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Marketing 101: Are Your Communications "Sticky"? Are They "Viral"?

April 2007
By: Jerry Thacker
One of the new terms used in conjunction with Web sites and other media used to communicate with the target audience today is the term, "sticky." It means, "Are you memorable?" Do you engage people and hold their attention long enough to deliver a message that will take your prospects to the next step in building a relationship with you?

Viral marketing is the kind that creates a buzz among members of the target market. It gets you talked about and remembered. Viral marketing means your message is more caught than taught. It's where people will get it and become more involved with your organization.

A device you can use to help make your communications both sticky and viral is the four-panel business card. "Four panels," you ask, "what's that?" Well, if you took two of your current business cards and taped the top edges together, you would have a four-panel card. Why should you use it? There are several good reasons:

It gives you more room to communicate. You can list your services on the back. You can also list your Web site.

You can use the inside as a place for notes by just putting writing lines on it. It saves notepaper, and if you keep a supply with you in your pocket or purse, you always have something on which to jot a quick note. You can also use it to write down referrals such as to a doctor or other health care provider.

It can contain a map that shows people where to go and how to find you. This can be invaluable if you are off the beaten path.

It can be a part of an imaging or branding campaign. Having a strong logo and message is just the starting place. New prospects may have never heard of you or your organization before.

Finally, it can be the start of viral marketing. How? It's easy. Always give out two cards to prospects as you explain that one of the cards is for them to keep while the other one is for a friend who may be in the same circumstances.

It might be just your business card right now, but it can be so much more if you'll let it. Give it a try and see how it works for your organization.

Jerry Thacker is president of Right Ideas, Inc., and publisher of At the Center. He can be reached at

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