Viral Marketing

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digital-marketing-statistics-mapViral marketing (or viral marketing) uses marketing techniques to try to exploit social networks and other electronic means trying to produce exponential increases in “brand recognition” (brand awareness) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of a computer virus . Is usually based on word of mouth through electronic means; use the effect of “social network” created by Internet and modern mobile services to reach a lot of people quickly.

In addition, the activity of users on social media allows us to know aspects of consumer behavior, until now, had not been observed or measured so directly. This information is invaluable for brands, allowing those responsible for its management possess new and different criteria to make decisions in their strategies, both in their online communication environment in the decisions that affect other levels of managing your business.1

The term viral marketing is also used to describe covert campaigns based Internet marketing, including the use of blogs, seemingly amateur sites, and other forms of astroturfing designed to create word of mouth for a new product or service. Often the goal of viral marketing campaigns is to generate media coverage by “unusual” stories, for a much higher budget for advertising advertising company value.

The term viral advertising refers to the idea that people will go and share fun and interesting content. This technique is often sponsored by a brand that seeks to generate awareness of a product or service. Viral ads often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images, and even texts.

The viral marketing as a means of communication, allows users to narrow relationships and talk among themselves. Likewise, users share opinions about brands, discuss their experiences with products and express their consumer preferences; through social networks can accelerate the dissemination of news, visibility is achieved, the exchange of ideas and experiences about a brand is possible and win in interaction with consumers. Also alert other consumers about possible dissatisfaction with the use of a service and get to know the pros and cons of purchasing choice. This contributes directly to the creation of the reputation of a product, brand, service or organization among its consumidores.2

The increasing popularity of viral marketing is due to the ease of implementation of the campaign, relatively low cost (compared to direct mail campaigns), good “targeting” and a high rate and high response. The main advantage of this form of marketing is its ability to get a lot of interested prospects, at low cost.

Therefore, we can say that relations with users becomes a lot more important to businesses and brands that low prices or promotions striking component. For relationship marketing users are the most important asset of the organization. This is interesting from the point of view of market research, since knowledge of the consumer, directly, facilitates the definition of the target to which marketing actions are intended, and how to address him. It also encourages relevant to the product design information, promotional activities and strategies comunicación.3

How do you think he got Barack Obama be the presidential candidate who has raised more money in American history with an average donation below $ 100? Think Starbucks Spain may employ a person to follow all the conversations that are generated in social networks to detect new ideas for their stores and products? 4

The most difficult task for any company is to acquire and retain a large customer base. Using Internet and the effects of advertising by e-mail, communication efforts business-to-customer (business-to-consumer or B2C) get much more impact than many other tools. Viral marketing is a technique that avoids the inconvenience of spam: drives users of a product specific service to tell their friends. That is a recommendation “word of mouth” positive. One of the most successful perspectives found the time to get that customer base is called integrated marketing strategy (integrated marketing communications, IMC) communications.


1 History and theory of operation
2 Types, methods and barriers
2.1 Types of viral campaign
Transmission methods 2.2
2.3 Barriers to viral marketing
3 Examples of Viral Marketing
4 See also
5 References
6 Bibliography
6.1 External Links

History and theory of operation

Some claim that the term viral marketing was originally coined by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson in 1997 to describe the practice of several free email services (such as Hotmail) to add their own advertising to outgoing mail from their users; although the first to write about this kind of viral marketing was the critic Douglas Rushkoff in 1994 in his book “Media Virus”. The hypothesis is that if that advertising reaches a “sensible” user (ie, interested in the product offered by Hotmail free email), that user “infect” (ie, it will be registered with a self-employed) and can then continue infecting other sensitive users. While in each infected user sends mail to average over a sensitive user (ie, basic reproductive rate that is greater than one), results in epidemiology standards imply that the number of infected users grow as a logistic curve.

If each user sends an e-mail to more than one user sensible, then in theory the campaign will last forever, or at least until all sensitive users have received the message. Even if the message is not sent as often, continue to be sent many more times than it was initially. For example, consider a campaign that starts sending a message to 100 users. Not all of them will forward the original message, but some of them may do so. This “some” can be found through market research; say which happens to be 80%, and that each of these forwards just a friend. In that case, 80 people will receive a forwarded “first generation” message. Hence, each subsequent generation declining forwarded messages will roughly exponentially, so that each will be less than before, thus: 80, 64, 51.2, 40.96, 32.768, 26,214, 20,971, 16,777, 13,421, 10,737.

Eventually the campaign will be extinguished. Can be investigated life expectancy of such a campaign can be generated more complex to calculate the actual expansion formulas, but this is the simplest way of working for most marketing departments. So the final campaign will of course the cost of sending the message to these 100 users, and the rest (357 in this particular example) will be users who have received marketing campaign through viral methods, usually without cost to the company.

