This week, MarketingSherpa published the results from our third annual reader study on viral marketing. Viral is the art of creating a message so engaging and compelling that people can't help but tell other people about it.
Given the number of calls our own research department has been fielding recently from reporters at places, such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, it seems viral marketing itself is going viral. Viral is hot, hot, hot!
In fact, 57% of the 2,914 Sherpa readers who took our questionnaire said they were planning at least one viral campaign this year. However, this overall number is misleading. Why? Newbies who were interested in viral but had never conducted a campaign were two to three times *less* likely to conduct a viral campaign in 2007 than their more experienced competitors.
There's a chasm in viral marketing -- an experience chasm. It gives anyone with viral experience a significant edge over the competition.
For example, marketers who've tested viral in the past are more likely to:
o Pick the right goal -- 13% of newbies hope to make direct sales from a viral campaign. Experienced marketers use viral as step one in a relationship or brand-building campaign that ultimately leads to a sale.
o Use multiple tactics -- experienced marketers are more likely to pour it on, using video, audio, microsites, games and email. Newbies may test one tactic.
o Budget realistically -- the numbers that newbies gave for videos, ecards and microsites were often laughably smaller than those from experienced marketers.
Anyway, you can see 15 charts of detailed data from this new study at the link below. In the meantime, based on the data, you can bet I'm going to consider launching a quiz or cool microsite (or, better yet, both) for marketers in the coming year.
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