Ignacio Prieto

VIRAL MARKETING AND ENTERPRISE 2.0 (I)

Many companies need to generate visibility in their markets both for themselves and their products. But getting notoriety can be particularly burdensome, especially in these times of budget restraint. New technologies provide access to alternative channels of distribution and promotion under affordable costs and adaptable to any business regardless of its size thanks to its ability to hit targets with great precision. But make no mistake. These tools are useless if not supported by a well defined strategy, customer-oriented, with a high degree of transparency and honesty in its approach. We are asking our customers to feel part of our organization. Don’t let them down.

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Most companies have a hard time in carrying out publicity actions because of the high costs involved.

When these action takes place in the domestic market, geographic segmentation reduces substantially this cost. But when the company decides to expand its scope, the cost rises dramatically and constitutes a true entry barrier.

This is especially true in foreign markets where the need to hire an international media agency, significantly increases the marketing budget.

On the other hand, audiences are increasingly segmented and saturated, are more skeptical and require accuracy in the information.

New technologies have opened new avenues and are positioning themselves strongly as valid high effective tools.

Born in 1995, Hotmail free email launched what it is today known as Viral Marketing. The concept has been developed as a potential low-cost diffusion tool for products or services.

Still a new concept in many developed markets but with a certain level of implementation in other countries like the USA where the figure of a paid professional blogger, who independently comments about products, is becoming common.

In general, viral marketing is presented more as a set of promotional activities (videos, permission marketing, etc.) than for what it truly is: one of the pillars of a new way of understanding business.

Viral Marketing is basically defined as a tactical tool, but its foundations and effectiveness depends on being part of a sustainable strategy. People can be infected by a virus but the body reacts and becomes immune. This is where we turn to the concept of Enterprise 2.0.

First of all, you need a well defined business strategy, a honest proposal (you don’t want to trifle with networks) and a product that should be in line with customer expectations.

All information should be transparent and reliable because the receiver will participate and interact with the organization.

And for it to spread, we must identify what motivates customers, how to trigger the desire to convey the message. And this can only be achieved by maintaining an empathetic relationship with the customer – creating a “loved brand”.

With regards the Website, this should allow interaction through comments, forwarding information, chat rooms, affiliate programs and comparative product panels (within the margins of the law).

We have to get presence in media and online networking sites using advanced Social Media tools. We should note that consumers often do not connect with the company’s Website but seek information on Google, YouTube, Wikipedia or Yahoo Answers just to name a few.

Nothing drives better product diffusion than having prospects participate in its design or feel part of the company. Enable co-creation platforms, create communities for discussion and feedback, etc., is the best way to attract attention and create that empathy.

Sometimes we get carried away by the innovations of the information society and forget that traditional concepts are still valid and should be clearly defined. Every company must define the four Ps of Transactional Marketing. But once this has been duly achieved, we must implement the so-called Relationship Marketing.

TO BE CONTINUED

One Response to “VIRAL MARKETING AND ENTERPRISE 2.0 (I)”

  1. In fact, it’s becoming so important that governments have started to become concerned. For instance, in USA a blogger needs to state a disclosure if he’s got an agreement with the product, service or trademark he’s blogging about. That gets us into the blogging and social media grey areas; however, law cannot sort out all the problems.

    Looking forward to the second part. ; )

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