1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Mass marketing techniques have dominated the marketing strategies implemented by companies worldwide. Media such as radio, television, newspapers, direct mail etc. were the one’s carryout the message to the larger audience. Progressively, new methods have been implemented and the rapid growth of the “word of mouth Communication” opened new marketing possibilities for businesses, masses can be reached faster and more efficiently. The digital media capabilities can help business to spread “Viral Messages” to the mass market.
Partially it is the combination of the internet and word of mouth communication and modern technologies like chatroom, forums, instant messaging applications, blogs, file transfer and social networks, that enables messages to spread faster and more exponentially than ever before. Viral marketing which combines the use of passing information through the internet and passing information through the “Word of Mouth” is an effective communication method. Moreover, viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals by using digital media to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence; like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands to millions (Kirby & Marsden, 2006).
The definition for this type of marketing given by Kirby and Marsden (2006, P. 17) says that viral marketing is the “promotion of company or its products and services through a persuasive messaged designed to spread, typically online, from person to person”.
Scot (2007) argues that the frustration of relying only on the expensive advertising traditional advertising techniques to deliver organization’s messages is long gone. They have ….. a decline in effectiveness when it come to mass marketing. Major reason for this is to enhance commercial pressure which people are experiencing on an everyday basis (Kotler and Keller). Of course, traditional advertising techniques are skill very important but more and more marketers and business will turn into using viral marketing e.g web more frequently to contact the world directly.
One of the earliest use of the term “Viral Marketing” takes us to the year 1989 in which in PC user magazine an article about the adoption of Macintosh SE’s versus company’s mentioned this term and concepts; it’s Viral Marketing you get one or two (people) in and they spread (the message) throughout the company. (Kirby & Marsden 2006. P. 89). The term crapped up again in 1996 and 1997. Eventually business realized the great potential viral marketing had, and it started to be used widely. The situational variation comes as a change in mood at hand, which can change the consumers choice of take. Marketing require a calculated and planned orientation with best blend and effective marketing performance to know what, who, where and how to tackle this situation for its growth.
The achievement of the goals require a team of staff members who are zealous enthusiasts, good spirited with positive attitude and thinking. Besides, marketing starts with the identification of the need of the customers and not selling of goods or services, hence there should be coordinated effort in embarking on viral marketing. Marketing of products and services is not just seeing the services from the eyes of the manufacturing industry but also letting people know about such products or services invoke.
Manufacturing industries do not only compete with each other but also have to content with challenge from other manufacturing industries in the marketers. To do this successfully, marketers need in improving performance. A business man once said that “out aim goes beyond satisfying the customers” the companies are established to make profit and it will only achieve this, if it satisfies its customers need better than its competitors. Viral marketing spreads information very fast with the use of viral marketing by sub-miller Plc will not only boost their sales but also a greater advantage over its competitors.
Some academic researches have investigated empirically in which manner decisions of viral marketing are applied, how its effectiveness is measured and the implication of these decision on the ride of the management and for the people within the organization but has not satisfactorily evaluated the impact of viral marketing on brand preference of hero larger beer through coordinated efforts, customers focus and relational behaviour, brand performance, competitive advantage, thus the success and differential advantages in viral marketing could be attained when an organizations can determine the need and wants of the customer and direct its effects towards those needs and wants, Olujide, J.O et al, (2004).
From the foregoing, this research work is designed to examine the “Impact of viral marketing in Brand performance of Hero Larger Beer”.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Marketers are realizing that ‘word of mouth communication is not an information source for the customer but rather a marketing engine, which is allowing the customer to actually interact with the brand. It is essential to plan carefully how the online marketing should be done, who should spread the word, and what kind of message should the world hear about your organization, it is definitely a very rewarding one. Viral marketing essentially when used as an integrated rather than isolated approach can both improve brand advocacy and increase mass – market brand preference. Moreover, it can achieve those objectives very cost-effective, even if brand, product, or service has no stand out, buzz worthy characteristics.
Brand preference research has been investigated over the years and has intensified as products with similar attributes becomes more proliferated in the market place. Marketing is a difficult and problematic undertaking for beer companies due to the sack of marketing skills and financial resources.
All the problems related to the marketing have the reason behind. Creation of higher brand preference is not often a clearly stated goal when determining a company’s marketing budget, but it is skill a larger companies want to attain.
In other for hero larger beer to survive, their main focus is on generating turnover, therefore a company’s attention is directed towards sales, and to stimulate them as much as possible. The motivation of this study is therefore to address the lack of research focused on the use of viral marketing on hero larger beer to increase the brand preference.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is centered on the impact of viral marketing on brand preference of hero larger beer.
Others specific objectives are:
To find out the role of viral marketing through customer focus on brand preference of hero larger beer.
To ascertain the effect of viral marketing through relational behaviour on brand performance of hero larger beer.
To establish the impact of viral marketing through a coordinated effort on competitive advantage.
To find out the impact of viral marketing on an organizations competitive advantage.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Given the objectives of the study above, the following research questions were thus formulated to guide the study:
i. What is the role of viral marketing through customer focus on brand preference of hero larger beer?
ii. How can viral marketing through relational behaviour affect brand performance of hero larger beer?
Does viral marketing through a coordinated effort affect competitive advantage?
iv. What is the impact of viral marketing on an organization’s competitive advantage?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
From the research questions above this study will be anchored on the following hypotheses.
Ho1: There is no relationship between customer focus and band preference
Ho2: There is no statistically significant relationship between relational behaviour and band performance.
Ho3: There is no relationship between coordinated effort and competitive advantage.
Ho4: There is no statistically significant relationship between viral marketing and organization’s competitive advantage.