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Viral Marketing Case Study

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1. What is viral marketing
1.1 Definition
The first emergence of the term “viral marketing” seems to use to describe the marketing strategy of Hotmail in 1990s (Bampo, Ewing, Mather, Stewart & Wallace, 2008). Later, in 2000s, terms like “word of web”, “word of mouse”, “customer to customer communication” or “peer to peer communication” and “buzz marketing” appears and are used to describe viral marketing (Bampo, Ewing, Mather, Stewart & Wallace, 2008) and according to Rollins, Anitsal & Anitsal (2014), viral marketing is a the further development of the combination of buzz marketing, word of mouth marketing and online marketing.
Several researchers at the marketing field have described viral marketing simply as an advanced version of the
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If a message is able to being forwarded by one to others in a “hypermedia environment” (Bampo, Ewing, Mather, Stewart & Wallace, 2008) and this action is being repeatedly taken, a successful and strong viral marketing campaign is occurred and it can reach thousands of audience rapidly with a lower cost than traditional mass media (Zerinigah & Sohail, 2012).
Once the marketers created an electronic message, customers are encouraged to pass on the message to others through their social network structure which acting like a referral advertising marketing strategy (Johannes & Johannes, 2014). If the senders are posting the message on the social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube, they may even reach the individuals they do not know or do not intent to target (Ho & Dempsey, 2010). Cheung & Lee (2012) reported that the information provided by the consumers on the opinion sites is more influential to consumers that most of the consumers will review online feedback and comments before making purchase. The viral marketing is becoming “an important factor of shaping consumers purchase behavior” (Cheung & Lee, 2012) since it can inspire the consumers to take the buy action (Zerinigah & Sohail, 2012) and the messages’ reliability increase if the consumers receive the
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The message positivity are often related to the consumers’ experience during the purchasing process (Radighieri & Mulder, 2013) and the positivity of the experience are associated with their satisfaction of the purchase (Sweeney, Soutar & Mazzarot, 2012).
The negative messages are not only affecting the consumers’ behaviour but also the brands and the products, for example, an online complaint comment can damage the company’s reputation (Chang & Wu, 2014). Kim, Seo & Schrier (2014) stated that dissatisfied consumers are more motivated to share their experience so the negative messages are more than the positive one. Online shoppers are affected heavily by the negative messages as they are more informative and diagnostic (Chang & Wu, 2014), however, the consumers might consider the negative messages as the intentional attack to the company because the bias, hence affect the credibility of the message (Kim, Seo & Schrier,
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