Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

YouTube marketing 9 – developing viral marketing reach from a business model and strategic planning foundation

Posted in Web 2.0 marketing by Timothy Platt on November 26, 2012

This is my ninth installment in a best practices series for developing more effective YouTube and similar video clip marketing campaigns (see Web 2.0 Marketing, postings 64-71 for Parts 1-8.) I have been developing a basic approach in this series, to creating media rich marketing campaigns that are more likely to be shared through social media links and to go viral. And my focus in this series has been on:

• What it means to go viral,
• How to develop media rich marketing messages that are more likely to do so, and
• What to do next if one of your marketing messages does start to generate that type and level of general interest in the online community.

I began focusing on this third set of issues in Part 7: you’ve gone viral; now what? and Part 8: operationalizing the viral marketing follow-through, with a focus there on operational considerations and on developing an effective, flexible marketing system that is backed by effective ongoing market research. I turn in this posting to consider the basic requirements that business models and ongoing business strategy would have to meet, if they are to support viral marketing and making effective use of viral marketing reach. And I begin here with the fundamentals, or rather with a reconsideration of a couple of points that are often simply assumed as fundamentals.

• Business models and business strategy, planning and operational execution are all about focus: the focus of matching specific product or service to specific marketplace and market demographics, to drive sales and generate profits and competitive strength.

I stand by the basic points raised there as general principles of value to business owners and managers. But I note in stating that, that viral marketing adds some very significant shifts as to what that in practice means.

When your marketing campaigns and the messages that convey them to the public go viral, you face the opportunity and challenge of addressing a much wider audience than any that you have prepared for, and certainly if you take a narrow approach to the above bullet point and its reasoning. Effective strategy for a virally marketing organization – for any organization with a truly global reach, has to be flexible in acknowledging and identifying, and responding to the unexpected – to unexpected opportunities that if missed become unexpected losses and negatives, and to the need and desires of unanticipated target markets. And with that, I draw a parallel that might not at first glance seem obvious, but that is crucial to understand:

• A business that goes viral in its marketing reach is in a very similar position to a business that offers a highly innovative and novel product or service – a true blue ocean innovation to the marketplace.
• In both cases, the actual target demographics that would want to purchase may be quite different than initially anticipated.
• In both cases, market analysis and two-way sharing of information and insight are essential to making meaningful connections that will systematically lead to sales, to business stability and strength and to competitive advantage.

Think of viral marketing businesses, and blue ocean innovation-offering businesses as moving into the same deep water opportunities, but from different differentiating starting points – in what is offered in one case and in reach for getting the word out as to what is offered in the other. I have been posting on an ongoing basis in this blog about blue ocean strategy and innovation, and connect my postings and series related to them to this series here, as there are deep connections between these areas of business thought and execution (see for example, innovation-related postings at Business Strategy and Operations and Business Strategy and Operations – 2 and I cite by way of example, my 16 part series: Keeping Innovation Fresh, at Business Strategy and Operations – 2 as postings 241 and loosely following.)

I am going to finish this series at this point, though I am definitely going to post further on the relationship between viral marketing as a business process and strategy, and blue ocean innovation as a process and source of strategy. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at Web 2.0 Marketing.

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