similar treatment in the Wall St Journal. Only after that did the "SMS disruptor" ignited the market. Instagram was covered by the New York Times within weeks of its launch and both the New York Times and the Washington Post amplified the AirBnb story back in November 2009. Meanwhile Twitter was proclaimed by the New York Times and mainstream US media as the breakout hit of SXSW in early 2007.
Roll back a decade and you'll find Google, Amazon, eBay and Yahoo! benefited from the same "Network Effects" courtesy of America's mass media.
Scan the American media today and you'll find it is full of the unlimited potential of Bitcoin.
You see, despite all the social media hype of how we can all share and be saved, there is nothing like a well executed PR campaign, and the accompanying popularist media commentary, to change hearts and minds at scale.
And it's not just popular social networks and mobile apps that have benefited from a well executed PR campaign Laura Edwards undertook an analysis of the rise of the Gangnam Style meme back in November 2012. Again mainstream press coverage played a pivotal role in achieving ignition.
Take the time to do some homework and you'll discover it isn't the product or service that changed the game. It's the story that changed the way the game was being played.
And that's why...
Traditional marketing and communications isn't peripheral to achieving success with the new anti-marketing paradigm.
It's pivotal.Which raises the obvious question: Why is Free so expensive?
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