Viral Marketing: Word of Mouth Marketing
Viral marketing constitutes a form of advertisement. The consumer contributes to the advertisement's propagation by redistributing the message to his surroundings on a voluntary basis. With the development of Internet in Canada and throughout the world as well as with the worldwide expansion of high-speed Internet, we have witnessed this new phenomenon develop exponentially.
The general principle of this type of marketing consists in motivating a visitor to tell one of his colleagues or someone he is close to about a site or a service he was impressed with. If you would like to obtain more information regarding viral marketing, contact one of Vortex Solution's experts.
Marketing managers have been aware of the word of mouth phenomenon for many years now and have attempted to exploit its promotion of brands and commercial offers. Many traditional players highly benefited from the spontaneous or remunerated forms of the phenomenon. From then on, why replace the term word of mouth by viral marketing?
As for the adjective viral, it is used to describe the propagation phenomenon which, notably on Internet, is characterized by a multicasting system and a speed of transmission that remind us of the spreading of an epidemic (positive for our clients).
Viral marketing therefore theoretically distinguishes itself from a simple, classic word to mouth phenomenon by its scope and its propagation speed.
It can also be noted that, paradoxically, the term electronic word of mouth, often considered as a synonym of viral marketing, is in fact based on a technique that does not appeal to the sense of hearing and that rests essentially on a written communication process carried out through email exchanges, forums, blogs or Websites.
Viral Marketing Ethics at Vortex Solution
The majority of Website marketing managers have become aware of the power of the electronic word of mouth phenomenon on Internet. Moreover, Vortex Solution has acquired a very wide expertise in this particular field, with over 450,000 emails sent each day.
This tool is not only powerful, but its cost-efficiency ratio is also highly superior to that of other promotion techniques. This realization was naturally accompanied by a few deviations and, since Internet marketing techniques are still changing, it can sometimes be difficult to trace a line between ethically correct practices and more questionable ones.
The general principle of this type of marketing consists in motivating a visitor to tell one of his colleagues or someone he is close to about a site or a service he was impressed with. This process is efficient because it requires but a few clicks of a mouse or the typing in of a few characters and can be perceived as a service rendered to the recipient. On the ethical plan, certain techniques absolutely do not invite criticism and can be efficiently assimilated to a service.
We can mention, among others, the fact of motivating the recipients of an email to forward their message to other recipients, the classic function on editorial sites enabling a visitor to send the article to the person of his choice, virtual postcards or even email recommendations.
Moreover, if the 3 previously-mentioned techniques' principles do not really pose a problem, they still raise the question of the use made by the site of the addresses keyed in during the process. Our email marketing solution includes all the legal and ethical functions enabling the efficient management of mailing lists and list withdrawals.
In fact, it would be proper that the site having proposed the recommendation service let the recipient decide himself of the interest of the information, without succumbing to the temptation of using the addresses for a future relaunch. Other techniques also give us something to think about. For example, certain sites offer their visitors the opportunity of directly subscribing their knowledge to the site's newsletter. The visitor, then subscribing through a third party, will receive the mailing list and will be obligated to complete the withdrawal process should he no longer wish to receive the newsletter. The step between a voluntary process (opt-in) and an action a person is subjected to (opt-out) is then crossed.
Sponsorship is another very classic technique used in traditional marketing. The Internaut is rewarded through a system of points, gifts or a financial incentive to bring subscribers or buyers on a site. Leverage can sometimes even be enhanced by a pyramid scheme, which also rewards the sponsor of a sponsor.
The recommendation is then no longer motivated only by the desire to make a useful service known, but most often by the lure of a gain. The risks of deviations then become very present. If it is excessive to systematically condemn such programs, their initiators must however question themselves with regard to the behaviors they are susceptible of generating among the network "bounty hunters" as well as on the negative impacts such programs can have on their image.