Viral Marketing

Last week, we discussed an engaging and captivating topic from our week 3 readings: Viral Marketing  ‘Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance,’ by Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein.

The authors illustrate how viral marketing utilizes social media, videos, and other person-to-person methods to rapidly spread information about a product or service instead of using the traditional marketing methods e.g. radio, newsletters and television advertisements.

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing refers to something going viral, spreading at a rapid pace and extensively from one person to another. Many businesses are using social media platfoword-of-mouth.jpgrms to produce exponential increase in brand awareness as this method proves to be a more cost effective and efficient way in comparison to traditional marketing.

Word-of-mouth (WoM) is articulated online and reaches a large network at a rapid speed, substantially influencing  customer attitudes and behaviours to a particular brand, product or service. This can be highly beneficial for a business or can damage their reputation. Depending on the content that’s gone viral and how consumers reacted will determine on how a business will respond appropriately.

Over the last 10 years there has been a major shift from traditional marketing as society is being inundated with new technology such as smartphones, tablets, applications and more. With so many new ways to market products and services reaching a broad audience instantly and being accessible  for consumers to purchase or interact at anytime  has created the need for society wanting to always be “up to date” with all the latest products and services (Kaplan and Haenlein 2011).


There are three factors that can impact a viral marketing campaign:

  1. The Messenger: Choosing the best way to execute an ordinary message into a viral one e.g. social hubs, market mavens and salespeople.
  2. The Message: Making the message memorable and sufficiently interesting enough so it’s passed onto others infectiously.
  3. The Environment: The right time is critical for a successful viral marketing campaign and its crucial for the timing and context of the campaign launch to be right.


An example of Kaplan and Haenlein (2011) Triumphs for a successful viral marketing execution was Burger King creating a new Facebook application titled Whopper Sacrifice.

Burger King decided to use Facebook as a social media platform to promote their whopper burger. The task was to unfriend 10 Facebook friendships in order to receive coupon for a free Whopper. Users had download the “Whopper Sacrifice” on their Facebook profile and will then receive the coupon once 10 friends have been sacrificed.

Over 200,000 people participated in deleting their  friends in the first week of  the “Whopper Sacrifice” campaign. Burger King used slogans like “Now is the time to put your fair-weather Web friendships to the test”. Ultimately, once you’ve deleted your 10 friends for a free whopper it will show up in their activity feed on Facebook saying “Vanessa sacrificed John Smith for a free Whopper”.

I believe this is a fantastic and interactive campaign for Burger King as it went viral fast and entices people to come into Burger King to try their whopper burger. Creating more awareness of their brand and offering a sample for consumers to come back wanting more.



Focus on how to be social not on how to do social


Mark Ritson recently states his opinion on “Why Social Media is Mostly a Waste of Time for Marketers’ by revealing data statistics and information about Traditional Marketing VS Social Media Marketing and how it affects the consumer. Ritson’s video Beyond Digital Marketing entails how  people think traditional marketing is already dead and majority of peoples focus is on media marketing. Social media has definitely changed the game and everyone knows this! However, Ritson begs to differ..

Traditional media relied heavily on a one way communication so the brand creates a message and transmits the message to the masses through broadcasting, print, radio and  signage. Using this method  doesn’t create engagement or encourImage result for social media marketing vs traditional marketingages promoting word of mouth. Where as social media is a two way communication system that connects on a daily basis with their customers. Instead of getting brand messages, social media gets recommendations from friends by reshares and recommended posts. Social media exists to create word of mouth by creating online content and encouraging reshares that not only enhances their message but also makes brand claims more believable. Recommendations from a friend are more trustworthy than a traditional marketing advert. For example sharing my favourite make up artist on Facebook by using reshare of her make over images. how. I’m recommending her services through social media to gain more brand awareness and increase sales.  People feel more comfortable to try someone they’ve been to referred to over a “random” purchase or service.

Ritson communicates how he has more followers on social media in comparison to major leading brands across the world and only 66% of Australians do not follow any brands on social media. Most people use social media for ways to contact family and friends with a few people using it for posts. As there is a vast amount of “brand spam” feed which cam be quite annoying to a consumer and deter them away. Moreover, Ritson expresses how celebrities have a lot more followers than brands because most people are interested in following the celebrity updates over the brand. In today’s society we tend to be a little more obsessed with following celebrities on trend.  Every business relies on a variety of marketing and advertising methods to reach potential customers and leads. Over time, the marketing methods you use have likely evolved, changed, or even been retired and replaced with new ones.

