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Assessing the Best in Viral Marketing


Marketing Sherpa has recently awarded the top 12 viral marketing campaigns. I applaud them for awarding campaigns where performance metrics are a key factor.

Per my paper published in the Journal of Consumer Behavior’s titled “Buzz Marketing: Building the Buzz in the Hive Mind” I take issue with the term viral marketing. The much preferred and more accurate term is “buzz marketing.”

To better understand the machinations behind the campaigns I have assessed these buzz marketing campaigns and categorized them into various buckets based on promotion vehicle and market served (B2B or B2C). Of the various campaigns categories the type utilized the most frequently was a tie between “games” and “entertainment”. These methods were only applied to consumer markets.

Information of a “how to” nature was used in the B2B markets whereas, semi-exclusive information was offered in B2C markets in the form of new-to-the-world music and unreleased films.

Advocacy marketing, which is marketing for a social cause, was used in a campaign that crossed both B2C and B2B markets. And unique offer value, in the form of a belt buckle knife, was also promoted to both markets.

The campaign that impressed me as the most innovative and humorous is the Monk-e-email, a campaign from Careerbuilder. This campaign makes novel use of customized audio (text-to-speech, phone recorded, or computer mic recorded) to send messages. It caused quite a stir amongst the friends I directed it towards. It is definitely buzz worthy.

Below is a table that shows the campaign classifications.


The Buzz Campaign List
1. Peerflix Paparazzi
2. Beer.com's Virtual Bartender
3. New Rules of PR (PDF)
4. Wadsworth Atheneum - Surrealist Exhibit
5. The Quantum IT Challenge
6. MakeMyTrip Viral Series (India)
7. Blog in Space
8. Kreedo Brand Democracy
9. Monk-e-Mail
10. mySBC eBill Service: Trees in the Forest of Change
11. Belt Buckle Knife
12. The ERP of This Century

Related links
- MarketingSherpa's Viral Marketing Hall of Fame 2006: Top 12 Campaigns You Should Swipe Ideas From

- Monk-E-mail


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