Marketing Mantra September Edition – Shortlisted Entry #4 – Dibyendu

 Viral Marketing in 2020

Viral marketing has generated a lot of excitement recently , in part because it seems like the ultimate free  lunch: Pick some small number of people to seed your idea, product, or message; get it to go viral; and then watch while it spreads effortlessly to reach millions. Unfortunately, for every high-profile example of a successful viral product—FlashMobs, the Star Wars Kid, or Narendra Modi’s election campaign of “Abki Bar Modi Sarkar”—there are many more attempts that fail. But if it hits the right chord then it becomes instant hit and provides the product huge visibility and boosts its sale by manifold.

History of Viral Marketing:-

The history goes deep into 1990s when the concept of virus/viral marketing came to forefront. The  pioneer of this street smart approach was Hotmail which was the first free web based email service provider. When Hotmail first began, they decided that the best way to entice new customers would be to reach the friends, family and colleagues of each user they had. So, in the footer of each and every email that was sent from a Hotmail account, the Hotmail team placed a link that read something like this: “Want a free email account? Sign-up for Hotmail today!” And yes, believe it or not, this strategy went, as we know call it, viral. The days have passed and people have found out new ways to spread the buzz. Social media like Facebook, Youtube have become powerful tools of spreading the word.

Viral Marketing Currently:-

In current market scenario marketers prefer this cost effective way to reach the market. A video on  Youtube have the potential to reach a population as large as a million people (sometimes even more) in a single day. Be it ALS ice bucket challenge or ‘Dumb ways todie’ or Dove real women real rewards campaign, the viral marketing strategy has worked wonder. In B-School poster making or video making competitions are often graded on its potential to go virus or the efficiency of the participant to drive it to become viral. No of likes on Facebook or Youtube serves the purpose of grading.

Future of Viral Marketing, Revolution 2020:-

The potential of viral marketing as a concept has established itself and now it is time for it to deliver results never seen before. Previously an advertisement campaign was made keeping in mind the target group of people and the value proposition of the product but now it has become absolutely essential to add a pinch of salt which would provide the video a potential to go viral. Now day by day it is becoming an absolute necessity for the companies to have a dedicated team designated to generate creative campaigns which could generate a huge buzz. The firms will pay professionals who can create a viral campaign rather than investing on celebrities and make a campaign of high budget.

The role of technology would be of absolute importance as that is the most powerful media now to carry out viral campaigns. Organizations like Google, Facebook or other e-commerce website uses complex algorithms based on artificial intelligence to locate target groups depending on surfing habits, ordering habits, interests etc. If a person wants to see a video which is not of regional nature then depending on the person’s current geographical location the advertisements are projected else the flavor of the regional video is used to choose the ad. Once the group is identified the companies throw targeted advertisements to them. The possibility is more that the person with interest in bikes would share a video of bike stunt and trigger a viral campaign. The algorithms would surely undergo changes to attract specific group and precisely trigger the campaign. People are having more and more exposure to smartphones and tablets which are making the users virtually 24*7 available to the marketplace and also provide the user an easier medium to share information or ideas. It is gradually zeroing down the gap between the campaign and users and thus increasing a synergy. Now all that is needed for a campaign is not to be boring! That’s it.

The thinking process of people is changing. People are becoming more dynamic and open to try out things. Now campaigns do not find target group rather people find advertisements of their choice. People spend a large share of their leisure dedicated to social networking sites or surfing internet on a broader scale. People are becoming aware of social causes and happy to lend a hand to spread more awareness. They try to keep themselves up to date in respect to whatever is happening around them and thus try to reach to the campaigns. This phenomenon make viral marketing an exciting field to play with as it has an enormous potential at its disposal to change the way of marketing altogether. A day would come when there would be two types of campaign: 1. Viral Campaigns, 2.Flop Campaigns. This would put even more performance pressure on people working as the maker of those advertisements. Market competition would increase in multiples as it would become a high risk ground to play.

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