Sometimes we come across a marketing campaign that is so brilliant that you can’t help but wonder if it was planned or accidental. My wife received one this morning via an email from a friend, but we’ll come back to that later. Viral Marketing is by definition a marketing technique where by your marketing objectives are achieved by a self replicating viral like process from person to person. In the past we would have called this a word of mouth process, but today with social media the speed and spread of successful viral marketing campaigns has been supercharged. Today viral marketing may take the form of emails, video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or text messages. I often receive a SMS message from West Suits in Perth when they are having a factory outlet sale. The last line on everyone of these SMS messages is “tell yr m8s” which is a great way of encouraging people to share the news, amplifying the effects of the marketing effort. Sometimes though marketers (or perhaps non-marketers) manage to create a campaign which is so clever that no encouragement is needed to get the sharing in place. One such campaign was a flyer sent out to the email list of a small retailer in Victoria Park U-Chus. The flyer was titled “Cooking with Poo“. Whilst it isn’t stated anywhere on the flyer that the hosts name is Poo, I think this would be a fair assessment. We received the email in the 4th generation as one of 20 recipients. As a very rough calculation, assuming that 50% of each generation decided to forward the email to a similar number of people, an initial mailing list of 100 people saw the message about this cooking class reach an astounding 85,775 people have seen this flyer! Given the cost of mass media, and the difficulty that any business big or small has in cutting through today, a campaign that cost very little and touches 85,775 people has to be rated a raging success.
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