Value of Viral Marketing

How is word of mouth marketing working for you? Is there a buzz in the air about your product or service? Are you reaping benefits from the viral marketing of your customers and clients.

Viral marketing describes strategies that encourage individuals to pass your marketing message to others. This type of marketing creates the potential for exponential growth in your message's exposure and influence.

If you've studied marketing at all I have no doubt that you have come across articles and resources that strongly encourage "word of mouth" and "referral After all these types of marketing avenues are often called the best thing that has happened to marketers after the invention of advertisements.

With that said you may be wondering "How can these resources, or anyone for that matter, be so sure?"

There is some truth that most marketers simply insist on the universal effectiveness of word of mouth without any concrete data or figures to back their claims. They cannot quote any facts or figures regarding word of mouth simply because there are none available. Even though it's supposed to be the best form of marketing, it remains the least researched marketing method.

Why is viral marketing not researched more? There are two strong reasons behind this:

  • Marketers think that when they are researching peoples' attitudes, beliefs, intentions, tastes, and preferences, they are indirectly researching word of mouth (since those are the factors which drive it).
  • They believe that word of mouth cannot be influenced considerably, so any attempts to research it would be fruitless.

What people have failed to realize is that simply studying the factors which drive word of mouth may not be enough. You need to get down to the very specifics. Such as

What questions are your prospective customers asking and in what way are your current customers responding? The extent of influence certain customers' comments or views carries can be much more than you think. What your customers say about your product is extremely important as they will influence the future purchase decisions of their families, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. Specifically speaking, tailored to the individual requirements of the product and market, research can be conducted in regards to the following:

  • What are potential customers asking those who have purchased and used your product?
  • How are product purchasers and users responding to queries like the one above?
  • Are questions, suspicions, and reservations regarding your product handled effectively?
  • What are the factors which decide whether someone who hears about your product will actually go out and buy it?
  • What is your primary source of referrals, i.e., how did customers learn about and decide to purchase your product?

Once you have conducted preliminary research using the above questions, you will be in a position to tell how effective your word of mouth marketing campaign is. With that information you will be able to take concrete steps to further improve its performance and effectiveness.

About the Author Laura Lake

20+ Years Marketing Pro. Passion for where marketing and technology intersect. Outspoken. Defying the Ordinary.

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