Viral! Spread! Word Of Mouth! CGM!!!

August 6, 2006

by way of Guy Kawasaki – a post about Seth Godin’s new book – “Small is the New Big” offers this quote from Seth about how and why ideas spread.

No one spreads an idea unless:

  • They understand it.
  • They want it to spread.
  • They believe that spreading it will enhance their power (reputation, income, friendships) or their peace of mind.
  • The effort to send the idea is less than the benefits.

There’s nothing in there about why WE – the creator want OUR ideas to spread – it’s all based on the recipient – the audience – the listener.

They decide – we can only set the stage that will ALLOW it to spread. Or as Hugh McLeod might say – remove friction.

The third point is particularly important. The ideas people spread are a commentary on the sender.

If spreading an idea makes ME look “cutting edge” or “funny” or “intelligent” I’ll spread it without hesitation. If the idea is all about how YOU or your COMPANY is soooo cool – it’s trashed.

No one “gets” an idea unless:

  • The first impression demands further investigation.
  • They already understand the foundation ideas necessary to get the new idea.
  • They trust or respect the sender enough to invest the time.

There’s that word TRUST again.

Is HD Radio and the promotion we’re creating aorund it going to develop TRUST?

“Getting” the idea is essential for it to spread – but we can “GET IT” – and still think it’s NOT worthy of spreading.

Finally, Guy suggests in his post –

What a great test for design and marketing efforts. . . . hook yourself up to a polygraph and see if you pass it.