18.5.06

Viral Marketing Measures of Success: Reach vs. Conversion

I was sent the viral Fan Van game this afternoon which (as chaps might be able to see) is quite an entertaining and visually appealing distraction. It has been sent on already and has therefore fulfilled the viral element of the strategy. What I'm not so clear on is how effective it will be at getting people to generate revenue for the company involved. That company is P&O and the strategy for this viral must be for (men) to enter the competition to win a van and therefore supply them with significant volumes of client data or book their trip (and I guess the supposition is that this will be a trip to Germany 2006 via the P&O ferry route) through them. I'm not convinced a high percentage of viewers of this viral will actually do that.

By chance today Justin Kirby of Digital Media Communications writes in NMA (New Media Age) about how "Marketers must get creative for viral campaigns to succeed". He asserts a similar position: "...sadly success still seems to be judged simply in terms of reach rather than tangible business benefits, such as shifting product or increasing brand advocacy." I'd like to see the figures from this P&O viral, what was their reach, what was the uptake in sales and what was the increase in brand awareness. There's no question that the P&O viral is creative, but does it have longevity? I might forward this on but I'll have forgotten about it tomorrow and it'll have been deleted from my mail box. It's not something I'm going to revisit and, if it wasn't for the fact I'm writing this, I'm pretty sure I'd have forgotten who it was for. In fact, I'd heard about it from a friend before I got the email ... he described it as "the fan in a van thing" ... I searched in Google for "fan in a van" and it didn't appear. I typed "faninavan".com and .co.uk, it didn't appear. If I had wanted to look for this after i'd deleted the email I wouldn't have found it again.

In addition, is this sort of viral just a little too indiscriminate. Some will inevitably fall on stoney ground. Ok, so it will reach a core target audience of 17-35 year old men but will all of these have the sort of disposable income where they will be booking P&O trips? Will they be the sort of chaps that will want a van? This seems a bit of a broad-brush approach. But then, does this wastage matter on the web. At the end of the day, you don't HAVE to click and a video of nubile girls is unlikely to annoy many unwitting recipients in this demographic. I'd have much more confidence in the product/service shifting results of this viral if it had been effectively targetted and profiled.

Some additional Blog comment via Gordon's Republic.

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3 comments:

smorgasbord-design said...

A mindless bit of praise for this viral, praising its creativity but with no sense of its conversion efficacy. