- Media. How messages get around
Viral MarketingViral Web sites. Sites on the Web that ask people to bring their friends (or get them to without even asking)
Books listed in reverse chronological orderArticles listed in reverse chronological order. Descriptions prefaced with Wilson are taken from Ralph Wilsons list of references.
- Case Studies on ViralMarketer.com
Examples of viral marketing in action at Hotmail, Amazon, Tumbleweed Software, Geocities, Homestead, ICQ, Hasbro Interactive, eFax, Release Software, eGroups, ThingWorld, MeMail, ShoppersLane, and GreetPage.
- Viral Marketing on MarketingTerms.com
- Viral Marketing, list of 55 references on WilsonWeb.com
- Viral Marketing, list of 14 references on Business 2.0
- Take My Picture, Please And Buy My Phone, Reuters, 2002 08 01
- Pssst... Let Me Tell You a Secret by Sean Carton on ClickZ.com, 2002 05 06
Wilson: Letting people think they have special inside information is an excellent (and cost-effective) way of generating buzz. Cases show how Web businesses both big and small have used the technique to get results.
- Viral Marketing : Subliminal Advertising by Annette Cardwell in ZD Net Inter@ctive Week, 2002 04 01
- Weekly World News Raises Newsstand Sales 15% with Web Site Publicity Stunt on MarketingSherpa.com, 2002 03 12
Wilson: Case study of a humorous online promotion campaign that delivered excellent offline sales results for a tabloid newspaper. A slightly outrageous concept attracted attention that built on the viral marketing concept.
- Word-of-Mouth Key to Customer Acquisition by Robert Conlin in CRMDaily, 2001 07 16
Wilson: Although overlooked by most etailers, users who pass along e-mail special offers and other messages to friends and family are a key source of new customers. Web marketers should use tools that allow them to identify and capitalize on viral influencers.
- Comedians Stumble Upon Viral Marketing Concept by Matt Hockin in InternetDay, 2001 07 13
Wilson: FreeJokeBooks.com combines the immense popularity of forwarding jokes by email, with the high marketing value of ebooks. The result is a highly successful viral marketing campaign.
- The Truth About Viral Marketing by Chris Yeh on ClickZ.com, 2001 06 20
Wilson: How (and why) does viral or word-of-mouth marketing work? You need to cultivate evangelists who consider your virus to be unique, who believe in it sincerely, and who have used it themselves.
- Is Viral Marketing Right For You? by Sandeep Krishnamurthy on DigiTrends.net, 2001 05 17
- Viral Game Garners 300% Response Increase on DigiTrends.net, 2001 05 04
- Viral Marketing Alert! E-mails bearing ads are starting to raise consumers temperatures by Ellen Neuborne in Business Week, 2001 03 19
Wilson: Observes that E-mails bearing ads are starting to raise consumers temperatures. Says that like many good ideas, viral marketing has drawbacks, among them viral overload. Warns that personal recommendations need to support a broad marketing program.
- Viral Marketing Doesnt Have to be Complicated by Matt McAllister on DigiTrends.net, 2001 03 14
- Tips for Optimizing Viral Marketing Campaigns by Brady Brewer on ClickZ.com, 2001 02 22
Wilson: Take care to ensure that your viral marketing campaign doesnt arouse concerns over sending unsolicited email. Tips: (1) offer an incentive, but place a quantity limit to avoid spam-like distribution (2) dont view resulting referrals as opt-ins, ask for further permission (3) make sure recipients can see that the message is coming from a friend (4) track and analyze results.
- How to Catch on to Viral Marketing by Stephen Diorio on ClickZ.com, 2001 02 16
- Viral Marketing With Incentives by Adam Posman on ClickZ.com, 2001 01 03
Wilson: The best part is that viral marketing costs virtually nothing once its set up. And often, the smallest incentive works as well as a huge prize. Examples of successful campaigns, one with a large incentive (Tripeze.com), the other more modest (Danier).
- The Power of Viral Marketing by Blake Rohrbacher on ClickZ.com, 2000 11 08
Wilson: Definition and explanation of 4 distinct categories of viral marketing, and how you can (or cant) use each. (1) value (Amazon, Harry Potter books, Palm Pilots) (2) guile (Quixtar, MyPoints, incentives) (3) vital (Macromedia Flash, eBay) (4) spiral (Hampster Dance, JenniCam).
