Thursday, September 06, 2007

JupiterResearch Finds Viral Marketing Missteps Reach Epidemic Proportions

JupiterResearch Finds Viral Marketing Missteps Reach Epidemic Proportions

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 4, 2007--JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, reports viral marketing efforts have failed to effectively reach the mass audiences advertisers had anticipated. Despite the growing popularity of such social media sites as MySpace and You Tube, viral marketing campaigns are consistently proving ineffective in delivering and sustaining a brand over time, due mainly to misdirected tactics.

These findings are outlined in a new report published by JupiterResearch, "Viral Marketing: Bringing the Message to the Masses", and indicate only 15 percent achieved the goal of prompting consumers to promote their messages for them in the past year. Although targeting influentials was the most popular technique to stimulate viral behavior, viral marketers plan to decrease use of this tactic by 55 percent within the next year. While social media sites eliciting user generated content would seem to provide a perfect vehicle for viral marketing campaigns, those initiating the campaigns must dig deeper to understand the tendencies of the appropriate audiences.

"Viral marketers often send one campaign to all influentials," explained Emily Riley, Analyst at JupiterResearch. "Different influential groups not only respond very differently to advertising campaigns, but also influence others in very different ways."

Relatively older online users are actually more likely than are relatively younger users to forward advertising messages to friends or tell friends about ads. Although young audiences show increased use of social sites, relatively older audiences show increased use of e-mail, watch some video, and should be absolutely incorporated into viral marketing campaigns--especially because they are the traditional target audiences for brands or products.

"There are definitely pitfalls associated with the social networking sites. While these sites may appear to be the most effective manner of delivering a message regardless of brand appropriateness, by failing to truly understand the audience, viral marketers stand to alienate as many consumers as they interest," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch. "Advertisers should be cognizant of the fact that attempts to reach outside their brand images or target demographics and only end up looking like they are trying too hard."

The complete findings of this report are immediately available to JupiterResearch clients online at For details on JupiterResearch's methodology, visit or email to request a detailed methodology statement. For additional information on this report or JupiterResearch's Social Marketing research service, visit or contact Kieran Kelly, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Client Service, at 1-800-481-1212 or

About JupiterResearch

JupiterResearch provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business. The company helps online businesses make critical decisions about technology selection, spending, staffing, and Web site effectiveness; advises consumer-facing companies with online advertising, marketing, and customer service strategies to understand, attract, convert and retain customers; and guides technology vendors and service providers on market opportunity, positioning, product definition, and pricing. JupiterResearch is headquartered in New York City and has offices throughout the US and Europe. For more information, visit


buzz this