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Creating a Viral Marketing Campaign During Flu Season

Just a few days ago, I was approached by a CEO of a very-well-funded stealth health-tech startup to create a viral campaign to attract more physician customers for their "Uber for Healthcare" platform.


Here's a summary of a 1 hour consultation that will inevitably lead to a different world while avoiding the pitfalls your competition is falling into. Plan ahead and you'll avoid getting your company sick with the flu. 


Know your target demographic. Know it by heart.


Know your cost of customer acquisition and customer value. Make sure the numbers make sense. 


Have a training module ready right on the app for the customers that "get it" right away. If this customer cannot be familiarized within 5 minutes, most likely the decision to start will be postponed. If these customers are unable to get started within 15 minutes, most likely the dropout rate will be significant.


Have a plan to help potential customers make a quick decision to become a buying customer (automated customer education). You grabbed their attention, but if your cost of acquisition is too high, be sure to automate the sign up process for this group.


Have a plan to manage and automate requests for more information for customers that don't get it right away (customer education) This is not your target demographic, but this can become a valuable source of customers very soon. Do not turn them away.


Have a plan to manage highly professional and well-respected influential leaders who can be "haters". When you're opening up a Pandora's Box with a disruptive technology, threatening the status quo of a few hundred years, you're going against decision makers with hundreds of followers each, if not thousands. If you're in a highly-regulated industry, be sure to have a full-time attorney as an employee, with substantial stocks in your company. It's best to avoid this demographic if possible.


Plan for referral networking. Do you have a strategy in place asking new customers to refer new customers? What's the incentive for referrals? A viral campaign is viral when it is self-perpetuating.


Plan for customer care. There will be questions, tons of questions, coming from everywhere. This is not a time when questions are not immediately answered.


Keep the momentum going. Post updates. Keep things exciting and very positive.


Turn hickups into celebration of human limits. 



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