Viral Marketing

From the Wikipedia entry on Viral Marketing

Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. It is word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it harnesses the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.


Viral marketing is sometimes used to describe some sorts of Internet-based stealth marketing campaigns, including the use of blogs, seemingly amateur web sites, and other forms of astroturfing to create word of mouth for a new product or service. Often the ultimate goal of viral marketing campaigns is to generate media coverage via “offbeat” stories worth many times more than the campaigning company’s advertising budget.

The term “viral advertising” refers to the idea that people will pass on and share interesting and entertaining content; this is often sponsored by a brand, which is looking to build awareness of a product or service. These viral commercials often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images, and even text.

Viral marketing is popular because of the ease of executing the marketing campaign, relative low-cost (compared to direct mail), good targeting, and the high and rapid response rate. The main strength of viral marketing is its ability to obtain a large number of interested people at a low cost. The main weakness is that sometimes messages can look like e-mail spam and this creates the risk of damaging the brand. The ‘from’ and ‘subject’ lines then become very important in order to remedy this problem (Tell-A-Friend principle); for example, when sending a link or webpage, sometimes the subject line is “(Name of person here) thought you would like this page”. The receiver will then recognize the name and know that it is not unsolicited.

The most difficult task for any company is to acquire and retain a large customer base. Through the use of the internet and the effects of e-mail advertising, the business-to-consumer (B2C) efforts have a greater impact than many other tools of marketing. Viral marketing is a technique that avoids the annoyance of spam mail; it encourages users of a specific product or service to tell a friend. This would be a positive word-of-mouth recommendation. One of the most successful perspectives found to achieve this customer base is the integrated marketing communication IMC perspective.

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2 Responses to “Viral Marketing”


  1. 1 marco July 26, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    Espero que este comentario infecte muchos ordenadores, jeje

  2. 2 viralone July 26, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    Gracias, nosotros en ViralOne que para bien.


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