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New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association What makes things popular? Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? If you said...

New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association

What makes things popular? Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

If you said advertising, think again. People don't listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He's studied why New York Times articles make the paper's own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you've wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread - for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you're a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

(From Goodreads)

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Number of Pages: 210

ISBN: 1451686579

ISBN-13: 9781451686579


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I feel terrible writing this review, and it breaks my heart. This book just isn’t that great. Some backstory, I used to love this book. I’ve worked in marketing for years, and I love psychology. This was the first book that introduced me to using psychology for marketing based on...

I feel terrible writing this review, and it breaks my heart. This book just isn’t that great.

Some backstory, I used to love this book. I’ve worked in marketing for years, and I love psychology. This was the first book that introduced me to using psychology for marketing based on “evidence-based” research. Jonah Berger is a professor and Wharton, and I’ve read all of his books. I decided to give this one another read as a refresher since it’s been a few years, and I was just in shock reading some of the nonsense in this book.

So, what’s my problem? Well, learning about the difference between good and bad science is what did it. It ruined this book for me. Social sciences already have a bad reputation, but the studies used in this book are absolutely ridiculous. As I was reading, I was like, “There’s no way in hell that this would have consistent results.” Aside from that, there was so much selection bias and survivorship bias in this book that it was bonkers. The issue is that so much of what Jonah Berger teaches is subjective as well, so it’s extremely hard to falsify.

In between the bad science, there’s a lot of practical advice for getting people to talk about your “thing”. The issue is when it tries to use research to back it up. If you want to read it, go for it. I don’t think it’s a waste of time, but just be extremely skeptical of the research used in this book. And now, I’m going to reread his other books to see if they’re just as bad.

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Recommended under What 10/10 marketing books are there? (asked by Patrick OShaughnessy)