Overall, combining traditional marketing and media marketing would be beneficial to the company as it explores both marketing distributions and can effectively reach clients in different ways.

Mobile Marketing and Big Data



Kaplan (2012) ‘If you love something, let it go mobile: Mobile marketing and mobile social media 4×4‘,  defines mobile marketing to consist of ads and any marketing activity that appears on smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices throughout different networks to reach consumers effectively.

Smart insights show the rapid increase of internet usage from smartphones has doubled between 2008 to 2015, as today’s society is obsessed with their constantly using their smartphones and tablet non stop on a daily basis. Mobile marketing is a revolution to marketing as it allows  for creative and engaging ways to constantly  interact with with their consumers.

Almost “80% of Australians surveyed have one, an increase of nearly 10% on last year. There are roughly 15 million smartphones in use in Australia and that doesn’t include the millions of used devices stashed in drawers, or the ones passed on to our families” (Deloitte Australia, 2016). To maintain competitive advantage businesses must keep up to date with societies “norm” to ensure they’re reaching clients efficiently and effectively throughout the best marketing channels otherwise they may get left behind. Mobile Marketing has created a revolutionary way to target an audience at any location and embed services or products subconsciously  in ones mind. This would subconsciously create brand awareness, impulse purchases, repeat clients and more. For example, I admit to using my iPad and smartphone constantly on a daily basis for online browsing/shopping and checking emails. Using certain applications on my smartphone and iPad to assist in looking up my favourite brands and accessing information online. Ultimately, this has lead to me leaving work on my lunch break to go find the particular item I’ve seen online (on multiple occasions).

Additionally, today’s society is all about “checking in” at trendy places using marketing social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The current trend among society aged 18-35  years old is taking photos of food then uploading onto their social media, including a check in of location  and tagging jlthe business. For example is a fad with milkshakes and Nutella donuts placed on top by trendy cafes, this can become viral and people will travel all over Melbourne to eat from the place they’ve seen on social media. Especially if someone who has thousands of followers such as melbourne pop-ups 59.5K followers that recommends food, fashion, culture and events around Melbourne.

It’s important to remember sharing all this data can be dangerous and we should all be mindful of what information to share on social media.

Technology advances has created the need for mobile marketing which gives consumers 24/7 access to to explore multiple channels on social media.  Foursquare has been developed and is currently a market leader in the area of mobile social media, with almost 10 million registered users.

What is Foursquare?

Foursquare allows one user to notify others about their location by ‘checking-in’ at a certain place. It’s  a technology company that uses location intelligence to create meaningful consumer experiences and business solutions to offer consumers many different ways of sales promotions.

Foursquare Commercial featured below;

Overall, there is no better time than now to utilise mobile marketing to capture audiences on a daily basis to generate sales or leads. With the dramatic increase of mobile phone usage will enable businesses to capture a greater audience whilst people are in their daily life routines and make purchases without having to go to the stores.


Marketing Analytics



This weeks post relates to an article by Germann et al. (2013): Performance implications of deploying marketing analytics .Marketing analytics refers to the practice of measuring, managing and analysing the  marketing performance to ensure for the most optimum and effective return on investment.

Marketing Charts (2016)  stated about 6 in 10 professionals from around the world agree about the pressure to focus on marketing analytics to produce the necessary data to assist in business making decisions. However, 2 out of 3 believe they make most the decisions based on their work experience as for now there is only about 1 in 8 employees are presumed to be “analytical innovators” at a sophistication level. This information shows that management need  training on marketing analytics and how it can benefit the business by understanding the data then applying it to future business decisions. This will then increase the “analytical innovators” sophistication level. Collecting data enables the business to focus on areas they might’ve missed based on previous work experience, using todays advance technology to collate data such as applications to retrieve insights will help the company to improve the way the business operates.

Please refer to graph below


In addition, companies are increasingly approaching their businesses from a customer-centric perspective, collecting vast quantities of customer intelligence in the process. However to garner this data can be quite a challenge even when sophisticated software system is in use.

