Viral Marketing versus Word of Mouth : What's the difference

I came across this interesting piece in Forbes which talks about that common confusion between Word of Mouth Marketing and Viral marketing. ...

I came across this interesting piece in Forbes which talks about that common confusion between Word of Mouth Marketing and Viral marketing. Many people think the word "viral" is interchangeable with "word of mouth"--implying that the product or service is so good that people are compelled to talk it up with their friends. However there is a subtle difference and it is explained by Roelof Botha a VC who played an integral part in the building of two of the most successful Internet companies of all time: YouTube and PayPal. According to him
"Word of mouth is when I tell you to shop on Zappos because I think the service is great," explains Botha. "It becomes viral when you have to be ‘in the system’ to use it. For example I can post a video on YouTube but then you would need to go to the site in order to see it."
A truly viral business is "like a disease," says Botha. "It needs to be transmitted from one person to another"--and the other person has to catch it. Once the next person catches it, he or she becomes a carrier too.

What about you what do you say ??
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2 comments

Nilesh Trivedi said...

On a related note, here is my post about simulating and modeling word of mouth effect in context of new product adoption. Hope you find it interesting.

cheers
nilesh

Abhishek said...

interesting stuff there Nilesh but you have put a cummulative sales at a peak but it is likely to fall after sometime also

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