Monday, June 27, 2005

Outside the Book - W.O.W.!

It's that time of the week again! Here's the (marketing) Word of the Week: viral marketing.

Viral marketing is a "marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message" (from It's a lot like word-of-mouth, but usually with a technological twist.

Ironically, viral marketing has "infected" the marketing news of late. A recent USA Today article explains how companies are eagerly adopting this cheap but effective tool. The article points out one fun example from Long John Silver's who used a two-minute film (at to get people talking.

Despite its name, viral marketing can actually be a healthy addition to your marketing strategy. The trick is to develop a promotion that is so compelling, interesting or entertaining that people can't help but pass it along. Certainly librarians could put this idea to work for them. Campaign Associates has some viral marketing tips for non-profits that include adding a tell your friend about this service/site/tool, etc. button to your web page, or encouraging those on your e-mail lists to pass a message on to 10 other people and so on. Libraries like Lawrence Public Library (KS) have already tried it. Maybe it's time for librarians to spread the word about viral?

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