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The science behind word of mouth

Some things just catch on. The $100 cheesesteak. Gangnam style. Six Sigma management strategy. A blender commercial. All became popular – went viral, so to speak. But how?

JMP-DiscoverySummit2014S_50B6009Jonah Berger, James G. Campbell Associate Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School of Business, wondered the same thing. He went to college to become an environmental engineer, but quickly found himself thinking about how he could apply the scientific method to social influence and interpersonal communication – and perhaps find an answer to what drives word of mouth.

For the past decade, Berger has studied the science of social transmission. His New York Times best-seller, Contagious, uses groundbreaking research and compelling stories to explain why some products, ideas and behaviors succeed while others fail.

In an upcoming Analytically Speaking webcast, he outlines several of his six principles behind social contagion: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories. You can watch the webcast, Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m. ET.

No matter what you do – scientist, engineer, consultant, marketer, academic, analyst, the list goes on – you need to understand how to make your products and ideas catch on. Berger will leave you with specific techniques for spreading information and generating buzz.

Berger’s talk was recorded at JMP Discovery Summit 2014.

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