• René Ribberholt Kæseler
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis does not seek to unveil all the secrets about viral marketing. Nor does it seek to analyze all aspects behind viral marketing. This thesis seeks to create an understanding on how a target group feel, thinks and behave around viral marketing and social networking.
Numbers show that traditional marketing has experienced a decline through recent years, and the companies needs to come up with new ways to reach their target audience. A number of marketing professionals, including Jim Stengel of Proctor & Gamble, and Larry Light of McDonalds, were some of the first to acknowledge this change in marketing society back in 2004.
“The traditional marketing model we all grew up with is obsolete”
Jim Stengel, Global Marketing Officer, Proctor & Gamble.
“Mass marketing today is a mass mistake”
Larry Light, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonalds.
This thesis is inspired, amongst others, by these comments. As these com- ments are uttered by professionals, they are lacking the point of view of the individuals. That is why I decided to go forth with this thesis. Through a thor- ough investigation driven by a focus group, the thesis unveils a pattern of meanings.
This thesis investigates the questions in the following thesis statement:
“What role does the individual play in the spread of viral marketing in a post- modern society, and what aspects lies beneath this role?
The theoretical basis in this thesis is based on post-modern theory formulated by Kenneth Gergen in particular. This theory presents a view on society that describes the individual as saturated. This saturation is strongly influenced by the wide variety of impressions, the individual is subject to every day. Be- cause the theory by Gergen is based on an anti-essentialist view on society, are Anthony Giddens’ views on society included, in order to provide the thesis with a more positive outlook on society. This creates a more holistic approach to the problem.
The success of viral marketing is solely based on the adaptation of the indi- vidual. The thesis deals with the segmentation of the participants according to their roles on the Internet. This aspect enlightens the different positions of the individuals. It deals with the fact that a small number of people have the power to influence a huge group of people. Why is this, and how does viral marketing benefit from it, is just one of the questions at hand.
One of the reasons why viral marketing is thriving is based on the way it is received. Traditional marketing was based on business-to-business (B2C) communication, whereas the new order of business is based on connections between individuals, creating consumer-to-consumer (C2C) communication.
The thesis also takes explores the amount of attention that seeks the individ- ual. This aspect might be the answer to why the traditional marketing method is falling in popularity. Maybe new breeds of television commercials are about to see the light of day, because something has to be done if the televised com- mercial want to survive.
Last, but not least, the thesis draws a picture on the means that viral market- ing plays upon in the attraction of the individual. The general consensus from the participants is that the viral marketing communicates an image, instead of a product.
Publication date2 Aug 2010
Number of pages107
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 35052670