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Strengths and weaknesses of viral marketing - Essay Example
Viral marketing is associated with creating peer to peer awareness and generating a buzz; consequently, it is associated with more risks especially when done improperly without understanding the factors of success as it creates a negative buzz. …
This is important in order to ensure that the right strategy is adopted to create favorable customer attitudes towards a product (Blythe, 2005, P.110).
It can be argued that some services used by people to communicate are naturally suited to viral marketing because such products can be advertised as part of communication. Examples of such products are email services like Yahoo and Hotmail which were adopted very fast because every message sent through them was an advertisement for the service and the service was free. Hotmail spent only $50 000 on traditional marketing but still acquired 12 million users in 18 months. By the end of 2000, Hotmail had over 70 million users with 270 000 new accounts opened each day. Google’s Gmail grew rapidly in spite of the fact that customers had to sign up for the mail service through a referral .
Most products cannot be advertised in this way; in any case, the choice of products on offer has increased as a result of the emergence of online marketers who can supply a wide variety of products. Another aspect of online retail is the fat tail phenomena, where a large portion of the sales consists of obscure products. For instance, at Amazon.Com 20 to 40 percent of unit sales fall outside the top 100 000 ranked products. Some online marketers argue that the fat tail indicates that key products with low sales volume contribute significantly to overall sales. ...