VIDEO: Questioning the Basic Assumptions of Viral Marketing

Computer Modeling Faults 'Tipping Point' and 'The Influentials'

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Videography: Hoag Levins

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NEW YORK ( -- Computer modeling studies conducted by Columbia University professor Duncan Watts raise serious questions about several fundamental assumptions that anchor the viral-marketing craze. Ad Age editor-at-large Matt Creamer discusses the findings, which fault some points in the books "The Tipping Point" and "The Influentials." Those two best-sellers helped set fire to the idea that targeting very small groups of influential consumers could ultimately send low-cost cascades of marketing messages across the culture.

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