Viral Marketing on the Internet
Part 4. Advertising and Integrated Communication
Published Online: 15 DEC 2010
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing
How to Cite
Eckler, P. and Rodgers, S. 2010. Viral Marketing on the Internet. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 4.
- Published Online: 15 DEC 2010
Viral marketing includes a broad range of online word-of-mouth strategies aimed to encourage peer-to-peer communication about a brand. The origination of this tactic dates back to 1996 and has gained increased popularity since then. Unique to viral marketing is its focus on the message (vs the product) and emotional (vs informational) appeals. Viral marketing has unique benefits and drawbacks. Advantages include reduced cost of promotion, increased credibility, increased visibility, decreased interruption, and improved format flexibility. Disadvantages include reduced control of the marketer, increased reliance on consumers' motivation, and increased risk of negative reactions.