The manner in which a biological disease spreads may inspire a model for marketing methods, which managed by means of earlier community networks, to amplify brand responsiveness. Such methods, which use mechanisms that build copies of themselves similar to those of a virus, have several advantages: they are able to harness and control the societal influence of the World Wide Web and they can target a huge number of contacts in a very short time, being distributed by oral communication and augmented online.
"Viral advertising" is a phrase used to define the sharing of appealing and engaging content among the public by means of short humorous movies, mutually engaging applications as well as wording. The purpose is that of becoming aware of merchandise offered by a certain trademark, which frequently supports this viral commercial.
Just like viral advertising, viral marketing presents multiple advantages, which come to support the main idea: satisfying the interest of a substantial public at an economical cost. Such advantages are the fact that the execution of a marketing campaign of this type is an easy one, the costs are lower than in the case of junk mail, also there is better targeting and a fast and valuable reaction.
Tim Draper is believed to be the original inventor of the phrase "viral marketing" and the business entrepreneur Steve Jurvetson used it to define the approach of the Hotmail’s electronic mail consisting of adding exposure in the form of ads for themselves to send out emails transmitted by their clients. The book, which came out in ’94, of the mass media columnist Douglas Rushkoff is known to be the first written material concerning viral marketing. His hypothesis explains the fact that if a "liable" consumer finds such an advert, he will become hooked up and through him additional likely customers can become attracted too. Thus, typical outcome in the study of disease development show that if each such customer sends mails to multiple potential customer, then the total amount of potential clients will increase following a pattern of an exponential bend. This way the promotional campaign will continue until all the customers have received the advertisement, if not even for ever, and the number of passed on messages will be bigger than the initial ones, despite the frequency of the sending.
A promotion that commences by sending advertisements to 50 clients will be benchmarked by means of market study, and the outcome may prove, for instance, that 60% of the receivers would further send the ads to just one friend, meaning that 30 individuals would pick up a "level one" promotional messages; the following level stage things would certainly get smaller and smaller (30, 18, 10.8, 6.48 and so on) until it would completely fade away. The total duration of such a promotion is still a matter of study, but it is certain that this is the basic formula for the majority of advertising divisions to exercises, being given the fact that the only necessary costs are those needed for the primary 50 emails, while the rest would be marketed free of charge by means of viral methods.
There are multiple types of viral campaigns and among them these are likely to be the most well-known:
Pass-along: It refers to a short note that will be sent on to other users, usually attached to the footer of the electronic message, under the form of advertisements or in some cases even multimedia content or videos, in order to be more efficient. Most people see a commercial in this fashion rather than the traditional mode and such a case is a small screen advertisement from an Asian motorbike manufacturer that became known mostly on the virtual web sphere by idle talk.
Incentive viral: This method calls the users to action in order to be rewarded. For this, they must send an ad or provide the address of somebody else, the outcome being a notable increase of the referrals. The possibility that the referrals themselves take part in the incentive increases especially in the case of virtual challenges that require similar tasks from participant to improve the contenders’ odds of winning.
Undercover: This is perhaps considered as the most difficult category of viral spot, the campaigns using it being forced to get as close as possible to the design and the content adopted by the laypersons or in some cases genuine underground activities. This is necessary for creating the impression of spontaneity, informality and mimetic conduct. Pages, an activity, a part of a set of news that may appear trendy or curious, do not seem to ask an individual to forward them, creating the impression that there is not something special promoted taking place. Sometimes different "clues" are used to persuade individuals to find out more, these hints are often like graffiti on walls, containing strategic viral terms.
"Buzz marketing" advertisements: They are meant to involve people in discussing about certain controversy situations, facts, products that have been deliberately created to make such noise and rumor advertising. Example for this type of viral campaign is the behavior of cinema stars, whose controversial acts became public just before the release of their movies.
User-managed database: This refers to different database of prospects that clients generate themselves with the help of online service providers, asking new prospects to enter their communities. Cases of this kind of viral chain that have the advantage of propagating themselves and naturally growing are dating services, commerce associates organization services, and other community databases.
What all these methods have in common is an idle talk technique of advertising, more efficient because it is more credible than other types of advertising based on stricter methods. This is based on the observation that individuals are inclined to trust more those whom they are familiar with, considering that they do not necessarily have other stimulants for their actions. Advertising procedures in addition to viral marketing techniques are used along with rumor especially with important prospects with many connections and recognized authority, for better realizing the preferred reaction.
Online as well as offline, concentrated forms of idle talk referrals are intended, because of buzz. In addition, the exchanges must move in a special kind of pattern to be a profitable word-of-mouth activity: it is a medium prototype following a nucleus tactic to communication delivery, leading to everyone chatting in relation to a certain merchandise or service.