Why the social object is the future of marketing

Hugh MacLeod with a seminal post on social objects:

From now on you won’t have the TV Commercials to rely on to start your conversations. People are ignoring you. The only way your product is going to spread is by word of mouth. The only way it’s going to get word of mouth is if there is something in it for the person talking about it.

The person you want talking about it is not doing it for the money. She'll only talk about it if it serves as a Social Object. A "hook" to move the conversation along. A hook she can use it as a way to relate to her fellow human beings.

You should read all of Hugh's post.

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  • Gregory Allan

    There’s a lot being banded about the marketing and advertising forums about Social Objects and word of mouth these days as agencies struggle to find a grapple hold of something they can use to perpetuate advertising in a vastly “noisy” world. To be honest though they are all missing the point, most blogs and comments I’ve read make it sound like social object are just random things that happen or something gimmicky, true they can be these things but they are in actual fact more complex than this. Social objects are bits of information or memes that provide the perpetuator with social currency, by this I mean they elevate the perpetuators social status by passing on the information.

    When societies were developing we became increasingly reliant on each other for survival. Say Cave person Ugg was very good at finding certain types of berries he would pass on information where to find them to the other people in his tribe his social status would thus be increased as he became more important for the survival of the tribe. He would then stand a higher chance of survival as other members of the tribe would share information and resources with him more readily to share in that social status. Like wise today we share information, advice and or gossip (which elevate the propagator usually on the grounds of “morals”). So in a nutshell word of mouth is a symbiotic process where everyone wins; obviously like with all things some win more than others.