A few weeks ago, I talked about Propagation Planning. To quote myself, Propagation Planning is:
a technique that goes beyond hoping content simply goes viral. A technique capable of kick-starting, controlling and exploiting online word of mouth
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and have realised an interesting paradox. Traditional marketing meant we bought media or placed articles to reach a particular segment based on demographic or mindset. Media planning looked to be as efficient as possible – buying space where the largest proportion of the target spent time so as to reduce John Wannamaker’s 50 percentage of wasted advertising.
But Propagation Planning is different. At the end of the day, Propagation Planning is about being inefficient. About using the network and its nodes to reach as many people as possible regardless of their make-up, before reaching the final, intended, target.
Take a look at the image below. It starts with content which is Useful, Entertaining, Interesting and Participatory. The content flows through the network, through potentially three additional layers, before reaching the final destination.
At each of these three layers, content can be shared and disseminated outside of its intended course. If you consider the, on average, 190 friends everyone has on Facebook or the 1,000s of followers influencers on Twitter have, then this network diagram suddenly becomes more and more complex.
Here’s the rub. We figure that starting with relevant influencers, communities and owned media will come close to guaranteeing it will reach the *right* segment or demographic or mindset but by being incredibly inefficient with our message, we can ensure that we also reach anyone who’s interested in our products, goods, services or ideas. Just like this.