A short story about „death by search“

James Cherkoff tells us a nice little story about how tight marketing programs, the nice shop in a nice part of town, well trained sales people, the glossy leaflets and the good reputation of certain type of kitchen brand has been made obsolete by one single search on the web about what other customers of this brand had to say. The opinions were mostly negative and James ended up cancelling his order.

Of course, you would always have consulted other sources – most of all your closest peers – about opinions on any high involvement product or service. But the chances that you find many sources with the same brand of kitchen (car, dishwasher, etc.) in your closest range of peers was and is rather limited.

With todays possibilities to find opinions on anything on the web (even stuff you didn’t want to know about), it is ever more important for brands to keep their promises. People are fearing the moment of the totally transparent consumer, but hey, brands already face this complete transparency!

There seem to be five rules of viral marketing

Following a viral, almost guerilla-type marketing incident that went horribly wrong, Sean Carton of Clickz deducts 5 rules for this kind of marketing that should be obeyed.

  • If you want to generate word-of-mouth, don’t try to be hip.

Just because it seems to the latest buzz around the blog, doesn’t mean it spreads. Don’t try too hard, people will inevitably notice and block it.

  • Destruction of property or intruding into people’s comfort zones will only backfire.

Some viral marketing is very obtrusive and tries to surprise people by being as drastic as damaging or at least defacing public spaces. This might cause more trouble than anythings else.

  • You can’t fake authenticity.

No, of course you can’t. And marketers should never ever think they can, because the truth behind every little marketing trick will surface these days.

  • Know your audience.

You better do! Obvious, as it seems, but sometimes viral marketing expectations are formulated in a way that goes completely beyond what would be sensible or even possible with a certain target audience.

  • Love your customers.

This shouldn’t be a new concept to anyone, otherwise – well…