Archive for 2009

Untapped viral markets

Let’s go viral.

How hard can it be?


You can go viral, but like all marketing, it’s not a one-shot thing and you are done.

Just like creating a product or service, a viral marketing item needs to have a narrowly defined target audience.

And your viral marketing item *MUST* market at your target audience – you need to market your marketing item.

I got nothing

If you cannot find a reason to market, you probably don’t have anything worth selling.

Timeshare opportunity

Hopefully you aren’t the sort of person that shows up to a family member’s wake and immediately starts extorting the value of timeshare apartments.

If you are, get a clue.

But if you aren’t, you realize there is an appropriate time and an appropriate place to market your product or service.

Appropriateness is dependent on your scale, but it is also dependent on your audience wanting to hear your message.

Appropriateness frames not only when we deliver our message but also the message that we deliver.

Just because you have a communications channel that can be used for marketing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be used for marketing, or marketing at this time.

You can find an appropriate time to sell your grieving aunt on a timeshare opportunity so that she has a place to get away and recover from her grief.

Doing it in front of the open casket is probably not the place though.

Two voices speaking as one

There are two types of website you should consider for your business.

Informational, in which case, keep it simple and clean.

Or functional, which means your website is not just an advertisement for your business, but an extension of it.

You should rarely need both.

Exclusive virality

The more niche you can make your viral content, the more likely it is to go viral.

Narrowly defined niche audiences will share with other connections in their network of narrowly defined niche audience.

That’s what it means to go viral.

Viral doesn’t mean “go big” it means “go big within a niche.”

Once you go viral within the niche, then you have the possibility to go viral within the general population.


When I talk about my emigration to America I mention that the first thing I did was learn the language.

Which always raises a chuckle.

But when I am marketing to an audience, when I am trying to close a sale, when I want someone to inherently believe in my words, the last thing I want is for my audience to be distracted by an unfamiliar idiom (“as useless as tits on a boar hog” not “taking coal to Cardiff (or Newcastle)”), an odd pronunciation (“‘erb” not “herb”) or a curious spelling (“color” not “colour”).

Language is a tool.

An odd pronunciation or curious turn of phrase can be as powerful as dropping the word “Fuck” in to the middle of a sentence.

Learn to use your tools effectively.


Do you want to be heard?

Or do you want to be listened too and understood?

Advertising consists solely of being heard. To be heard, you have to shout. Loudly. And often.

Marketing should be created so that it can be listened to, thought about, and understood.

Where everything goes off the rails is when you’re no longer being listened to, and then you will do anything you can to just be heard.

Being Ignored Is Worse Than Being Copied

It is better to have your work pirated than to be ignored as an artist.

In the same vein, it is better to have people viewing your website but blocking your ads, than it is to not be viewed at all.

Implementing ad blocking detection, and preventing someone from viewing your content doesn’t make them disable their ad blocking software. It just drives their eyeballs to easier to consume content somewhere else.

P.S. I have statistics and analytics and data to back up my argument on both of your opinionated objections.

P.P.S. Copyright infringement is still copyright infringement and no, you aren’t “doing the artist a favour by getting them more exposure” by distributing their work illegally.

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