Viral Marketing 101 : Apparently I’m Old

2 Aug
Co-founders Catherine (left, b. 1980) and Jacqueline (right, b. 1982) dressed as Laura Ashley and the Material Girl for a piano recital

Co-founders Catherine (left, b. 1980) and Jacqueline (right, b. 1982) dressed up for a piano recital as Laura Ashley and the Material Girl.

In spite of being just 15 months my senior, my husband used to brag about being “a generation older than me,” because was born before Reagan was elected president. I’ve always been “young for my grade”: A junior in high school when I [finally] got my driver’s license, seventeen at graduation, twenty-two when I finished grad school. This week, however, I ceased to be young-for-my-grade and I started to recognize that not only am I an old soul, but I’m also just… old.

I spent the last week working in the Bay Area. Monday, I officially met our new Chief Marketing Officer, Bijal Shah. She’s energetic, knowledgeable and… young – in such a great way. Our two-hour conversation left me so inspired and excited about the future of our little company. Two days later, I sat down for an interview with Jelly Theory blogger Jessica Lee. Jess graduated from Stanford one year ago. I almost choked on my French baguette. My five-year college reunion came and went (a couple of years ago). But meeting with Bijal and Jess left me a little starry-eyed about the possibilities of viral marketing.

In less than one week, and after making connections with two extraordinary young women, we have a feature on an oft-read blog, a Twitter account, a new Etsy storefront and a facebook fan page. There’s more to come, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s just amazing to me that I’m too old (in the technical sense) to understand this tweeting, facebook-ing generation (and don’t even get me started on MySpace). I’d still like to think that being in my twenties qualifies me as young, but the reality is that I wouldn’t have come up with any of these marketing ideas on my own because, well, apparently, I’m old. If you’re an entrepreneur who isn’t as edgy and forward-thinking as the Gen-Yers (even if you’re not one yourself), how do you navigate these marketing opportunities? They’re not out of our reach, they just seem to be less intuitive.

Fortunately, at G|F we don’t have to worry about our age because of our recently acquired (and very youthful) help in this department. On a personal note, I’ve realized I’m approaching the end of a very critical decade in my life. Despite these recent revelations, or perhaps because of them, I’ve adopted the axiom that with age comes wisdom. And I’ll be sure to send our CMO a “tweet” letting her know that I was born before Reagan was inaugurated. Who’s got the edge now?


4 Responses to “Viral Marketing 101 : Apparently I’m Old”

  1. Jessica August 2, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    Catherine, I too feel old, especially when it comes to my post-graduation bedtime. 😉 Here’s a great report released by digital marketing agency Razorfish on viral marketing, or in their words social influence marketing. It’s a fascinating read!

  2. Jessica August 2, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    Oops, here’s the link:

  3. greenfingerprint August 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Thanks for the link, Jess! I was considering a follow-up post with some links to articles on viral / social influence marketing (include an article you wrote – sent to me courtesy of Bijal). Thanks for the feedback!


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