I recently wrote that exponential marketing was the same as viral marketing. .. and of course viral marketing is the same as word-of-mouth marketing you might assume.
Well that is not true according to Seth Godin. He suggests that viral marketing is not the same as word of mouth.
Word of mouth is a decaying function. A marketer does something and a consumer tells five or ten friends. And that’s it. It amplifies the marketing action and then fades, usually quickly. A lousy flight on United Airlines is word of mouth. A great meal at Momofuku is word of mouth.
Viral marketing is a compounding function. A marketer does something and then a consumer tells five or ten people. Then then they tell five or ten people. And it repeats. And grows and grows. Like a virus spreading through a population.
I am not sure I agree with that explanation. However I do believe there is something important in calling it exponential marketing rather than viral marketing. There is a Call To Action in the words. Perhaps more people understand the word viral than understand the word exponential but there is a distinction. It is the difference between suggesting someone should pass it on and the advice to share it with your friends.
In exponential marketing you should encourage your readers not just to pass it to one friend but to share it with all their friends. That is the advantage of the Tell A Friend (misnomer) button you will see here at the foot of this post. There is also an implicit reminder in the note you will see on some blogs to Reblog the post. On Twitter you will also see some people who Retweat a post that includes a link. So help spread the word on the exponential marketing movement by sharing this post with at least two friends .. but hopefully more.