The marketing approach techniques are countless. There are many ways to approach the potential customer. There are two marketing approaches that are very interesting, due to their specific techniques. They are viral marketing and direct marketing.
The Viral Marketing is a marketing technique that is using the social networks, both online and offline, for transmitting the message or advertisement, through self replicating viral process. This process resembles to spreading computer viruses or biological viruses.
Almost anything can be the subject of viral marketing effect: information, web link, video clip, e-Books, etc.
Methods of viral marketing expansion can be:
Word of mouth – simple communication between people who knows each other.
Social Media such as Facebook are the perfect examples of viral media. The number of people who are using these services is huge. The members of these social media environments are connected very well, since every user has many contacts. Finally, method of sharing idea or message is very simple, through different sharing techniques.
“Invite Your Friend” calls from different e-services. These messages that provokes the actions are moving significant part of population who wants to share the message, but they are not willing to invest effort.
Advantage of viral marketing is that it takes very little or no investment. The viral marketing system is powered by the will of transmitters to pass the message further. The power of exponential growth is tremendous. If every person is distributing the information to 5 people and further, this gives are 3.125 informed people after 5 levels from original message transfer. The viral marketing experts know this formula very well, therefore, the viral marketing is part of marketing techniques portfolio.
Disadvantage is that viral marketing is not reliable as a standard method of information transfer, since it is not likely that every idea will be transferred at the same rate. Simply, the outcome of the viral marketing campaign is unpredictable, since the power of campaign depends of many parameters.
Also “viral competition” dictates the effectiveness of viral campaign. If two similar campaign are present at the same period to the similar audience, it is likely that the social group will transfer the message that seems more interesting at the moment.
There is no secret formula for guarantied success of Viral Marketing campaign, but good ideas, with tone of humor, anticipation and value adding elements can help the viral marketing campaign to succeed.
On the other hand, Direct Marketing is a sales method where advertisers approach potential customers directly with advertisement, products or services. The most usual methods of direct marketing are telephone sales, solicited or unsolicited emails, catalogs, leaflets, brochures, direct visits etc.
There are two main differences that distinguish it from other types of marketing. The first characteristic of direct marketing is that the message is transferred directly to consumers, without use of intermediate communication media and mass media campaign. The second characteristic is “call to action” principle of communication to the consumers.
Direct marketing is attractive to many companies since the campaign results can be measured directly. For example, if a marketer sends out 5,000 messages by mail and 250 respond to the promotion, the company easily calculates that campaign gave 5% response rate.
On the other hand, the measurement of other media ( TV, Radio ) must often be indirect, since there is no measurable calculation of message recipients. Measurement of results is a key element of every activity.
Direct marketing is practiced by businesses of all sizes – from the smallest start-up company to the multinational corporations. The decision of using of direct marketing approach is not related to the size of the company. If the niche of targeted population is too small, the direct marketing may pay off more than large scale advertising campaign.
The Direct Marketing and Viral Marketing have completely different approach. The power of both marketing approaches can be leveraged, depending on the situation. Every person is the potential shopper, it only takes a little to trigger the shopping mechanism.