- What is Viral Marketing? by Steve Jurvetson, 2000 03 30 (previous version, 1998 11)
Wilson (on previous version): Explains name due to a pattern of rapid adoption through word-of-mouth networks. Uses HotMail as example of this phenomenon, which appended to the end of every message: Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com. Other successful examples:ICQ, Tumbleweed Software, Homestead, Netcentives. Outlines typical viral marketing strategies.
- Viral Marketing Techniques the Typical Business Website Can Deploy Now by Ralph F. Wilson in Web Marketing Today, 2000 02 08
Wilson: Discusses techniques that the average site can deploy easily to take advantage of viral marketing.
- Viral marketing goes one step too far -- to a place where friends spam friends by Ed Foster in InfoWorld, 2000 02 04
- The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing by Ralph F. Wilson in Web Marketing Today, 2000 02 01
Wilson: Describes that theoretical basis for viral marketing, that causes a geometric multiplication of replications of your marketing message.
- How to Multiply Your Marketing Like a Virus by Michel Fortin on SuccessDoctor.com, 1999 12 12
Wilson: Describes ways to spread the word using techniques such as affiliations, joint ventures, shareware, referral sources, centers of influence, and free articles on other sites.
- The Basics Of Viral Marketing by Darian SR Heyman on ClickZ.com, 1999 11 19
Wilson: What drives users to become evangelists for your service or product, and how you can encourage and facilitate the process. A detailed look at the success elements behind stories like Hotmail and eGroups.
- What Does Viral Marketing Really Mean? by Jeffrey Graham on ClickZ.com, 1999 10 11
Wilson: How to use viral marketing technique, creating pitches that recipients absorb and then pass along to others. It isnt easy, it can backfire: you have to create a message (or ad) that is compelling enough to spread and also firmly supports brandvalues and objectives.
- Word-of-modem by Silvia Sansoni in Forbes, 1999 07 05
Wilson: Word-of-mouth for the Internet is word-of- modem or viral marketing, Its getting companies off the ground, but no one knows if you can make any money doing it.
- Germ Warfare: How to Spawn a Marketing Virus by Kim Brooks on ClickZ.com, 1998 10 26
Wilson: Outlines ways to begin a word-of-mouth buzz campaign: create a link graphic, reward for talking, put your URL everywhere, make it easy to pass on, flatter them into talking, give away your site, sponsor give-aways on others sites, allow reprints of yourcontent, and find partners who will distribute your content.
- The Top 7 Ways To Create Incredible Buzz For Your Business by Christopher M. Knight on Top7Business.com, 1998 05 04
Wilson: Defines buzz as anything which makes people talk about your business, in a cult like fashion, producing oodles of free publicity for your business. He offers 7 ways to create this kind of self-propagating word-of-mouth advertising.
- The Virus of Marketing by Jeffrey Rayport in Fast Company, 1996 12
Wilson: Considers methods of biological viruses: (1) stealth, (2) patience to work free for pay-off later, (3) let behaviors of the target community carry the message, (4) look like a host, not a virus, (5) exploit the strength of weak ties (e.g. Tupperwareparties), (6) invest to reach the tipping point. Author calls it v-marketing in this 1996 article.
- Viral Marketing by Richard Brodie in Meme Update, undated
The virus transmitted in viral marketing is known in academic literature as a meme. Meme is defined by Richard Brodie as a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds. Examples include ideas, concepts, slogans, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions. The word was coined by Richard Dawkins by analogy to the biological unit of inheritance, the gene. The meme is what Brodie refers to by the title of his book, Virus of the Mind, but it does not innately deserve that negative connotation. Memes throughout history include concepts that are very good (e.g., hygene, democracy), very bad (glue-sniffing, fascism), controversial (nude beaches, social welfare) and neutral (moustaches, lawn bowling). (Note that the judgement of any of these concepts as good, bad, or otherwise is itself a meme.)
Brodie defines memetics, as the study of the workings of memes: how they interact, replicate, and evolve. It is the subject of hundreds of books, articles, and Web sites, as well as a peer-reviewed academic e-journal.
One of the most viral technologies in history was the telephone. Most people living today grew up around telephones, so their use is second nature to us. But for people at the turn of the twentieth century, telephones were strange and mysterious devices, and how to use them was not obvious. The following period pieces make interesting reading.
The history of the answering machine:
From the Cutting Room Floor
Sometimes bad ideas are just too strange to throw away. Thats when they end up here.