Firstly, a performance implication that can occur when using marketing analytics is how the firm can be effected by “slowing down” as management are which can lead to missed market opportunities and seized to competition.

Another performance implication is a customer preferences in relation to product features, price points, distribution channels, media outlets and other elements affect the performance of marketing analytics, which results in uncertainty of their environment (Smart & Vertinsky, 1984).

In relation to marketing analytics, Mercedes-Benz use a customer satisfaction survey which is an online tool to collect data from service clients to measure their satisfaction with the overall service provided.  It’s quite a time consuming survey to ensure the standard of customer service is high and ways to improve t932483861505668653he service, with the national average CSI score for 2013 93.36%.

Using this data Mercedes-Benz aims to satisfy their customers by improving on areas that customers have voiced their concerns. With these analytics it allows for the business to improve on these areas to increase the CSI average. For example, a customer wasn’t happy with car park space available and complained. It allows for the business to look at their accessibility to the dealership and ensure there is always parking available for clients and not being taken up my staff members (Mercedes-Benz Australia, 2016).

Cannon said “Mercedes-Benz will announce further programs as they are developed.Mercedes-Benz says it has invested $40 million in 10 programs to improve the customer experience in recent years. Those include a training program attended by 11,000 dealership employees who face customers” this enables for the luxury vehicle company to expand their employees knowledge and increase customer satisfaction (Autonews, 2016)

Overall, marketing analytics create more insight  to a companies operation  to assist in making business decisions. Therefore, using captured data can assist in alternatives methods that may have not been thought of before and reaching an audience that would never of been done based on “personal knowledge and experience”.



Understanding the social media consumer


This week, we discussed an intriguing topic from our week 4 readings Hodis et al. (2015)  “Interact with me on my terms: a four segment Facebook engagement framework for marketers”. The authors illustrate how Facebook is used by over 1 million users each month and express how  there is little knowledge that exists regarding on how to market to the actionable consumer through engagement strategies for Facebook.

Hodis et al. (2015) identify four distinct Facebook user types; attention seekers, devotees, connection seekers and entertainment chasers.

  1. Attention Seekers; are defined by low levels of consumption and high levels of creation on Facebook. Their main use for using Facebook is to accumulate admiration, appreciation and even jealousy of their friends on Facebook.
  2. Devotees: characterised by both high levels of consumption and creation on Facebook. This label was chosen to depict both the very high level of involvement and the nature of the motivations for this category of Facebook users. Many participants who fall in this segment tended to identify themselves as ‘addicted to Facebook’.
  3. Connection Seekers: relates to users with high level of consumption and a low level of creation on Facebook such as connecting with friends and family over messenger or Facebook posts.
  4. Entertainment Chasers: are identified as  low levels of both creation and consumption on Facebook. Their main reason for using the social media platform is to escape boredom by finding and consuming content on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 5.01.38 pm 1

There has been major role changes in consumers activity with social media, as technology advances is empowering consumers and the role of the consumer is changing from non participative recipients of information to becoming more active online generators of information.  Many consumers are engaging with businesses through social media on a daily basis as it’s highly accessible as most people have applications stored on their smartphone or tablets at work which, links straight away to their feed to keep them up to date with the latest (Stewart and Pavlou, 2002). An example of a company that provides high satisfactory engagement social media posts is Lorna Jane.

Lorna Jane has exceptional social media engagement talents when promoting through Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and more. Lorna Jane targets women in their 20’s to 40s who are active and seek quality fashionable active wear. Instagram reaching 737K followers, 1,116,998 likes Facebook and 9,636 subscribers on Youtube. Since launching in 2012, the Lorna Jane Facebook page has grown rapidly with converting to an average of 5000 likes per week, which reaches on more than 2.2 million people. Using these four hasgs on instagram on every post #thisisactiveliving #lornajane #activeliving #movenourishbelieve to embed their brand message across directly to customers (AFR, 2016).

Lorna Jane (2016)  digital marketing and e-commerce manager states  “We constantly engage with our customers and share information with them that’s helpful and relevant”, using the social media platforms creating awareness with inspirational quotes such as the post pictured below.




Overall,  companies need to understand the changing behaviors of consumers and keep up to date with the latest technology to ensure the optimum use in social media platforms. Keeping posts simple and engaging to help reach your target audience will continue to grow the amount of support from consumers to follow your social media platforms.