chapter  6
20 Pages

Viral marketing

ByJustin Kirby

Connected marketing techniques such as word of mouth are firmly back on the marketing agenda. This phenomenon has been formalized during the past decade by specialist books, including Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point,1 Emanuel Rosen’s Anatomy of Buzz2 and Seth Godin’s Unleashing the Ideavirus3.The hype about word of mouth marketing’s potential for achieving viral-like message spread has also been fuelled by well-known success stories, such as Hotmail and The Blair Witch Project (see the Introduction). However, one of the most significant contributing factors to the current vogue for word of mouth marketing is the rapid uptake of digital media – particularly the Internet and its peerto-peer technologies such as chatrooms, forums, instant messaging programmes, blogs, and file transfer and social networks – which enable messages to spread faster and more exponentially than ever before.