Marketing of any service or product is considered the pivotal element to increase the sale of that underlying offering. In this regards, viral marketing is one of the effective modes of marketing communication. Viral marketing focuses on the social networks or internet users to spread their information about the existing product or service as well as the brand positioning by adding new products. The targeted population in this mode of marketing are regular users of internet and social sites like Facebook, or any ecommerce websites/pages (Grewal & Levy, 2011).
Media of viral marketing - Various websites pages, apps, mails, messages, video or audio clips, games and eBooks are most popular medium of viral marketing in the commercial world.
Methods of viral marketing - E-polling services, SEO, radio, web search engines, and advertisement or so on are the various methods of viral marketing.
It is essential to determine the various factors related to the viral marketing and the crucial impact on the decision of the customer about buying or availing the service. The topic adopted in this research study is “Major impacts of viral marketing on the customer’s decision making activity”. The main intention is to find the relation of viral marketing with the customer intention of making a purchase (Kerin, Hartley & Rudelius, 2011).
The main research questions which would be addressed by the researcher at the end of the research work with the help of analysis, expected results, recommendations are highlighted below (Jolibert, 2012).
What is the extent of the ties between the customer decision making ability and viral marketing and its comparison with other forms of traditional marketing?
What are the major factors of the viral marketing in the regards of marketing communication that needs to be taken into consideration by the marketers?
Research Methodology and Techniques
In the process of research study, the researcher will plan a framework related to the research study. It includes usage of tools and techniques in order to collect the data and then examine to obtain the expected optimum outcomes. The data need to be gathered from several authentic sources to get the accurate result. The significant work schedule would be created in order to conduct the research work efficiently in terms of time and cost. Primary and secondary both type of data would be collected and examined with the help of qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis process. Also the theoretical view from literature would be taken into consideration to find the percentage variation in the current study work (Hillier, 2006).
This step includes the complete understanding of the research topic and their various aspects in order to determine the answer of basic research questions.
Literature Review and Background Study
The previous research outcomes along with their description are also examined by the researcher so that a variation can be drawn with the current research outcomes. This will provide the essential framework for the research study and also provide clarity with related to the viral marketing and their subsequently impacts on the decision making ability of the customers. The necessary theoretical views from the literature are also notified by the researcher for future reference (Lieberman et. al., 2011).
This step includes the preparation of the suitable research models to perform the research work. Various efficient and appropriate tools and practice were selected by the researcher to determine the impact of the viral marketing on the decision of the customer. The literature review description about the research study will provide a rough estimate to decide the suitable tools and method for current research study. (Mathematical model based on the literature review) (Hastie, Tibshirani & Friedman, 2001).
The selection of the appropriate research design is crucial for the research work, because this step of research study will provide indication of the expected expenditure in the terms of time, cost and effort for collecting the information and data for the research study. (Descriptive research design is selected) (Hillier, 2006).
Collection of Data
After selecting the suitable research design for the research study work, the next step is to collect the data and factors to support the research work. The source of the data collection should be authentic as it is preferable (Both primary and secondary data).
Analysis of the Data
Various techniques can be used on the part of the researcher to analyse the collected data and information. The quantitative and quantitative data analysis methods have been selected for the research study work. The imperative step is to express the data and outcomes into various forms like pie charts, tables, graphs in MS excel.(Both methods qualitative and quantitative has been adopted and MS excel to express the outcome and data) (Flick, 2015).
Possible Research Outcomes
The final step includes the preparation of a final report based on the evidences, analysis, suggestions and outcome of the research study work.
Data Collection and Analysis
For the primary data collection method researcher has adopted the questionnaire method by conducting survey in the procedure of descriptive research design. The questionnaire would be made on the basis of the research questions. The secondary data will be gathered from various sources like websites, articles, eBooks, newspapers or so on. The only requisite is the upgrade data of the secondary data sources. The sample size is selected as 75 people, which includes 50 young people (18-25 ages), 10 children (age from 15- 18), 15 people (25- 45 ages).These are the targeted population which are actively use the internet which is suitable to find the suggestion and questions and their perceptions about the viral marketing and their impact on the purchasing decision process. The collected data will be analysed based on the relation established on the basis of literature review and the data analysis methods. These methods are qualitative data analysis and quantitative data analysis. Various online and offline survey would be performed The various responses and suggestion swill help the researcher to define the number of variables. However, the numeric data (variables based on the responses) would be expressed in mathematics derivation and would express in terms of graphs, tables, pie charts, either in MS excel or in statistical tool like SPSS (as per the ease). The values of the qualitative data will be compared with the literature review’s value and possible conclusions would be expressed.
Expected Research Outcomes
This research study will provide an estimate about the impact of the viral marketing on the decision making activity of the customers. Using literature review, a comparison can be drawn with the other more traditional means. The expected figures from the collected data will provide information which would help the researcher to answer the research question and also for further research work. It will help to create various essential strategies to improve the mode and method of viral marketing and make it more effective and attract the customers towards the product or service (Hutt & Speh, 2013).
Grewal, D & Levy, M 2011, Marketing, 4th ed., McGraw Hill/Irwin, New York
Flick, U, 2015. Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project, Sage Publications, New York
Hastie, T, Tibshirani, R & Friedman, J 2001, The Elements of Statistical Learning, Springer Publications, New York
Hillier, F. 2006, Introduction to Operations Research, 4th eds. McGraw Hill Publications, New York
Hutt, M & Speh, T 2013, Business marketing management. 6th ed., Cengage Learning, Sydney
Jolibert, A 2012, Marketing management, 5th ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire
Kerin, R, Hartley, S & Rudelius, W 2011, Marketing, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York
Lieberman, FJ, Nag, B, Hiller, FS & Basu, P 2011, Introduction To Operations Research, 9th ed.,, Tata McGraw Hill Publishers, New Delhi