The concept of marketing is simple enough. Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products or services.
Viral marketing adds to that mix promoting your product or service in a manner that catches current and prospective buyers up in the promotion process, allowing them to become part of your marketing engine, with your promotion being exciting or entertaining enough to drive them to actively participate in getting your message across to still more prospects.
For any advertising campaign to be successful, remember to focus on the seven Ps (as discussed previously) and budget and understand both the total costs associated with your advertising as well as the returns you are seeing from it. It goes without saying of course that no matter how great your product or service, if people don't know about it they can't take advantage of it; but at what cost point can you afford to make them aware?
If you have a low-return product that has limited sales you may not have very much money with which to spread the word and traditional methods may seem too expensive. Just to reiterate a few of the more common "standard" advertising avenues, let's list them below:
- Newspaper ads
- The Yellow Pages and other telephone directories
- Merchandising such as leaflets, packaging, shelf displays and window displays
- Trade journals
These are very common but costly ways to advertise. Viral marketing many times relies on some aspect of these existing tools. However, when you start a campaign, it's vital for you to know the start-up and long-term costs, and this includes the expense of directing the marketing efforts and of support overhead.
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