Understanding Viral Marketing

Pollination, that we learned in school; is the transfer of pollen from a flower to another flower. Pollination is a prerequisite for fertilization: the fusion of pollen grain with nuclei in the ovule of another flower. Fertilization allows the flower to develop seeds and form fruits. Most plants need help moving pollen from one flower to another. Wind moves the pollen for some plants such as grasses like corn. Animal pollinators also move pollen for many other flowering plants. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, some flies, some wasps, and nectar feeding bats are some of pollinators. This is the beauty of nature, where pollinators don’t realize they are a part of a process that yields some tasty fruits.

Pollinators don’t know or care that the plant benefits. They pollinate to get nectar and/or pollen from flowers to meet their energy requirements and to produce offspring. This brings us to another aspect of our mother nature; randomness. No one knows, from where a pollinator comes, sits on which flower out of trillions of them and takes the pollen to some flower in the world, with no prior plans. You have no clue where the bee will come from, which flower will it sit, out of that where the honey will go, which fruit will be created. we have no control. Its fascinating!

Viral Marketing and Pollination

Keeping this process in mind, seems why am I talking about pollination; and arrive at Viral Marketing! We relate viral marketing to people spreading information to their followers and followers to their followers, eventually spreading content/value at a speed exponential.  But what forces people to share the content at first place?

We all are pollinators, we happen to find valuable content on the world wide web and decide to sit on it, enjoy its nectar. We share it to showcase to our community that we have access to some great stuff on earth. We don’t care (usually) who is going to benefit from the value. We tweet, we share on Facebook, or tell it to friends; eventually building a rapport among society that we are a great ‘whatever’ for the society. No one knows, where it may create a tasty fruit and some one life just gets better.

Unless you create valuable content and products, lets not expect pollinators. People won’t spread the information unless they enjoy sitting on it, else they will fly away on something else, some other product.

What is in your hands is to create value which will help pollinators reach you, what is not in your hand is – what happens after that.

Somebody at his own position does something and puts together something or the other and some people who were not even connected with any of this get together and now will spread the word about this thing in a completely organic way, none of which anyone of us have any control of.

Viral Marketing

Most plants need help moving pollen from one flower to the pistil of another.  Wind moves the pollen for some plants such as grasses like corn.  Animal pollinators move pollen for many other flowering plants.

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam