Marketing 2.0: Going “Viral”

Adapted from evolutionary biologist Dawkin’s concept for gene-centred evolution, the term “meme” in modern day society has come to represent “the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena” via the internet. A meme can be anything from a hyperlink to a video to even just a fad word or phrase intentionally misspelled or grammatically incorrect for internet use (ie: “epic fail”). With that said, it’s generally agreed that internet memes fall into one of six categories: self-promotion, inadvertent celebrity, urban rumors/ hoaxes, advertising, image editing and finally references to pop culture. Typically spread via social networking sites or chain emails, memes have become an increasingly important form of non-invasive viral marketing, particularly when it comes to creating “buzz” before the launch of a new product or service. This is for two main reasons: 1) They’re usually inexpensive to create 2) It is difficult to track their origin (therefore users may not realize they’re being marketed to) once they’ve gone “viral” While academics have taken strides to be able to predict the success, evolution and longevity of various memes, ultimately it remains hard to say what will catch on. Oftentimes however, humour and/or shock value play a key role. According to research, the majority of internet memes are spread by teenagers and those within their early 20s and 30s. Because this demographic is generally seasoned when it comes to computers and the world wide web, memes often change over time via commentary, imitations or parody. To learn more about how your small business in London, Ontario can take advantage of this new means of reaching mass audiences, contact one of our technical experts today at Inspiratica for a free consultation.