How To Make Your Business Go Viral

API, B2B, CMS, CPC, CRM, CSS (and we are still only in the C’s). Good god our industry loves it’s acronyms. Sometimes, acronyms are useful, but usually, they are just plain annoying. But here are 3 VERY good ones. If you only have time to memorize a few, forget KPI’s and learn these 3, they will explode your business!!!!


An old marketing acronym that will help you understand the process, this can apply to an ad, a landing page, a brochure… or to an entire campaign, with marketing materials specifically crafted to target each step:

A – Awareness: the first thing you need to do is attract the attention of your customer, let them know your product or service exists.
I – Interest: once they know you exist, you have to get the the customer interested in your product or service.
D – Desire: now that they are interested, the next step is to convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
A – Action: Now that they desire your product or service, you must get your customers to take action and/or purchase your product or service.

Using a system like AIDA gives one a general understanding of how to market effectively.


An acronym from Chip and Dan Heath’s ground breaking book Made to Stick. After you understand the marketing process, you will want your materials to stick in your customer’s head.

S – Simplicity: create ideas that are both simple and profound. A one sentence statement that one could spend a lifetime learning to follow it.
U – Unexpectedness: Open Gaps in people’s knowledge, show them what they don’t know, then fill those gaps.
C – Concreteness: Make your ideas clear, explain them in terms of universal human actions and images.
C – Credibility: create ideas that carry their own credentials.
E – Emotions: The way to get people to care about your ideas is to make them feel something.
S – Stories: If you make an argument, you are immediately challenging someone to evaluate your argument, but with a story, you are involving people with the idea, asking them to participate with you.

Making ideas stick is especially important because it is far easier to market to your existing customers, people who already like what you make or do, then to acquire new ones.


An acronym from the NY Times Bestseller, Contagious, by Jonah Berger. Now that you understand how marketing works and how to make your ideas stick, wouldn’t it be nice if those ideas did the selling for you? That’s where STEPPS comes in. STEPPS teaches us how to make your ideas so contagious that people won’t be able to stop talking about and sharing them.

S – Social Currency: People want to look smart, rich and cool. What we talk about influences how others see us. Create products, services or ideas that make people look good when they talk about them.
T – Triggers: Triggers are stimuli that prompt people to think about related things. You need to create products, services or ideas that are frequently triggered by cues in the environment.
E – Emotion: When we care we share. Craft your messages to make people feel something.
P – Public Visibility: Monkey see monkey do. Design products, services or ideas that advertise themselves and create behavioral residue that sticks around even after people have bought them.
P – Practical Value: Create products, services or ideas that are useful. People like to help others. If you can show people how your product, service or idea can save time, improve health or save money they’ll spread the word.
S – Stories: Like the tale of the trojan horse, stories are vessels that carry things like morals and lessons. Embed your products, services or ideas in stories that people want to tell.