Viral Marketing Over the Internet

A study to analyze the effectiveness of viral marketing over the internet": A case study on Nike

In today's competitive environment organizations are using different marketing methods in order to communicate their products or services. Viral marketing is one of the most important concept which organizations are using nowadays. It is a new trend and concept of electronic word-of-mouth for commercial purpose. It helps them in promoting their services and products as well as attracting large pool of customers. Bryce (2004) stated that with the help of viral marketing ,companies can increase their brand awareness among all their customers and it will lead to increase in their market share. This process is all about sharing the latest stories of the company with people over the internet. There are various viral marketing promotional campaign used by companies which spreads as a virus all over world. This marketing technique uses different social media sites in order to promote different services and products of different companies. It also includes downloading from websites and promotional incentives. The present study essentially supports the effectiveness of viral marketing over the internet. It gives significant reason for its effectiveness and benefits, with the help of case study of Nike. The research will helpful as it tells about various benefits of viral marketing and how individual can gain their knowledge about the different services of different companies. There are several e-mails received by individuals from their friends and family members creating awareness about a new product, service or free product offerings (Langner, 2009). Marketers can encourage different members to spread the information of their products and it creates the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Moreover, the present research focuses on the usefulness of viral marketing in context of people as well as organization.

Research Aim & Objectives

Objectives:

Research Question:

Design & Methodology

In the present research, various tools and methodologies will be used. For the subject matter under study it is essential for the researcher to apply most suitable approaches of research so that suitable data can be collected. Research will beconucted by using both the primary and secondary sources for collecting appropriate information. In the present research, inductive research technique will be used, as it starts with the accumulation of given data and ends with deriving conclusion. In addition to this, descriptive research design is being utilized as it obtains a familiarity within the area of effectiveness of viral marketing over the internet. With the help of the primary and secondary sources researcher can gather most suitable information. Secondary sources utilizd different books, online articles, newspapers etc. In order to collect primary data questionnaire and survey will beconducted on the customers as well as marketing managers of Nike. The survey analysis will be done with the help of Microsoft Excel. Positivism philosophy will be used in the present research because it highlights the important facts and figures in the report and all the findings are based on the quantitative data. With the help of the sampling technique researcher can find out the appropriate population in order to collect relevant data. Purposive sampling technique will be used in this research. With the help of this sampling technique ,questionnaire will be designed so that perspective of all marketing managers can be recorded. As per the quantitative method, questionnaire survey will be used because they provide flexibility to the researcher at the time of survey. It is used to establish the effectiveness of viral marketing in generating sales of products in a real-world environment. In the present case ,descriptive statistics analysis will be used to find out the appropriate conclusion. Descriptive analysis analyse the situation in very broad manner which helps the researcher to find out most appropriate conclusions.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing can also be known as word of mouth marketing. It spreads exponentially whenever a new user is added into it. With the help of that new user, the advertising will go to everyone whom that user interacts. According to Scott (2010) it is a marketing technique that use pre-existing social networking services to produce increases in brand awareness. Nowadays, this technique is used by so many people as well as organizations in order to promote their services. Wilde (2013) stated that this technique encourages people to pass along a marketing message by word of mouth marketing. Different social networks and blogs are used to produce positive word of mouth brand awareness. Moreover, it can be determined that promoting the information of any product that customers are compelled to give to other friends known as viral marketing.

As defined by Sevin (2013) "the name applied to a group of family resembling marketing strategies using network improved word of mouth". Some of the most important functions for which viral marketing is using are animations, photos, hyperlinked promotions, games, press releases or whatever else that will advertise the business. The method through which data and information is sent between users creates a chain effect that spreads message. Lingelbach, Patino and Pitta (2012) stated that viral marketing creates a 'buzz' around a product or service, created by user-to user recommendation. It is clearly stated that users are more likely to trust recommendations made by friends rather than company themselves. In addition to this, like viruses, it takes benefits of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands or even to million. It is very beneficial technique for organizations as they can use pre existing social networks in order to produce increases in their brand awareness and also encourages people to pass a marketing message voluntarily. There are different types of viral marketing:

Pass-Long: It can be described as a short note that will be sent on to the other internet users. It is usually to the footer of electronic messages such as: www.gmail.com

Buzz-Marketing: It is a type of marketing which creates buzz around product or services. It includes different celebrities discussing about products as well as their experiences with a hint of controversies.

