Presentation topic for Entrepreneurial Imperative 2010

by / Wednesday, 27 October 2010 / Published in Uncategorized

I’m on a panel of smart people today, and they’ve selected a few questions/topics for discussion and dispersed them in advance so that we presenter-types have an opportunity to prepare. 

For those that cannot attend, I thought I’d share my working notes on the blog. 

My question/topic: 
The #1 viral video marketing campaign on YouTube that’s come from Knoxville (and please let me know if there’s an even better example) is the Anne M. McKinney bit where she sings about Timothy Geithner with over 1.33 million hits on YouTube. It could be argued that what made this work was that a) she addressed satirically an issue that was of interest to a prospective client base, b) she did it with a unique personality style, and c) she advertised her firm, and her web site address, on the bottom of the screen.

Discussion topic: Does this phenomenon ever have a high probability of being duplicated for other startups and small businesses?  If so, how?  And what is the value?  Also feel free to add some of your favorite “viral” examples.  How do you measure these examples in terms of something tangible being delivered?


Does this phenomenon ever have a high probability of being duplicated for other startups and small businesses? — High probability, no. Even more importantly, why would someone want to duplicate it for a small business? Notoriety and views on YouTube don’t necessarily equate to long-term business (think Chocolate Rain – although he did get to do a Dr. Pepper commercial). It’s important to keep your focus and make decisions based on a full communications strategy. On another note, Anne McKinney was very successful before posting this video so she had name recognition AND the content was timely. If you do try something along these lines, again, make sure to stay true to your core message rather than embrace views and hits. In your marketing efforts, two good prospects are worth more than 1000 views that could not care less.

Viral successes to me are typically less flashy than topics folks find interesting for a 3-minute chat. Regardless of the topic, somewhere you’ll find people talking about it. A success comes from finding a way to engage the audience that wants to hear about your product or services, and becoming a part of this discussion. For some, opening a new channel to move a few gift certificates each week can completely turn things around and bridge a budget gap. Those are the successes I tend to focus on the most.