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Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing

General awareness or GK  is a must for cracking MBA entrance exams and for updating you on this MBARendezvous.com -India's content lead MBA website  has started series of articles to equip MBA aspirants with general awareness with the hope that you would get success in various MBA entrance exams

Following article on”Viral Marketing” is part of our series on general awareness: 
If explained technically, viral marketing could be described as a 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. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions. But in more casual terms, it is an idea that spreads and while spreading it actually helps market your business or cause.
There could be two kinds of viral marketing. One, where you market for your product to sell it; it is the original classic viral marketing where the product has a self-amplifying cycle. Hotmail, for example, or YouTube. The more people use them, the more people see them. The more people see them, the more people use them. The product or service must be something that improves once more people use it.
A second kind has evolved over the last few years, and that's a marketing campaign that spreads but isn't the product itself. For instance, Anna Topi, T-Shirt, Posters, etc. during Anna’s movement in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi. They were everywhere, because people chose to spread them. It was viral (it spread) and it was marketing (because it made an argument--a visual one).
Good Viral Marketing Techniques That Work:
•Funny videos are a great method to use for viral marketing because video sharing is so popular today. Funny or weird videos get shared among friends and posted on blogs and get seen by a lot of eyes.
•Hotmail is often used as the classic example of viral marketing. When they started giving away free email addresses, everyone who used their service also advertised it because a link to Hotmail was automatically included at the bottom of every email sent. More and more people saw the link, clicked it and signed up for a free email address. All these new users then sent out the Hotmail link with every email they sent and so on.
•Giving away free ebooks or short reports is another viral marketing technique that is pretty popular today. The free report contains advertisements for your website with links back to it.
But Viral Marketing failures are not uncommon even among big businesses with huge advertising budgets. It is difficult to predict what will take off and what will be a flop. Posting gossip or rumors on your blog can sometimes go viral as can post of any controversial statement. This is also called link baiting. The purpose here is always to create a murmur of people talking about your post and linking to it. All those web hits and back links will be good for your business as long as you do it right. You have to be careful about stirring controversy or making statements that are untrue because it might blow up in your face and even hurt your business.
For example, the ad campaign of “Satyamev Jayate”. It openly said – ‘jab dil pe lagegi tabhi baat banegi’, i.e., when the pain will be felt with heart only then there could be much needed change or only then the desired results could be achieved. It could have backfired if people were hurt or agitated with this statement but instead they got excited and the show is a declared hit.
Few other good examples of successful viral marketing are organizations like CitiBank. During the expansion phase of credit cards, the "Referral Program - Member bring Member" introduced by CitiBank was a very successful program. At the same time companies like Amway, Hindustan Lever, Tupperware etc. has implemented such marketing concept in India. Besides, Monster.com and Naukri.com are also the beneficiaries of this form of marketing. 
On the other hand, IIM’s have decided to use the famous Soup song ‘Kolaveri Di’ from a Tamil film '3' as a classic example of viral marketing. They have plans to dedicate a session to ‘Kolaveri Di’ as part of its course on Contemporary Film Industry: A business perspective. Why this Kolaveri Di, which means 'Why this rage towards me, girl' has actually become a rage across the country and Traffic Police of states like Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata are using the song to exorcise the cases of road rage and bring in peace and tranquility. The Kolkata traffic police is literally humming 'Why this herogiri di?' these days, urging errant bikers to wear helmets. The touch of humor, you see!
Thus, the talk of the tinsel town of corporate is how the beautiful strategy used by Kolaveri Di can be used by companies to leverage their marketing activities? If analyzed, the video of this song makes it very clear that money isn’t everything because promoting a song or service need not always involve huge budgets. With this, Social media will now finally take its place as a mainstream marketing vehicle alongside TV and radio. You just need to have a great product and an idea that connects. Then you need to keep it simple and it surely will touch hearts. 
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