Viral Marketing – Is It Infectious?

    April 27, 2005

In a thesis from Copenhagen Business School Viral Marketing is said to be relevant for “nearly every type of organisation”.

It’s “…particularly efficient for
branding, pre-launches, and establishments of relations to new target groups.”

The paper (pdf via Kommunikationsforum) is in Danish, but there is an executive summary in English. Some excerpts from it:

The advantages of viral marketing are low costs, great reach, high credibility, high efficiency and the possibility of continuous campaign adjustments. The downfalls are the extent of the reach of failed campaigns, the lack of control, risks that the viral message is perceived as spam and the limited possibility for segmentation.

Memetic explains why some ideas, memes, spread like wildfire while others merely reach a small group of people. Four main categories of success criteria are identified: Objective, subjective, intersubjective and meme-centred.

The better a viral campaign fulfils these criteria, the greater the chance of success it has through the survival stages. Successful viral campaigns have a tendency to include an element of humour, violence or sex in order to spread. Consequently, organisations need to reflect on these issues in respect to the company image and target group before integrating viral marketing in their marketing mix.

Link: Copenhagen Business School

Fredrik Wacka is the author and founder of the popular CorporateBlogging.Info blog which is a guide to business and corporate blogging.

Visit Fredrik Wacka’s blog: CorporateBlogging.Info.