Saturday, April 12, 2008

On Viral Marketing

My Uncle Jurgen, a prominent, super-savvy and retired business executive living in California, just joined my network on LinkeIn.

Here's what's interesting to me. I'd wanted to reach out to him for months now, but was a little apprehensive. We don't see that side of the family all that often. As a matter of fact, the last time we were in the same room was during my great-grandfather's funeral, a few years ago. (Salute, Grossopa!)

Sure - I could have asked others in my immediate family for his email address or phone number. But once I was notified on LinkedIn that he had joined the 20 million other business professionals using the network, I suddenly had a relevant reason to make contact. The awkwardness of the situation disappeared via web 2.0.

In the email thread we traded, Uncle Jurgen ended with this:

I am not really sure what these networks accomplish, so I have been leery of joining, but when relatives and friends ask...

A Powerful Statement

When the message comes from an individual you know and trust, the fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding the request, (in this case - the adoption of a new technology) is removed.

This premise is the corner stone of viral marketing. By receiving the message from a family member, my Uncle, after long consideration, changed his behavior and created a LinkedIn profile. The messenger, not the message itself, mattered most.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! I appreciate you reading.