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Reaching consumers through a virus

Reaching consumers through a virus
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First Published: Tue, Jul 08 2008. 01 27 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 08 2008. 01 27 AM IST
Open Coffee Club
6 July, Bangalore
Last week’s Open Coffee Club in Bangalore was a theme meet, focused on viral marketing. Over 40 enthusiasts and 10 start-ups attended to figure out the best way to utilize this marketing tool.
Rashmi Vallabhajosyula, founder, Altius Consulting Ltd was the speaker of the day. Altius is a consulting firm that specializes in marketing strategy for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Viral marketing was defined as a tool that uses social networks to achieve marketing objectives by sending messages that replicate, like a virus.
According to Vallabhajosyula, there are several types of carriers in viral marketing: a sneezer is a person who spreads the message, a promiscuous sneezer, is a person paid to spread it. Powerful sneezers cannot be bought, but it is difficult to predict what will motivate them. One example used to illustrate an early viral marketing success was Hotmail, which gained popularity after it inserted the message “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com” below every mail sent by an existing user.
Meera K., editor and co-founder of Citizen Matters.in—a Bangalore focused and citizen-oriented news publication—asked what the role of founders should be in marketing, and who should ideally do the job. The speaker replied that all founders should behave like the chief marketing officer in order to bridge the gap between the customers and the product.
After her interactive talk, Vallabhajosyula addressed specific queries in a quick on-the-spot workshop manner. The start-ups were a mixed bag comprising a clinical software product company, hardware play box for children, apparel makers and an intellectual property services firm.
Sukirti Shelley works with Bangalore-based Altius Consulting. This was her second OCC meet.
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First Published: Tue, Jul 08 2008. 01 27 AM IST