Incentive viral: It can be describe as a direct action just to call the user in order to reward them. This type of viral marketing helps in attracting large pool of customers towards their services.

Undercover-Marketing: It is the type of marketing in which people do not know that they are being marketed to (Donovan, 2011).

User Managed Database: It is the most important prospect that client generates themselves with the help of the service providers.

Viral marketing can more effectively described with the use of different examples such as:

Hotmail: While sending any message through the hotmail there is an attached ad at the bottom of the page inviting the person who received the e-mail to join hotmail. These messages would get passed along to millions of people each day as millions of mail sent in a day.

Facebook, Twitter and My Space example: There are various ads running on the right side of the page on Facebook, twitter etc. millions of people see these ads and purchase something from it. Most of the organizations are using these social media sites as a tool for promoting and advertise their services and products.

YouTube: Many user post millions of videos per day on YouTube and it could be personal or business related (Kerckhove, 2002). With the help of creating funny and entertaining videos many companies market their products. It is the process through which people can share different videos on social networking sites.

Effectiveness of viral marketing in promoting sales of products or services

According to Brown (2008) it is one of the most effective way that generate lots of interest in the business. It is one of the most effective methods as it creates curiosity and desire needed to generate the demand for a product or service. It is important today in all business areas and a quickest way to market a website and deciding its strategy whereby people encouraged passing on marketing content to others. There are various viral marketing campaigns that make it more effective by the way of promoting services. There are many ways that businesses can create successful viral marketing campaign in order to grow their business. Allen (2008) posted a message in his blog saying that successful viral marketing campaigns are heavily influenced by luck. Most of the companies are using this technique over the internet and spreading their services and products with full consideration. They require full attention of the masses and ability to actually increase their sales. According to Poovanam (2013) different organizations are using viral marketing with the use of different platform such as blog, company website, social networking sites etc. For promoting their product one of the most important tasks is to finding out the right customer. Most of the companies are using social networking sites for promoting their products. It is the best way organizations can choose as there is already a core group of potential customers to start with. I addition to this, if customers like their products then they can easily share it with their friends as well as other circle. This type of marketing creates the potential for exponential growth in their message's exposure. Effectiveness of viral marketing can be described with the example of World Wrestling Entertainment. In 2007, World Wrestling Entertainment promoted the return of Chris Jericho viral marketing campaign using 15 seconds video (Romero and Adame-Sánchez, 2013). It contains the hidden messages and biblical links related to Chris Jericho. In this video before starting the playback user needs to put his or her phone number. Now it featured to the players waiting outside the locker room and Jericho makes a phone call to the user. It tells them it is mandatory to purchase the season ticket and before purchasing they can't start the season. This led to nearly 200,000 page view phone calls in less than 24 hours.

Viral marketing is new buzzword in advertising and helps in promoting the services and products of company. It is used in different context and determines different idea. In this marketing tactic user can't deny the results. With the usefulness as well as effectiveness of this technique the popularity graph increases (Cruz and Fill, 2008). It acts as a media channel between a customer and supplier as well.

Benefits of Viral marketing

Viral marketing presents a variety of benefits to the individual as well as organization. It helps businesses in achieving long term visitors, immediate visitors, quickly and effectively build their reputation etc. Leonardi (2008) stated that while going through the marketing each and every organization needs to know the advantages of each of the element of the marketing. With the help of sui9ng this technique company can reach through their target audiences and automate their marketing methods. According to Brown (2008) nowadays, most of the global brands are taking viral marketing into consideration when allocating their advertising budget. It is becoming most effective forms of advertising available today. There are different viral campaign has been started which can be used to build brand awareness and image. One of the major benefits of using this technique is that they can communicate a specific message in a way that is easily understandable as well as enjoyable. It also helps in gathering huge amount of data and contact details of potential customers. Viral marketing provide various benefits to the company such as:

Issues in Viral marketing

According to Quinton and March (2010) viral marketing is start increasing their growing rate at its rapid pace. It is accessed by each and every individual. It appears to be an open invitation to spammers to make some quick money and by using friendship to sell their products and services. It will lead to decrease the trust of customers. Their personal information can be hacked by the spammers and they can use it for any of their negative work. Consumer's lack of trust is one of the biggest issues faced by viral marketing. Xiong and Hu (2010) stated that it is illustrated by the recent survey conducted on the viral marketing by IBM that people do not the option of online-purchase as they are concerned about their money as well as personal data. Marketers are facing unique challenges that are created by e-commerce. It is essential for them to overcome with this negative perception and gain the trust of customers. In order to gain their trust they need to identify different privacy policies of different sites. It helps the company in decreasing the negative publicity of their brand and moreover they can attract large number of customers. Due to the negative publicity customers are attracted towards the services of another company and it will leads to decrease their market share as well.

