Long Love the Viral: How Love Marks Build Better Contagious Campaigns


So where is at, and what’s new in viral over the past say 6 months? Well, I know one thing, everyone seem to have got a whole lot busier, and every agency we see wants to add a viral WOM, buzz-dongle angle on to their campaigns.

From what started out as a small village industry into a global phenomena viral advertising has taken marketing departments and agencies by storm again this year. The rise in content creation is increasing at a high rate as brands start to see that they alone, with just an Internet connection and the right team can reach consumers directly, no need for those rusty old broadcast networks.

So agencies are lining up to offer more and more WOM, Viral advertising ideas as solid recommendations to the clients for budget. But the client’s are in a funny place, they are seeing traditional advertising models under performing, and they are being asked to commit bigger and bigger budgets to areas that look so young and widely unproven. It’s not much of a choice.

But we are seeing a sudden overwhelming willingness from agencies and clients to explore the potential of viral advertising. From a subject hardly heard of before 2 years ago, viral advertising is now well and truly entrenched as a concept in the minds of millions. In a way the concept is proving itself by way of self-example, spreading itself amongst its target market.

So what about building a brand using viral advertising?

Viral advertising is a discipline for creating love-marks. A love mark is basically something you love. It can be a car, a pair of jeans, a certain flavour even a colour, but you love them and you are expressly into them. Some say love-marks are the way forward after brands. If you’re a follower of this type of brand idea, this next paragraph is especially for you. If you need a more ROI focused argument, and deep brand waffle turns you over, you best skip this paragraph.

Lovemarks and Viral Advertising

Digital media devices have a distinct advantage when it comes to attention and how close they are to the user. The user must touch, hold, be next to the digital device to use it; they are personal. When we are “at one” with our technology devices we are open they are an extension of ourselves.

There for if a brand can find ways to deliver advertising through the digital devices, they will be able to actually touch the consumer physically, that’s an interesting concept, that will do as my definition of interactive advertising.

If you can actually get consumers to touch your brand, play with it, invest their time in it, they may — if you get the chemistry right, have a good product, that lives up to its promise — they will fall in love with your brand.

How do you measure viral campaign ROI?

So if you need real hard facts in your ROI report I’d advise you add in some sort of digital component, of fulfilment a call to action to ensure that you can track the success. Set targets; online often it’s physical ones such as the number of new customer sign ups, product sample requests, registrations etc.

The thing with digital content is it’s so easily traceable in terms of ROI. You can watch every online consumer interact with your advertising content, you know what they touch, how long they spend with your brand, and you can follow them through to a physical call to action, ideally an electronic sale.

It’s harder to tie digital advertising ROI up to offline sales, and I’d love to hear other industry people’s ideas on this. But in my experience, tying up online digital advertising activity to the overall effect on shelf sales nationally is a dark art of promo codes and lofty brand indexes.

Or maybe I’m missing something?


  1. Great tickler article Asa! I love how you positioned Viral in your article this morning. Loved it so much I blogged it on our Intelligence Biz Blog to spread the good word.

    Regarding the tie or connection between digital and offline; thus far the best method we’ve found invloves full integration of web analytics software communicating with CRM software. Given that users visit your Web site (lovin your stuff, right)fill-in a form or response of some type…sometime later the CRM software can make the connection.

    In this example, when a sales representative enters prospect or client data into the CRM database, it communicates with the web analytics to make the match with the person; who visited (responded)on the web site in the past. With the data matching up, we can go back to the web data to analyze the path where they came from, what pages they landed on, how long they stayed, how many time they returned etc..

    The biggest challenge is the current lack of integration (or ease of integration) between web analytics software and CRM software.

    The two packages we use are WebSideStory HBX analytics and Salesforce.com CRM. HBX has the capabilities required to match-up data with Salesforce and visa-versa.

    Best regards,


  2. I agree it is a problem trying to get everything talking to each other. Imagine what it’s lik etrying to track offline sales, oh what joy. Thank you for your valued contribution to this article Paul.


    Asa Bailey


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