Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Two stories out to kill viral marketing

Twice in the last two days, I've seen a story that appears to squash assumptoins notions about the power of viral marketing. The first was this story in Ad Age, which interviews Columbia University professor Duncan Watts. His theory is that the influentials—those people who follow others, lemming-like, when they wear the latest sunglasses, or partake in some other new brand—aren't all that influential. Then, Nielsen BuzzMetrics yesterday came out with a study saying, "high blog interest, or buzz, around new product launches is tightly linked to paid media spending." The graph at left illustrates the premise. Once there's a third example out there about why viral marketing isn't so powerful after all, let's call buzz a wrap. Kidding.

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