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Business application of viral marketing and Electronic Word-of-mouth. Firm opinions
Virginia Aguilar Arcos / Sonia San Martín Gutiérrez / René Payo Hernanz
Traditional word of mouth, which was for many years used as effective advertising that didn't require major investments in mass media, has become a new marketing opportunity with the advent of new technologies and the Internet. Thus, a new marketing strategy called viral marketing has emerged and it exploits existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness. The effect of "online word of mouth" is a powerful tool for businesses, but its true potential is yet to be discovered. The objective of this research is to analyze this phenomenon through an extensive literature review of the term, as well as an empirical study consisting of indepth interviews conducted with a sample of large Spanish companies. The results indicate that viral marketing can be used for the benefit of both large companies with big budgets and small businesses. Successful experiences of this strategy show that, when integrated with the rest of the company's business strategies, it can improve the recommendation of the brand and increase its visibility in the market. Viral marketing can be advantageous when launching a new product to the market. However, its effectiveness and the measurement of the campaigns are seen by many academics and professionals as a weakness of this strategy.
KeyWords: Viral marketing; Word-of-mouth; eWOM; Internet
DOI: 10.5295/cdg.120348va
Bibliographic: Aguilar Arcos, V., San Martín Gutiérrez, S. and Payo Hernanz, R., 2015. La aplicación empresarial del marketing viral y el efecto boca-oreja electrónico. Opiniones de las empresas. Cuadernos de Gestión, 14 (1), 15-31. DOI: 10.5295/cdg.120348va
JEL Classification: M31

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