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Heavy Chef November Session: Mike Sharman And Mike Stopforth On ‘Viral & Social’ Posted in Heavy Chef News, Concocted by Wendy Tayler, 2 comments
Published on 22 November 2012

Last night we had a full house in Johannesburg at Deloitte. Mike Sharman took to the floor to introduce a topic he is renowned for – viral. The owner of Retroviral, a digital communications agency, explained how clients commonly ask for campaigns to ‘go viral’. But the truth is there is no way to ensure this happens – viral is indefinite.IMG_2382

Mike gave us an energetic demo of Gangnam Style, before telling us about the two ’swear words’ in marketing, “viral” and the ‘F’ word – Flashmob. Although clients become fixated with the idea of their marketing going viral; viral is not a strategy.

The important part is getting the right content to the right influencers, and putting the brand before the band. This was summarized into the three R’s – Remarkable content, seeded to the Right people, with Results that can be measured. The key lesson is that the success of viral is not about numbers, it is about ROI.

As Mike ended off his light-hearted, yet insightful presentation with a rap about post-nasal drips, Mike Stopforth, founder of Cerebra, began his talk about social.

Stopforth begins by explaining that brands often build a social profile without always knowing the full reason why. It’s vital that the business objectives are key with everything done for clients.

Mike demonstrated the difference between a brand promise and brand delivery, and told us how this split can often spoil social media. We do not always consider the impact that social media tools have on businesses and marketing, as it wasn’t designed for brands – it was designed for individuals. Therefore brands need to earn the right to activate their engagements in an interpersonal space such as social media.IMG_2389

Social as a broad term, needs to happen from the inside out. Social media has now opened up a loop of communication between brands and consumers, making value that much more essential.

After a Q&A session with the audience, we walked away with the worthy reminder that marketing is a mindset – not a department.

Thank you to all who attended our evening of Mikes, microphones, Merlot, and mo’s!
We really appreciate our fantastic sponsors who make these events a thriving success; Deloitte, Nokia, Backsberg wine, and Channel Mobile.

Video to follow shortly. View the photo album from this event here.

Read more posts by Wendy Tayler

Wendy Tayler

Wendy is the Editor in Chief at Heavy Chef. After 3 years cooking up a storm at UNISA studying English and Communications, Wendy decided to mesh her passion for writing with her love of digital. She firmly believes the world is moving into the online sphere and can be found writing, tracking down great names for interviews, or singing her heart out at the World Wide Creative studio.

Follow Wendy on Twitter

Related posts:

  1. The Art Of Successful Campaigns: Mike Sharman Explains
  2. Heavy Chef Session November: “Smoke, Mirrors and Social Media (Part 2)”
  3. Heavy Chef Session: Christo Davel Of 22Seven – Irrational Behaviour, User Experience & Design
  4. Second Heavy Chef Session in Jozi: ‘Smoke, Mirrors and Social Media Part 2′
  5. Heavy Chef March Session: Alan Knott-Craig Jr, CEO Of Mxit

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  1. hbrand says

    Wish I could have been there!!!

  2. pletcherjme says

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