Co-authored by Stanford University Marketing Professor Jennifer Aaker and her husband Andy Smith, a leading marketing consultant of Vonavona Ventures, The Dragonfly Effect offers a recipe for social change leveraging on the power of social media. Unlike many other books on social media which are strong on examples but weak on structure, the book proposes a systematic design thinking oriented process which anybody can follow.
Tapping the diverse fields of social media, marketing strategy, and consumer psychology, Aaker and Smith pepper their central thesis with many interesting case studies. These include micro-lending initiative Kiva, TOMS's one-for-one shoe movement whereby the company will donate a shoe to underprivileged kids in return for a shoe bought, and of course Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
The most memorable example was that of Team Sameer and Team Vinay, a heartfelt story of how friends belonging to the South Asian community in the United States came together to find suitable bone marrows to save their stricken friends' lives. Through the power of citizen activism, grassroots networks and social media, the teams recruited 3,500 volunteers, achieved more than one million media impressions and garnered 150,000 visitors to their websites.
How does the Dragonfly Effect work? Principally, there are four “wings” of the model: Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action. Mirroring the way a dragonfly uses all four wings to propel itself, these phases can be represented by the model below:
In Wing One, Focus, one should identify a single, concrete and measurable goal. This should adopt the acronym HATCH, i.e.:
Humanistic — focusing on who you want to help;
Actionable -- tactical micro goals (low hanging fruits) that culminate in a long-term macro goal;
Testable — i.e. with metrics that help you to evaluate your progress and deadlines, and to celebrate small wins along the way;
Clarity -- i.e. keeping your goal clear to improve your odds of success while generating momentum;
Happiness — ensuring that your goals are meaningful to you or your audience.
For Wing Two, Grab Attention, the acronym PUVV is used instead, i.e.:
Personal — creating a personal hook with one's audience;
Unexpected — piquing the curiosity of one's followers by using new information and reframing the familiar;
Visual — using the power of photos and videos;
Visceral - Triggering the senses: sight, sound, hearing, or taste, and hence unleashing emotions.