Thursday, July 15, 2010

Marketing "virality"

It has suddenly become very evident to me that the way the world does business is increasingly heading away from

the static web site presence toward the model of business or social networking and virality. (I just coined that word: it’s an adjective describing the viral nature of the new business communication and promotion model). Surprisingly, one can see evidence of this sea change with a subscription to Advertising Age which must keep up with the rapid changes in the ways companies promote themselves.

The gold standard among business networking is LinkedIn which I have witnessed over the last several years as it grew form a startup to a business networking site with over 60,000,000 global members. I am also directly engaged in two real world examples of the old and the new way of doing business.

The old paradigm is exemplified by the business broker I was associated with, which, like most other business brokers, uses the standard modus operandi of obtaining listings of businesses for sale and then describing the company on its web site. Nothing is done to drive potential buyers to the web site. The listings just sit there on the hope that someone will notice. One of the larger brokers I know sends out thousands of snail mails every week to attract buyers and sellers. Again, the old paradigm.

The new paradigm is exemplified by my partner in China. The guy is a serial entrepreneur, having been founder or cofounder of six companies. He is now starting his seventh business, the first time for him in China, and I am sitting on the sidelines watching how he’s going about developing his new business. He uses LinkedIn extensively to contact and attract new relationships that can help get his business off the ground. He is attracting resources who will initially serve as advisors but some of whom may later become board members. These people can connect my partner to other resources, such as financial, legal and accounting help, in the second step of virality. This goes back to the fundamental thesis upon which LinkedIn was founded, that no one is more than six degrees removed from anyone else in the world. LinkedIn has taken that thesis and is gradually changing how the world of business does business!

Companies that don’t adapt to this new paradigm will be left behind. Those that do will see their business expand globally.

No comments: