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The Tipping Point

When Malcolm Gladwell published The Tipping Point, he put on paper what most CEOs instinctively knew: that planning and hard work are not the sole harbingers of success. Gladwell says an alignment of people and events is critical to propel a creation, idea, or product to stardom—an incendiary spark that he calls a “tipping point.”

What is the secret to that spark? External events, to be sure. Identifying an unmet need. Innovators, connectors, mavens, and salesmen: the right mix of endorsers and early adopters who cut through information clutter to turn on the “I want that” gene in each of us.

For decades, companies have relied on the “5 Ps” of marketing—product, price, position, promotion, placement—to ready their product for the world. Build a quality product, price it fairly, place it in the hands of celebrity adopters, sell it in a convenient location, and advertise, advertise, advertise. Coca-cola, Wonder bread, Proctor and Gamble, and Chevrolet have made billions with this simple—and very effective—formula.

But today is different. The Internet has changed the game. The perfect widget can be launched—and destroyed—in a day by a YouTube video, a post on Facebook, or a 1 star review on Amazon.

Public relations, which used to center around the “promotion” of the “5 Ps”, now finds itself squarely in the center of this new marketing paradigm, because it creates the positive awareness of your product that sets you apart. More than any other marketing “P”, it is the most effective at creating a “tipping point” in today’s marketing space, by managing the message through Gladwell’s warren of adopters.

What to learn more about creating your own “tipping point”? Read through our integrated case studies. We’d be happy to discuss how to help you find—and light—that spark.  

Topics: Agency Life