According to Cruz and Fill (2008) one of the major issues of viral marketing is sending lots of messages and e-mails on the personal mail address as well as phone number of the customers. It is the biggest issue through which customers are becoming annoyed and frustrated. Huge number of e-mails addressed to them from viral marketers. This marketing requires a tremendous amount of computer literate programming support. It is very difficult for each and every individual to posse's high amount of data with the use of so many computers and programmers.

Successful viral marketing campaign

In order to grow their business there are several ways through which business can create successful viral marketing campaign. Scott, (2010) stated that marketers creates various numbers of marketing campaign and see which one becomes successful. Most of the time it is highly influenced by the luck and it is the most amazing way to generate a huge number of buzz and brand awareness whether they are carried out online or offline. Effectiveness of viral marketing can directly measure by all its successful campaign. In the year of 2005, Mark Russinovich posted a message on his blog. In this post he described his clear dissatisfaction about the services of Sony BMG music and all their software's. It clearly represents that people are not satisfied with the services of Sony BMG. After posting this message hindered of comments were posted on his blog which clearly represents the dissatisfaction of all customers (Allen, 2008). Shortly news reporters recognized the impact of the story and it soon became international news. It gives negative results and negative image of the brand of company. There are various other campaigns which become viral such as Ice bucket challenge. This challenge becomes a worldwide phenomenon in just matters of months. It have been clearly seen that this challenge is supported by different celebrities such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft's Bill Gates etc. This challenge helps in fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is commonly referred as a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brains and the spinal cord. This campaign launched in the January and raised more than $70 million and counting. This is the recent campaign which shows that simplest marketing concept can find worldwide support. Association ALS raised $2.5 million and thanks to this campaign that organization has exceeded its expectations.

In addition to this, there are several other successful viral marketing campaigns that generate huge amount of likes and sharing such as Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold (Nike). This campaign launched by the Nike and it is one the favorite videos people have ever seen. In this video Ronaldinho takes release of a new pair of boots and spends over two minute's representation the most amazing football skills the internet has ever seen. This video becomes viral and famous within the few days. Moreover, 23.5 million people watched this ad on YouTube. According to Yang, Liu and Zhou (2012) most of the time viral marketing kept general concept or very simple concept that is easily understandable by people. There are various videos uploaded by people that are home made. It becomes viral with the sharing among all their friends and families. It is the best concept through which people can show their qualities worldwide.

Research Methodology

This section focuses on the effectiveness of research as well as various tools and approaches used in the overall research. It is one of the most important parts of any research and helpful in finding out the best suitable information about the given subject matter. There are various tools and techniques used by the researcher in order to gain their knowledge about given subject matter.

Research design

It is most important task for researcher to find out the appropriate information about the given data. Overall research study provides accurate data with the help of the research design and it is essential to find out the most suitable design for the present study. There are mainly three types of research design i.e. exploratory, casual & descriptive (Somekh and Lewin, 2005). Research problem should be analyzed very briefly in this section with the help of the organized plan. In the present case descriptive research design is being utilized as it helps in providing most suitable information about the given subject matter. Moreover, researcher can gain familiarity within the area of viral marketing over the internet.

Research Approach

In order to find out the best findings and conclusion it is necessary to go with the most appropriate research approach. Inductive and deductive are two research approaches used to go with the appropriate findings. In the present case inductive research approach will be utilized and the main benefit of using this approach is that context of the study is understood in deeper manner (Daniel and Sam, 2011). Moreover, this approach is being employed in the present research as no hypothesis is being formed. It starts with the accretion of data and help to find out most relevant data for the given case.

Research Philosophy

It mainly defines the blueprint of research study and also determines the actual pattern of the research. There are mainly two types of research philosophy i.e. Positivism and Interpretivism. In the present case positivism philosophy is being used as no hypothesis is being generated. It helps in enhancing the effectiveness of the overall study. In order to find out the positivist result researcher needs to use tools i.e. methods revolving around the quantification and measurement (Bhattacharyya, 2009). This approach is inflexible in nature and allows generalization as well as measurable observations. Positivism philosophy is being utilized in the present case as it analyzes the results with the use of the statistical tools. Moreover, it defines the usefulness of the study and gives appropriate findings according to the given subject matter.

