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-Through my eyes-

07 August 2006

Google's Recent Viral Marketing Dilemma

Seth Godin, the viral marketing dude, gave a presentation at Google’s offices on viral marketing. You can see the video here.

At the end, one Googler asks why Google Mini (their office search appliance) has not been successful. Godin suggested giving out the appliance to some famous blogger and let that blogger spread the word around.

The video got popular and came up in Google Video’s top 100 and of course, many people have now seen it.

So now Google is stuck at a dilemma…They want to do what Godin suggested but if they just give the mini out, people are going to recognize the motivation and call on Google.

So what did they do? How did they solve the problem?

They gave the mini to an influential tech blogger, Joel on Software.

And at the same time, pre-empted the finger pointing by mentioning Godin’s video upfront!

Matt Cutts on Joel and Google Mini.

Meanwhile Joel starts his blog entry: “It seems Seth Godin persuaded Google to donate one of their new Google Mini appliances to power Joel on Software.”

Now the user doesn’t feel manipulated. And Joel of course, continues with his review of the gadget, exposing Mini to maybe thousands of IT people. And the finger-pointers cannot point the finger. (Like I was about to leave this very message on Matt Cutt’s blog, but when I read the “up front” deal, I cancelled since someone could say “yeah, he already mentioned that”.)
Nice.

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