Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marketing H1N1: Contaminating Markets with Positive Flu

\Almost everybody, and his brother, knows about the perils of A(H1N1) virus. It is an worldwide pandemic that has just started and is poised to strike in a bigger way during its second wave. But what if there is such a thing as a Positive Flu? Something that brings goodness and benefits to everyone it contaminates? Assuming that there is such a thing, then what can marketing people learn about spreading this positive flu?
1. Spreading the flu is cheap. One contact is all it takes. Then, all the "infected" person has to do is to travel and meet other people. This has to be the "holy grail" of marketing communications- penetrating large markets at almost zero cost.
2. Children, the elderly, and sick people people are more susceptible to the "positive" infection than others. Effective marketing communications are designed to hit primary target markets.
3. It will take some time and a lot of money for those who want to oppose the flu to develop a vaccine. Marketing competitors can react but the first-to-market companies have considerable competitive advantage.
4. Over time, the positive flu mutates making it a stronger strain and unaffected by vaccines developed for earlier versions. Over time, the competitive scenario changes and only the strongest survive.
5. The flu and the marketing message thinks global and acts local. Both are generally universal and recognize no geographic, trade, political or social barriers.
6. Many people who have the flu are not aware they have it. Many of those who have it are not willing to follow the precautions to stop the spread of the virus. People who believe in certain marketing messages and are loyal to certain brands dont even know about it. Yes, being a facebook or twitter fanatic is a good example.
7. The flu and marketing messages affect a great part of society over a prolonged period of time- making people change the way they live. (Prof. Bong DeUngria, August 2009)

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