To gain a better understanding of WoM, its theory and practise, an overview will be provided to explain three models made by Kozinets et al. (2010). The shifts that have occurred within WoM will also be presented.
Kozinets et al. (2010) start by explaining one of the earliest models of WoM. This model is called the Organic Interconsumer Influence Model and demonstrates how interactions between consumers appear with the motivation to share a good or bad purchase experience. These consumer interactions occur without any direct promoting or measurement by marketers, instead it is motivated by the desire to share an experience.
When marketers develop innovative ideas and create advertising in an effective way, Kozinets et al. (2010) claim that, WoM will occur naturally. The second model, the Linear Marketer Influence Model (Kozinets et al., 2010), stresses the importance of reaching consumers with a strong influential power and therefore includes opinion leaders as an important aspect of WoM. In this model marketers are trying to identify the opinion leaders that are assumed to be faithful to the brand and
forward the right marketing message to other consumers.
The two earlier models of WoM were created before the use of Internet (Kozinets et al., 2010). Since the market constantly changes, marketing theories also need to be developed to better fit the market. With the availability of Internet, marketers gain new ways to inspire and monitor WoM in a way that was not possible before. Today marketers try to become more involved in the WoM process by actively managing it (Brown, Broderick & Lee, 2007). The third, so called, Network Coproduction Model (Kozinets et al., 2010), presented in Figure 1, shows how Internet makes it possible for marketers to use new tactics to directly target the consumer. Another characteristic of this model is how the marketing message and its meaning is shared between the consumer and that the flow of information is not only moving in one direction (Kozinets et al., 2010). Today when mentioning WoM, the concept often involves how consumers interact with each other and how companies can use Internet to develop value-creating activities (Brown et al., 2007).
There are several definitions of viral marketing and different authors have contributed to the subject. As mentioned, the term viral marketing was invented by Steve Juvertson and Tim Draper in 1997 and was used to describe the Hotmail phenomenon2. The authors define their concept as “Network-enhanced Word-of-Mouth”. More recently viral marketing has been described as an electronic development of WoM that occurs in online environments (Vilpponen, Winter & Sundqvist, 2006).
Researchers have compared the phenomenon of viral marketing to a biological virus due to its way of spreading from one person to another and how it can increase through every interaction (Welker, 2002). The term “Buzz-marketing” has been used in an attempt to summon the different definitions (Thomas, 2004). However, most researchers seem to agree that viral marketing has developed as an electronic form of WoM and it describes the spread of information from one person to another (Cruz & Fill, 2008).
1.2 Problem definition
2 Frame of Reference
2.2 Viral Marketing
2.3 Interactive campaigns and its measures
2.4 Emotional involvement as a measurement of effectiveness
2.5 Motivations for engaging in WoM
2.6 Motivational factors and the FIRO- based Mode
2.7 Summary of Frame of Reference
3 Research Method
3.1 Literature Review
3.2 Case study
3.3 Qualitative Research, Netnography and Interviews
3.4 Study Design
3.5 Validity and Reliability
3.6 Method for Analysing
3.7 Summary of Method
4.1 Case Description
4.2 Summary of Netnography1
4.3 Summary of Interviews .
4.4 Summary of Result
5.1 Internet Usage
5.2 Interactive Campaigns
5.5 Summary of Analysis
7 Critical Reflection and Suggestions for Further