The snowball effect is a metaphor that describes any action or event as it evolves from something unimportant to something larger and more significant. The metaphor is named after the analogy of a snowball as it rolls down a hill covered in snow. The snowball effect describes a scenario where one action or event results in many similar and more significant actions or events.
Understanding the snowball effect
As it rolls, the snowball picks up snow and increases in surface area as a result. The increase in surface area means it can absorb more snow and grow even larger. Perhaps most importantly, the snowball gathers momentum as it rolls down the slope and increases in size.
The snowball effect in business
The snowball effect metaphor has multiple applications in business. Below is a look at just a few of these applications.
Entrepreneurs are well aware of the implications of the snowball effect – even if they do not associate those implications with the metaphor itself.
A startup founder understands that reaching critical mass is the most difficult part of the process. Once critical mass is reached, however, they know that the company is self-sustaining and profitable enough to grow by itself.
Blogging is another example of the snowball effect at work, particularly in what is now an ultra-competitive market.
Most content writers start blogs and may write hundreds of informative or entertaining posts before they see any appreciable traffic. The process of working to gain traction for a blog is characterized by frustration, uncertainty, and perseverance and requires a great deal of faith.
At some point, however, the blog will start to gather momentum. Perhaps a social media influencer or celebrity shares a post on social media. Perhaps an update to the algorithm that ranks Google search results increases visibility. Whatever the driver, note that the blog from this point will start to attract more and more traffic as it becomes increasingly well known.
While everyone loves instant results, it is important to understand that it takes time for marketing campaigns to either show promise or be destined for the trash. In other words, marketers should not abandon an idea before it has had a chance to prove itself.
According to the Online Marketing Institute, consumers need to hear an offer as many as thirteen times before the business can generate a qualified, sales-ready lead. This can be explained by a couple of psychological effects. The first is the exposure effect, which posits that consumers respond more favorably to marketing messages they’ve heard before. The second is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, which describes a situation where consumers are exposed to something and then begin to notice it everywhere.
Whatever the psychology behind marketing, the snowball effect reinforces the idea that marketing teams need to hit prospects with the same message repeatedly before they become a customer. Once this has been achieved and provided the product is high quality, word-of-mouth means the business may experience a rapid increase in sales momentum.
- The snowball effect describes a scenario where one action or event results in many similar and more significant actions or events.
- In business, it can be helpful to think of the snowball effect as past or current actions or events that will have significant benefits in the future.
- The snowball effect has multiple applications in business, including entrepreneurship, marketing, and blogging.
Main Free Guides:
- Business Models
- Business Competition
- Business Strategy
- Business Development
- Digital Business Models
- Distribution Channels
- Marketing Strategy
- Platform Business Models
- Revenue Models
- Tech Business Models
- Blockchain Business Models Framework