Going Viral The 9 secrets of irresistible marketing

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/18/2016
  • Publisher: FT Press

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The Holy Grail for marketers is figuring out how to make something go viral, and for those brands who have figured it out, the recipe remains a closely guarded secret.

But Dr Brent Coker has been researching the techniques and science behind the world’s most viral ideas for over a decade, and for the first time ever discloses the secrets. Packed full of practical techniques, expert research and real-life examples, in this book you’ll learn the science behind why things go viral, the psychology of frenzied word of mouth, and how to create messages that people can’t resist sharing.


“Finally, here's a book that reveals the secrets about how to make the myth a reality. I can't wait to put these ideas into action."

Steve Farber. Author, The Radical Leap


“A fascinating deep dive into what drives us to share”

Pamela Meyer, CEO Calibrate, and Top 20 TED speaker


“Brent's work will help you improve your odds substantially”

“The ad man” Rory H Sutherland. Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather


“A must read for any business hoping go viral … for the right reasons.

Brent Coker is a master at unravelling the “mystery” of how to use social media to spread your message.”

Emily Rice, Senior Reporter, Nine News


“One does not go viral, one has to read Brent’s book first to understand the dynamics of becoming worthy of sharing.”

Brian Solis, author of X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

Author Biography

Brent Coker is an internet consumer psychologist who specializes in Viral Marketing. He is an academic, entrepreneur, magazine columnist, public speaker, commentator in the media, and expert witness called in by the federal courts of Australia for questions about Internet business.


Dr Coker’s research has appeared extensively in the media, ranging from the New York Times through to Scientific American (e.g., http://bit.ly/1rTQTMh). His research has appeared on National TV networks including CNN, Fox, and CBS, and he is regularly called upon to give expert opinion on radio, TV, and in print.

Table of Contents

Going viral
A different mindset

1. The Power of Share

Why sex doesn’t sell

When social status causes viral sharing
It’s not about controversy
The most shared image of all time
An app gone viral
Action plan for viral sharing

2. Self-enhancement
How a frustrating puzzle became the biggest selling toy in history
Our natural tendency to criticise others
Are your friends trying to make you jealous?
Why gothics wear black

Board shorts and the environment
People self-enhance in different ways
Action plan for Self-enhancement


3. Emotion
Trevor’s flower shop
Emotions and sharing
Why a smile from a stranger makes us feel good
A dramatic surprise on a quiet square

Where words fail, music speaks
Memories, music, and emotion
Dumb ways to die
The power of mixed emotions
Karma is feeling

Changing behaviour using emotions
Action plan for using emotion


4. Anticipation
Why anticipation makes people share
Fight or flight

Why people can’t help looking at blood and guts
The magic three: humour, awe, and thrills
Action plan for anticipation


5. Affinity
Jack’s motorcycle shop
Affinity, and the art of building an iconic brand
When annoying the neighbours is sharable

Oh Boy!
First kiss
World’s toughest job
Can gift giving cause sharing?
Action Plan for Affinity

6. Justice
Fairness, Justice, and an Unfair advantage
The little girls who showed the world
Changing people’s beliefs
Action plan for justice

7. Herding
Jim’s meusli mystery and the power of scarcity

How Ray Kroc got people to eat burgers
Anti-Herders (and what makes cool ‘cool’ ?)
Your opinions are not your own
Action plan for herding

8. Groups
The Dress
Join the club
Like a girl
Action plan for groups initiated viral

9. Bump
What’s wrong with video advertising
The structure of BUMP
How to include a brand
Punchy bursts
Hook, line and sinker
Nonlinear time scenes
Action plan for bump


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