Selling Ideas: How to Influence Others,
and Get Your Message to Catch On

Learn how to use social media and word of mouth to spread your message and grow your business.

Word of mouth is often overlooked as a vehicle for driving sales and engagements. According to a Nielsen study, 84% of consumers reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations. Word of mouth impressions result in five times as many sales than a paid media impression, and have driven exponential growth in businesses with well-executed strategies. Word of mouth can help businesses grow organically, often for less money. For their efforts to be successful, managers have to understand how to get people to talk and share their ideas.

This course provides a step-by-step guide to getting any idea to catch on.

Important Questions Answered by this Course:

  • How does a product’s name, price, or other attributes change how people perceive it?
  • What makes ideas and messages memorable?
  • How can we increase our influence, and shape others’ behavior?
  • Why is word of mouth ten times as effective as traditional advertising, and how can we get people to talk about and share our product or idea?
  • How can we leverage the power of social media and what are the right metrics to pay attention to?

You’ll learn the answer to these questions and beyond. Additionally, we’ll show you how businesses of every size can apply these insights to drive their success. From B2C to B2B, for-profits to non-profits, and large to small business, our methods are proven to grow your enterprise.

Upon completion of our course, you’ll be able to craft contagious content, build stickier messages, leverage social media, and make any product or idea catch on. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, an employee in a big business, or leading a non-profit, this course will provide a roadmap to make your business more successful.

Why Study Word-of-Mouth Marketing?

  • 90% of people trust suggestions from family and friends. 1
  • 72% of people get news from friends and family, making word-of-mouth the most popular channel for sharing. 2
  • Consumers discuss specific brands casually 90 times a week 3
  • Millennials ranked word-of-mouth as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions about clothes, packaged goods, big-ticket items, and financial products. 4

This course is part of Wharton’s Digital Marketing Professional Certificate. For more information, see here.

Program Details

Start Dates: 

3-4 weeks per course

2-3 hours per week

Program Format:
100% Online

Program Tuition:
$585 per course/ $2340 for the Digital Marketing Certificate

Key Program Takeaways

  • Make messages stick
  • Generate more word of mouth
  • Get your products, ideas, and messages to catch on
  • Leverage the power of social media
  • Influence others more effectively

Faculty for this Course

Jonah Berger, PhD,  Associate Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Jonah Berger is the author of the New York Times bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.

He’s published dozens of articles for top-tier academic journals. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Science, Harvard Business Review, Wired, BusinessWeek, and the Washington Post.

See Faculty Bio

Research Interests:

  • Word of Mouth
  • Social Influence
  • Consumer Behavior
  • How products, ideas, and behaviors catch on
  • Viral Marketing
  • Social Contagion
  • Consumer Decision Making
  • Natural Language Processing


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