The Next Big Thing- Online

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Broadband penetration is on hype and people do use internet while they’re working i.e. obviously hi-speed internet connection. Internet users surf for a lot of different things in Pakistan specifically it is entertainment and then comes communication and knowledge. In the recent days if we look at our facebook live feeds we will notice a lot of video clips being shared across by our friends. This is one example how users in Pakistan are adapting to the portable information they find and the one which is worth spreading is being spread as well. Infact it is wired hard in our DNA, where if someone finds something interesting will want his/her friends to cognize about it, which obviously gives them a topic to talk about. Interestingly the brands in Pakistan are not realizing to cash-in on this which is The Next Big Thing. I call it Word Of Mouse, where users by few clicks spread information in their network and the process goes on and on.

There are few myths about viral marketing online, which I want to clear prior to proceeding further.

-Viral Marketing is Free

It is free to spread only but the production does include cost.

-Viral works for sex and violence

Yes but for people who are looking for sex and violence.

-My material will spread by itself

Yeah if it has the capacity to

Marketers can employee the audience online by giving them something interesting to spread but Naah! I don’t want to criticize on any of the agencies specially the so called Interactive ones but yeah this is their job to bring up these opportunities across their clients’ table. This needs an integrated team where production agencies create strong content and let the interactive agencies or in other words the seeding agencies to pass it on and make it available to the users online. Also this couldn’t be done by banner ads or text ads but by seeding across the network, i.e. by making it available at the right place to the right people and at the right time.

There are few elements that I want to define which play a significant part or you can say are essential for a viral campaign:

Outstanding Story: We don’t take much interest in the usual routine stuff do we? We will always talk about something which is out of the blue or something odd or untraditional. Like this little company in Westchester called Little Mismatch did, they make 133 styles of socks aimed at 11 year old girl and one cant buy a pair, they only sold it in odd numbers. The 11 year old girl goes to school and tells her friends WANT TO SEE MY SOCKS, and the next day you see that the whole school is wearing the mismatched socks. This is how they created something outstanding which the girl preferred to share and it was so remarkable that it diffused by itself. In the same way in the internet scene users want outstanding content which spreads by its own.

Stickiness: In our day to day life we meet a lot of people and usually (this happens a lot with me though) forget about them. Once they’re out of your room/office/classroom you don’t remember them but there are always few whom you will remember the rest of your life, even if you have spend few seconds with them. Why is that? These people have one thing in common and i.e. stickiness and they’re stuck to your mind like a glue, with one element i.e. they might be good at speaking or they might be wearing an expensive suit (its just an example). But yeah you remember them for one of their traits and associate them with that. In the same way while planning your viral campaign the stickiness element should be identified otherwise your campaign will come and go and nobody will remember it. Like in our old days the Dentonic Ad had stickiness and it is still glued in our heads, it could be the monkey or the bald character but we still remember them and there are lots of other examples.

Relevancy: In general (you guys might have noticed) that whenever we want to buy a car, let’s say a Toyota Saloon, we see that on the road the most. Why is that? It’s not that Indus Motor has increased its sales over night but it’s just because we are in search of it and it is relevant to us. In the same way the content should be relevant to the users online, otherwise nobody is going to notice it. If you show a crazy Mountain dew commercial to a house wife, she won’t even notice it and that won’t tempt her to discuss it with her husband or friends. So the media placements should be chosen very carefully.

Portability and Sharability: We always like to share stuff, especially in a collective society like Pakistan where usually people prefer to do things in groups. Like we won’t go alone to cinema to watch a movie or won’t go alone to a new restaurant opened in our locality. We always emphasize on building networks and cementing relationships and we value it by sharing something potent otherwise it can harm our network. In the same way viral campaigns can have an impact on people’s relationship accordingly, so the content should have that blast that it should be shared across the network without harming it.

The Next Big Thing in our online ecosystem is not an application nor it’s a rich media ad with a new metric but its what we usually see around users doing daily, it’s the crazy stuff that they share. Mismatched sock

  • Erfan Afghan

    I agree with what you have said in this blog entry. Key points:

    1 – Idea that spreads usually win.

    2 – Marketers have to come up with something remarkable if they want to be successful. If you can’t come up with something remarkable you should go back and work on your product and make it remarkable.

    3 – Regarding sharing part it’s not just limited to Pakistan it’s applicable in every market b/c there’s this cultural inversion going on where we have become increasingly individual but we still have strong value for community.