Here’s a true story of me. Growing up, we were crazy teenagers on the island, in Lagos. Out of boredom, (this was before emails or GSM networks) we will have an idea of a party. Then I’ll tell this one guy (who was a connector), he will then tell another “popular” guy (a sneezer) and in less than a day, over 300 people in the lonely streets of Ikoyi will converge as a crowd (like epidemics) for an evening rave. This was unusual in a place like Ikoyi. We were influencers before we even knew what the word meant. Most people knew us for this. The police knew us too, they called us DTPs (Disturbing the Peace). We were the cool kids parents warned their wards about, still other kids wanted to be like; we had followers even before Twitter and Instagram. Still we turned out great. But what can we learn from this?
Well, as we grew older and became mature, we created more positive movement like The Potters Lounge, Sharing Life Issues with Chaz B, same overflow of people, then Hexavia the Masterclass and the Business Club. Even though we’ve grown older, the concept of having strong followings still remains. These days, I’ll send a captivating broadcast still and over 5000 people will get it, and 50 people will repost it. It’s still the same concept.
It is very possible to master how to make things reach the tipping point and then go viral. Like a celebrity’s sex tape, like the Ebola epidemics, like Patience Jonathan’s “diairis God” statements, like popular Nigerian dance moves, like a worldwide campaign of “BringBackOurGirls”… Generally, scandals, fashion, bomb blasts, trends, slangs, bad news become what they become through a common concept. They all start from one individual, a single source and then spread in minutes, into millions like virus do!
Now, imagine if you understood how to make things go viral and popular like trends, then you can either become a marketing guru, a religious or product EVANGELIST or a TERRORIST. I mean you can disrupt a society’s attention.
It comes from understanding the concept of the mavens, sneezers and connectors. This is summarised through The Law of the Few. This states that for a message to go viral, it must be sticky and initiated by a small select group of people categorized into mavens (experts), sneezer (broadcasters/platforms with large but targeted followers of like minds), connectors (socialites and networkers) or all put together.
To understand this concept, make a list of 10 of your closest friends (family and colleagues not included).
Now, think backwards to how you met them, trace the sources and see if there is a trend, an asymmetric pattern or correlation. Did you notice that most of your closest friends were once introduced to you via a common source?
There’s always that one friend that connected most of the people you today call friends. Everybody has that one person, that one friend. Can you identify him?
That’s a connector!
MAVENS on the other hand are people who know everything, while CONNECTORS knows everyone.
Mavens are masters. They are experts and thought leaders in their chosen field and industry, and since there are different industries in the world, in the world, they are usually scattered everywhere. But connectors are people who connect everyone to the same page, the same world. They have a special gift of bringing the bests of a particular demography, the world together through the sneezers.
The person who owns the platform upon which mavens and connectors meet is referred to as a SNEEZER.
Mainstream marketing is failing due to Information Immunity. The greatest contributors to information overload is excessive advertising, attempts on mind control by media, consumerism driven by capitalism, mind-altering marketing, corporate fake news, social media, and generic mass education — all of the mechanisms that shape independent thought till our reactions creates Information Immunity. Still unknown to a lot of people, big budget for campaigns, and ads are failing and contagiousness is replacing mainstream marketing, how well do you know them
With too much ads everywhere plus social media, as the world gets to the breaking point of information overload, the future of business moves away from marketing and goes back to the value of word of mouth, triggers and intimacy. This will depend on the value and stickiness of the message, the context of the message and the quality of the channels that carries it (which must satisfy The Law of the Few.
Strategy. Business StartUps and Corporate Restructuring Consulting
Uwaoma Eizu is the lead strategist at Hexavia! He is a graduate of Mathematics with two MBAs and over a decade of experience working with startups and big businesses. His core is in building startups and in corporate restructuring. He is also a certified member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the Project Management Institute, USA. By the side, he writes weekly for the BusinessDay newspaper.