A very important (perhaps the most important) means of marketing communication is ‘word of mouth’. People looking for ways of satisfying a need do not merely talk to salesmen and read advertisements and sales literature. They read relevant newspaper and magazine articles, listen to the radio and watch TV, but, above all, they talk to each other. People contemplating buying a new car, or a new washing machine, talk to friends and relations and get their reactions. People who buy a new product and like it recommend it to their friends. If they dislike it, they warn off their friends. On the Internet, this word-of-mouth technique is called ‘viral marketing’.
In essence, viral marketing creates an incentive for others to communicate your marketing message through the Internet or email, via methods such as attachments or sign-up forms. Attachments allow one to add a degree of personality to a brand and encourage consumers to interact, as well as to find out more about you and your product or service. Just like their more dangerous cousins, viral marketing campaigns can spread across the entire Internet in a matter of days. No other method of marketing has been found that can generate such massive ‘recommendation’ marketing status with such a relatively small outlay.