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  1. #1
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    Viral marketing has got to top the list of misunderstood, misapplied ideas. When something does go viral, very often bandwidth costs go up ....and sales barely budge. Everybody enjoys the entertainment, but few are persuaded to buy.

    Good viral. Bad marketing.

    Sure there are thousands who'll trumpet your "brand image." But brand awareness means nothing without bankable brand preference.

    Branders too often take credit for everything (good), but responsibility for nothing. If sales don't happen your "brand image" is that of someone who nobody wants to do business with.

    Start with a remarkable product and/or service. Want people to talk about you and not your cutesy viral gimmick -- have a product people remark about. That means developing a unique selling proposition at the core of any viral campaign. Which means...

    Viral campaigns, not scripting gimmicks. A social chicklet or "tell a friend" script isn't viral. Those things simply grease the skids (a little). Your message still has to be otherwise viral. One shot "throw it at the wall" events aren't viral campaigns.

    Way too often, viral marketing means word of mouth success ...in retrospect. Somebody is rewriting history to explain a happy accident. Design means you actually intended for something to happen.


    Related:

    What makes it viral? Throws cold water on a lot of what passes for marketing. Because, believe it or not, if your marketing goals aren't met -- or you have no marketing goals -- it ain't viral marketing.


    If Your Viral Marketing Guru Canít Explain Memetics Design, Donít Hire Them
    I had to write one of the only articles in existence about viral mechanics making viral marketing work.

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  3. #2
    Junior Member calli.keener's Avatar
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    I agree with you, tell a friend script isn't viral. But they could be a part of effective viral campaigns. Generally, the tell a friend script involves passing on some form of media such as a video which is viral that attracts the interest of several users... providing a friendly and innovative way to pass along media or information.

  4. #3
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    My criticism is not the script, it's the underdevelopment of social savvy, persuasive writing, or plain old information. Zero information forum spam being a prime example.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Very nice article. Now I'm gonna have to go look up "memetics"

  6. #5
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    It's in the sidebar - left of article.

    But seriously. It's like a plumber who never heard of 3/4" copper pipe or couldn't solder.

  7. #6
    Junior Member John LA's Avatar
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    Making your site popular by link building and promotion can asily give you traffic and only as good as viral marketing.

  8. #7
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    And I disagree with the fact that tell a friend script isn't viral marketing. To my mind, it is! Viral marketing is a technique which uses people for spreading information about a good as well as service. The most widespread means of viral marketing nowadays is the Internet. So, make your conclusions...

  9. #8
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    So, make your conclusions...
    If a tell a friend script is marketing, then so is an ink pen or telephone. They are tools, not techniques. They can support (or in the instance of tell-a-friend scripts cobbled together with no hint of knowledge about humans, hinder) viral marketing.

    marketers will still have to rely on the value proposition in their message being enough to distinguish their message from the rest to make their particular email campaign worthy of being sent to a friend.
    -- What Makes It Viral?
    One problem is people use technology to replace every lick of marketing sense ... or thought.

    My conclusion is most people don't realize -- nor test -- the design of tell-a-friend forms, failing to realize design influences results. They also use these scripts instead of viral marketing under the false assumption the tool is the marketing technique. So they tack these things onto a product or service, and definitely a site, totally mis-designed for viral success.

    Then they think they're done.

    It could be considered support of viral marketing, much as a pen in the hands of a copywriter is a sales support tool. But people are so willing to mislead themselves, such distinctions probably go right over their heads.

  10. #9
    Junior Member Chris_G's Avatar
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    Wow. This post may be 10 Months old, but the article it links to is almost 10 Years old. It's an Ok article, timely when it was written.
    My name is Chris Grayson. You can visit my website at: Art Director Or read my blog at: GigantiCo
    As an Art Director and Website Designer, I use many online portfolio communities, including:
    Chris Grayson at Coroflot Chris Grayson at Krop Chris Grayson at Behance
    I also invite you to follow me on Twitter

  11. #10
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    @DC856: I agree with your thoughts on viral marketing. With the likes of Twitter, Facebook etc., its easier than ever for a campaign to go viral. Of course, it could turn the other way round too.
    So its very important to figure out innovative ideas to engage with consumers.


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