The Six degrees of separation theory, made popular by the Six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon game, got a boost this week from a rather extensive study conducted by Microsoft. Actually it's more like 6.7. The idea is that any person on Earth can be connected through acquaintances of acquaintances within less than 7 "degrees". One degree would be your friend, two degrees a friend of your friend, etc..
Of course the phenomenon would be less expressed in societies that prohibit or restrict communications. Connecting with someone in North Korea would be a more difficult task than with someone in London.
What does this mean from a marketing perspective. There are a few take-aways. First, come up with a consistent, but concise message. If you've ever seen "Johnny Dangerously" you know how badly the grapevine can screw up a lengthy message, even in just 7 generations. Keep it simple, memorable and to the point. Second, don't target your market too narrowly. While you may focus on a particular demographic, that demographic interacts with other demographics. Some of your marketing efforts should be directed at more general audiences. Let your message "resonate".
Perhaps the most important take-away is that any person you come in contact with is a potential conduit to billions of others. Take nobody for granted. You are always in the spotlight, even if you can't see it.