One of the very interesting presentations in MKTG 2.0 was Greg Johnson’s. He talked about innovation, and one of the topics he mentioned was Viral marketing. Even when some of the previews presenters mentioned their viral campaigns, Greg’s doesn’t doubt in criticize the concept in my opinion in a very exaggerated way.
He said something like “What’s viral marketing but the very basic function of the internet itself?”
I do not agree with Greg, so let’s see what viral marketing is:
Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of a computer virus. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly (wikipedia).
In my opinion what Greg doesn’t take into account is the human behavior, the possibility of forwarding something in a very simple way, just allow people to do it, but doesn’t push the to do it. I won’t shoot my self just because is very simple to do it. There is human behavior in the middle, something that says to the person who receive a viral piece, let’s send it to your friend.
Viral marketing) has a very low connection to the technology that supports, but lot to do with human behavior. The people used the viral effect even when it wasn’t called that way, even when internet was something that you could only imaging in James Bond or in Impossible Mission.