Tuesday, May 19, 2009

3 Things Marketers Can Learn From Swine Flu

"Absolutely Nothing."

1. If you incite panic, people will do things needlessly and without thinking. It’s been proven that those little surgical masks don’t do anything. But when the media shows people with those things on their faces walking around in public, it makes others go out and get them, too. The equivalent? Those marketers that are approaching companies and saying, “Holy crap! You’re not on Twitter? Facebook? You’re not blogging?!? What the hell? Your company is gonna die!!” And then said company rushes into these new technologies without a plan - just because everyone else is doing it.

2. Information spreads rapidly. So does misinformation. We’ve heard from some people (you know who you are) that they are telling their friends and family not to get on trains or airplanes because it’s an enclosed space and therefore your chances of getting H1N1 go up. That’s BS and total misinformation, but it’s spread like wildfire because it has a lot of the elements of WOM (one of which is people want to feel like they are doing a service to others by warning them of dangers). The equivalent? Bad word of mouth about your company spreads fast - usually a lot faster than the good stuff. But who is out there spreading the good information for you? Because I’m here to tell you that if you try and do it yourself - nobody’s gonna believe you.

3. People will believe anything - for a while. Especially in this day and age. They will also talk about you for a little bit when you pull a “look at me” stunt. I’m not saying that the Swine Flu is a stunt, but as soon as all the hype dies down it will be but a memory. The equivalent? The next buzz event. The next viral video. The next Skittles stunt or P&G’s Tide drive. All distant memories.
*Courtesy of brainsonfire.com

My only question: Who doesn't already know this? A single man thinks, a group of men follows. Every time.

No comments: