The term 'viral marketing' was coined by Tim Draper, a Harvard Business School graduate, and used extensively to describe the e-mails that aided advertising of products. It optimizes the extent to which social networking can benefit sales. This marketing technique capitalizes on social networks and by-word-of-mouth publicity to increase brand awareness of its products and services. The objective is to increase product sales through carefully designed viral processes. Depending on the quantum of sales, the strategy may also include video clips, interactive forums, advergames, newsletters, ebooks, and images accompanied by dedicated text messages. However, like any other technique, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of viral marketing as well.
How Does it Work?
The basic idea is to generate an 'infection' of thought among the base users, who are also lured into the advertising gimmick for a promised commission that increases with every subsequent sale. The ripple effect created and paid for involves sharing of product benefits with potential users and causing nothing short of an epidemic, while generating multilevel marketing opportunities. There is a pre-designed logistic curve to map the users used to further the interests of the campaign. The success of the campaign largely depends on the rate at which the sales take place. These strategies are often put in place alongside other marketing communication systems such as dedicated public relations and/or extensive advertising.
The goal of viral marketing programs is to identify people who can contribute to sales via quality social networking potential. The aim is to generate viral or easy to understand and replicate messages that appeal to the common man and generate a dedicated marketing environment. Extensive social networking helps to increase the probability of the product or service remaining within the community for a longer time. Viral marketing is a stealth campaign that uses unscrupulous means of under-market advertising to generate an impression that the word of mouth enthusiasm actually springs from use of the product or service.
- Viral marketing enables businesses to remain buoyant within the competitive business world, via a strategy that is not only easy to integrate within a defined buyer-society, but also one of that empowers the unattached onlooker with training, tips, and guidance.
- This marketing strategy enables business propositions to reach out to a global audience by effectively putting the Internet connectivity to play. Extensive use of Internet affiliate marketing, ezines, and interactive forums enables the entrepreneur to promote the business, globally.
- The word-of-mouth concept ripples on to peer-to-peer recommendation of the product or service. It also enables the business to generate revenue from local interest in the venture.
- In this strategy, association with groups and individuals who are unknown could generate scope for the promotion to be subject to competitor viewing. The strength of the marketing depends on the transmission of enthusiasm between people, with regards to the benefits of the product being sold. The presence of a competitor within the generated link could dampen the desired strain.
- Exposure to the Internet, to further the interests of entrepreneurship and generate additional revenue from a global clientèle is not without spam threats, unwanted marketing mix, and also brand dilution.
- Hard core selling to benefit from increased commission is widely responsible for many potential buyers being put off.
Viral marketing is capable of generating high product credibility at low cost. The advertising technique is great in the endeavor of making a particular product or service available across physical boundaries with dedicated Internet marketing and shows high efficiency in generating the opportunity for consistent promotions and commissions.