Contagious: How Things Catch On
School: Wharton School
Registration Link: CLICK HERE
Start Date: January 18, 2016
Workload: 4 Weeks Long
Grades: To complete the course, students must earn passing grades on all assignments submitted.
Instructor: Jonah Berger
Credentials: Berger is an associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School. Here, he teaches Marketing Management and conducts research in social influence, word of mouth, viral marketing, product adoption and consumer behavior. A Stanford Ph.D., Gerger is the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, a best-seller that has been translated into 30 languages. In his spare time, Berger is a consultant whose client list includes Google, Coca-Cola and General Electric.
Description: Ever heard the term, “gone viral?” It means that a video or article has spread globally, generally through social media. Whether the message is funny, touching, or thought-provoking, it stirs the imagination and inspires people to share it with their social circle. The same dynamic occurs in pitching ideas and launching products. Many times, they will quickly “catch fire,” gaining a legion of advocates and users whose endorsements are far more persuasive and cost-effective than any traditional marketing pitch or campaign.
In this course, students will learn “how to make ideas stick, how to increase [their] influence, how to generate more word of mouth, and how to use the power of social networks to spread information and influence. By the end of this course, [students will] have a better understanding of how to craft contagious content, build stickier messages, and get any product, idea, or behavior to catch on.” Drawing from research in disciplines ranging from sociology to economics to marketing, the course will identify the characteristics that differentiate the best products, ideas, and behaviors; examine how psychology shapes whether something is engaging and memorable; evaluate the cultural and group dynamics that influence decision-making; and explain how triggers, emotions, and narratives foster a resonance that drives action.
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