Obviously this is the case for reproduction rates campaigns below 1. Suppose a campaign increased reproduction rate, that is, when each user does forwards the message to a friend over, so that the total message each generation is greater than the previous generation. In that case, the campaign has the theoretical ability to continue until all the “sensible” people have received at least one copy. The cost would be the same as before, but reaching a much wider audience.
Types, methods and barriers
Types of viral campaign

Pass: A message that encourages the user to pass it on to others. The crudest form thereof are the chain mail, including a request the user to forward the message. Are more effective short video clips with humorous content, people spontaneously forwards. Many of them start life as advertisements for TV, Internet and circulate through word of mouth. The number of people receiving the message in this way is usually much higher than that of people who saw the ad in its original form.

Viral encouraged: a reward for forwarding the message or to the email address of someone offers. It is a way to increase possible shipping addresses dramatically. However, it is much more effective when the offer requires that third party to do something. Most online contests offer more chances to win for each direction input from a third party; but when it is required that the third part for the first get that extra chance to win, the likelihood that such participation occurs is much higher.

Undercover Marketing: A viral message that is presented as a page, attractive or unusual activity or news without clear to put a link or pass references. In the undercover marketing is not immediately apparent being conducted a marketing campaign. A special effort to make it appear that the discovery is spontaneous and informal, to promote natural memetic behavior is performed. “Tracks” in the real world, as graffiti appearing in cities with viral keywords are used frequently to encourage people to investigate the “mystery” shown. This may be the most difficult form of viral marketing to identify as such, due to the large number of unusual and interesting content that exists on the Internet, especially as companies try to imitate the style and content of amateurs websites and authentic underground movements.

Fan clubs or friends Associations: assume the translation of the phenomenon of “fan club” of singers, actors or athletes the world of business or any of their products. In this strategy a user creates whole environment itself a fan club (website, online forum, channel microblogging, etc.) to discuss the developments of the company / product and attract criticism to it where they are, “explained “and” justified “. In this way it seeks to convey an image of the transmtida information does not come from the same company (which is especially valuable when trying to justify deficiencies in the company or explain the hidden conditions in promotional campaigns) but users of the same . In addition, attracting people who could not get the advertising message (or give any credibility to come from the company) the amplifying effect of other viral marketing strategies occurs. In some cases it is done by people outside the company, to which such direct reward or special promotions shape and in others by the same company environment. Usually care much that can not be found links between “fan clubs” and the company itself.

Marketing rumor is understood as advertisements, news or messages that reach the limits of propriety or good taste. Discussion of the resulting controversy generated by advertising in the form of rumors and word of mouth. For example, before marketing a movie Hollywood stars get married, get divorced, are arrested or are involved in some controversy draws attention to them. An alleged example is the public campaign on the dubious love affair between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes that spread just before the two had just one película.5

Database managed by the user: Users create and manage their own contact lists using a database provided by an online service. To invite other members to participate in their community, users are creating a viral chain contacts and autorreplicada that grows naturally and encourages others to register. Examples of such services include business contacts as eCrush services, business contacts like Plaxo and other social databases and Avoid and

Transmission methods

Transmission of viral marketing can occur in several ways:

Web of mouth: 6 by typing in a web-based form that converts the input information into an e-mail sent to the intended recipients. For example, it is common on websites of newspapers and news agencies to include in each article a link to send to a friend automatically. Thus all information becomes the article in an email.

Email to mouth: A very common type; is the spontaneous forwarding email messages, as jokes, hobbies and photos “committed”.

Word of mouth

MI of mouth: perhaps the form of transmission with a higher growth rate, is sending hyperlinks through programs of instant messaging (IM, Instant Messaging) such as XMPP, AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo or Google Talk. This method is popular among many young people, and is more likely to trust a link sent by a friend by MI that if the same friend sent by email link.

Rewarding references: Sometimes marketing companies offer rewards for sending addresses of users, favoring any of the methods discussed above.

Communication protocol: In amateur radio operators on each side of the conversation often exchange cards QSL cards. The communication protocol requires each person will send your QSL information to the other. If such information includes an exchange of pre QSL, then the base address of the exchange grow exponentially.

Bluetooth: The widespread use of mobile phones with Bluetooth support (allowing free communication between them) allows to be transmitted virally between terminals all types of content, including promotional videos.

Barriers to viral marketing

Size: If viral content is a video clip or a video clip, it may be too large to be received by the addressee. However, new technologies are eliminating that problem, as Internet connections become faster and the e-mail may contain more and more data.

Medium format: A viral marketing campaign will not be successful if the message is in a format that most people can not use; for example, if a particular software that is widely used not used.

File annexed email: Many people receive viral marketing while in office, and the antivirus software or firewall company can intercept and prevent receipt.

Cumbersome referencing system: For a viral campaign to succeed, must be simple to use. For example, if the promotion is some kind of game or competition, request an email from a third person enter must be an option at the end of play, not a precondition to do so.

Sabotage: The discovery of the commercial nature of a popular campaign can make social networks used to pass inform people of that commercial intent, promoting a formal or informal boycott against the company or product in question, especially in the case of campaigns undercover marketing.