Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to
pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential
growth in the message's exposure and influence.
It consists of leveraging customer-to-customer communication to increase
sales, brand awareness, and market coverage.
A successful viral marketing campaign relies on research data detailing
frequently asked customer questions, complaints, and responses to follow-ups.
It also identifies and helps develop high-advocacy customers, who can
then be independently targeted with referral opportunities.
Tapping into this benefit requires understanding the new role of the customer
as a sales channel and focusing on the marketing process more than the
marketing message. As tools for tracking and analyzing online customer
response and behavior grow increasingly sophisticated, marketers will
realize higher levels of control over the customer sales channel.
In constructing an online marketing strategy, sales and marketing executives
must consider viral marketing an integral element of their overall strategy.