ROI of Viral Marketing

Seth Godin pens a classic blog post that questions the effectiveness of “viral marketing”. And, while doing so, he raises an important challenge that bedevils marketers who create social media.

We create content that is hampered or selfish or boring. Or we create something completely viral that doesn’t do any marketing at all.

He’s absolutely right!

Something being viral is not, in an of itself, viral marketing. Who cares that 32,000,000 people saw your stupid video? It didn’t market you or your business in a tangible, useful way.

So, what is? A truly viral Product. Eureka!

If you want to do viral marketing, you can try to come up with a viral ad, but you’ll probably fail. You’re better off building the viral right into the product, creating a product that spreads because you designed it that way.

I couldn’t agree more. It actually reminds me of Guy’s mantra on evangelism being intrinsically tied to the worth of the product itself.

The starting point of evangelism is having a great thing to evangelize. It is a product or service that improves the lives of people, ends bad things, or perpetuates good things. It is not simply an exchange of things/services for money.

In your minds, as a marketer, what is the true ROI on virality? Have you worked on campaigns that involved viral marketing. How did you measure success and what were your goals/metrics? Feel free to share.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



  1. Ben Cogan

    Viral is effective because it’s considered a word to mouth form a friend or acquaintance reliable recommendation and not seams to be a sale made by
    the product/service owner.
    That boost the effectivness of the campaign in 100’s percents more and get’s much more exposure.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com