Research type

In order to find out the best results with the use of the given objectives it is necessary to find out the research type (Yin, 2009). There are two types of research i.e. qualitative and quantitative. In present report quantitative research type is being utilized as it involve the use and citing of information in statistical and numerical form.

Sampling

It is one of the best method which helps in saving time, money and efforts of the researcher. With the help of this technique researcher can find out the appropriate sample from the overall population so that range of information source can be confined. Probability and non-probability sampling are two main techniques (Sharma, 2001). These sampling are divided into different types through which researcher needs to find out the most suitable technique for their given subject matter. In the present purposive sampling will be taken into consideration. It is the type of non probability sampling which directly defines the purpose of the study and select sample according to that. A sample size of 15 marketing personnel and managers of different industries who are using viral marketing in their business operations have been taken into consideration (Bryman and Bell, 2007).

Data Collection

It is the most important technique that researcher need to identify in an appropriate matter in order to generate most suitable results. Primary and secondary are two main sources used by the researcher in order to collect appropriate information. Primary data will be collected by various methods such as interview, focus group; questionnaire survey etc. On the other hand secondary data will be collected by the way of different medium such as online published articles, books, journals etc (Guercini, 2014). These are the sources through which researcher can find out suitable information very quickly. Most of the time suitable data cannot find out after searching it so deeply and it takes lots of time to the researcher. In the present research data will be collected by the means of primary and secondary data both. Primary data will be collected by the questionnaire survey of marketing managers of Nike. Appropriate sample will be collected in order to find out most relevant information. With the help of different internal and external secondary sources, appropriate information will be composed in order to set up the usefulness of viral marketing in generating sales of products in a real-world environment (Conner and Mehl, 2012).

Data Analysis

In this present case quantitative method will be utilized in order to collect appropriate data for the given subject matter. With the help of different quantitative tools researcher can find out the appropriate data. It is essential to analyze the data that are being collected by the way of primary and secondary sources (Herstein and Zvilling, 2011). In this current case, data will be collected by the way of questionnaire survey of different marketing managers of different industries. For the purpose of appropriate findings, quantitative method will be utilized. It helps in going through the proper data analysis and provides accurate analysis with the use of descriptive statistical analysis. Descriptive analysis is being utilized with the use of Microsoft Excel and further it provides best suitable findings about the given subject matter.

Ethical Consideration

While doing any researcher it is the most important task of any researcher to maintain the authenticity and reliability of the data. There are various ethics that must be followed by the researcher in order to find out most relevant and appropriate information for the given subject matter. Researcher needs to maintain the honesty and integrity while doing any research (Reiner, Müller, Seuring and Kotzab, 2006). They should collect suitable information from the third party and needs to maintain the confidentiality of all their information. By following the various ethics of the research, research can easily find out the appropriate and accurate data.

Conclusion

In the present research the main focus of the researcher is to utilize the effectiveness of viral marketing. From the overall research it has been identified that most of the organizations are using different marketing methods in order to communicate their products or services. Nowadays businesses are trying to understand the possibilities and opportunities that viral marketing creates for them. This technique is undertaken by the internet and a message goes viral due to people forwarding email messages with links to friends as well. From the overall discussion it has been determined that it is a new way of communication through which people can increase their knowledge in different fields as well as companies can promote their services and brand awareness. It is real support for Companies’ campaigns for launching a product, a service or a brand. Organizations are facing various issues while doing viral marketing as well as they are organizing various viral marketing campaigns. It is increasing at its rapid pace and people are try to find out the information in less timings. It become viral due to its sharing as, most of the people sharing these videos or information with their friends and family with the help of different sources such as Facebook, YouTube etc.

Recommendation

It is one of the most effective marketing techniques nowadays companies are using. In order to promote their services and products Nike using different viral marketing campaign. It helps them in boosting their brand awareness as well as sales. In order to further increase their sales they needs to give more focused on the design and concept of videos they are uploading. They can further take complaints of all their customers in order to improve their quality of services. Different styles of boots and shoes can be promoted with the help of viral marketing. When Nike is launching a viral campaign it is essential for them to consider every risk and social factors into consideration. They have to find out another way through which they can give a strong message to the consumer in a corporate strategy.

References

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