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Viral marketing, defined by Wikipedia.org as " marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales)". This type of promotion can be seen on the myriad of networking sites. Some people, especially job seekers, use the internet to produce websites that showcase their resumes, references and accomplishments. Many businesses have attempted to do the same with limited success. The important question is, "Why?"
Magritte- Son of Man 1964
A simple question, with a simple answer. As stated by Shoshana Zuboff, "Most 'new' business concepts are simply self-referring. They do not move beyond the rules of a certain way of doing capitalism, and therefore they cannot possibly alter the problems they target." As Ms. Zuboff recently wrote in a recent BusinessWeek article, The Old Solutions are the New Problems, "The old rules taught you to ask, "What is my product or service, and how can I sell it to you?" ... The new rules ask, "Who are you? What do you need? How can I help?" This creates a dynamic of advocacy and mutual accountability. The more trust you build, the more value you release, and the more wealth you create."In essence, many businesses are simply using viral marketing techniques in the same way that they may have passed out fliers before- to anyone who makes eye contact. In today's economy, businesses, especially small businesses, simply do not have this luxury. In creating your marketing plan, spend careful attention to your niche. Properly defining who your customer is should serve as a general outline for your advertising. Further, marketing should be enhancing to your brand image, not deprecatory. Use your knowledge base to provide insight on a subject either directly or complementary to your product or service- this can be done via presentations at conferences or universities, writing freelance articles, etc. There is no one "blanket" answer. That's the point...