|Keywords:||Viral Marketing; Brand Awareness; Impact of Viral Marketing on SMEs; Social Sciences; Economics and Business; Samhällsvetenskap; Ekonomi och näringsliv; SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP; Ekonomi; IHH, Företagsekonomi; IHH, Business Administration|
|Full text PDF:||http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-9639|
<strong>Introduction:</strong> Mass marketing techniques have dominated the marketing strategies implemented by companies worldwide. Media such as radio, television, newspapers, direct mail etc. were the ones carrying out the message to the large audience. The rapid growth of digital media opened new marketing possibilities for businesses, now the masses can be reached faster and more efficiently. The digital media capabilities can help businesses to spread viral messages to the mass market; like viruses. It is very powerful technique to be used to increase brand awareness of the organization. <strong>Problem:</strong> As Berthon, Ewing and Napoli (2008) stated in their work that the band awareness literature has focused almost only on large multinational brands, where SMEs were not taken into consideration. Therefore, it is interesting in current study to address the lack of research focused on the use of viral marketing by SMEs to increase their brand awareness. Thus this thesis aims to fulfill this gap in the academic research. <strong>Purpose:</strong> The purpose of the thesis is to investigate how Small and Medium-size Enterprises use Viral Marketing and what impact it has on their brand awareness, moreover, thesis also aims to identify how SMEs create successful Viral Marketing campaign. <strong>Method:</strong> The empirical data was collected through three interviewa with the CEOs and owners of organizations located in USA, Belgium and Sweden. There were two phone interviews with representatives of USA and Belgium companies and one face-to-face interview with the respondent from Swedish company. <strong>Frame of Reference:</strong> Frame of references used in this thesis consists of theories regarding Viral Marketing, Branding and Brand Awareness. The authors have summarized the frame of reference by developing a model that integrates viral marketing and brand awareness. The model will help us out when formulating questions and when analyzing the empirical findings. <strong>Conclusion:</strong> The authors have come to the conclusion that viral marketing does have an effect on brand awareness, but to different extend for different SMEs. In some SMEs the increased brand awareness is more clear and can be seen immediately, such as increased sales, increased frequency on the webpage and billions of viewers on their video campaign on Youtube, while others only got more friends on Facebook and small increase in sales then before the viral marketing campaign. This study points out that SMEs need to implement as many strategies as possible (slogan, jingle, symbols, slogan), but that is not enough. They also need to be unique, creative and clever when implementing a viral marketing campaign.