viral marketing

Topics: Viral marketing, Marketing, Advertising Pages: 21 (7022 words) Published: September 30, 2013
What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions. Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as "word-of-mouth," "creating a buzz," "leveraging the media," "network marketing." But on the Internet, for better or worse, it's called "viral marketing." Viral marketing, viral advertising, or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses (cf. Internet memes and memetics). It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, eBooks, brand able software, images, text messages, email messages, or web pages. The most common utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trendy based, and undercover based. However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables "endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission" including mobile devices. The ultimate goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to create viral messages that appeal to individuals with high social networking potential (SNP) and that have a high probability of being presented and spread by these individuals and their competitors in their communications with others in a short period of time. As the internet has grown, so has web-advertising research. Nonetheless, few studies have examined how email affects consumer behavior. A renewed emphasis on interactive word-^of-mouth advertising is emerging among marketing practitioners and may correct this oversight. Although some (e.g., Modzeiewski, 2000) argue that viral marketing is not merely an internet-era replacement for word-of-mouth advertising, many agree that turning customers into a marketing force is crucial for viral marketing. In the online world, this means having customers who will initiate and pass along positive email messages concerning your product or service. Among practitioners, discussions of viral marketing and examples of companies attempting to use viral marketing are becoming more common (e.g. Bush, 2000; God in, 2000; Modzeiewski, 2000; Shirky, 2000). Although anecdotal evidence of viral marketing successes exists, little is known about the motivations, attitudes, and behaviors of the people (those passing along the email) who constitute an essential component. Viral Marketing Research is a subset of marketing research that measures and compares the relative Return on Investment (ROI) of advertising and communication strategies designed to exploit social networks. Algorithms are used to derive respondent-level coefficients of Social Networking Potential (SNP). These coefficients are integrated with respondent-level data measuring the selling effectiveness of specific communications and the Viral Marketing Potential of those communications within specific media (e.g., Internet video, texting, print ads, television). Results identify strategies that are likely to drive sales among the target audience and be distributed throughout relevant social networks.

We refer to viral marketing (also sometimes called word-of-mouth marketing) as a set of promotional tools whereby companies seed products with select groups of consumers in the hope that they will spread WOM about these products, and in turn increase awareness...
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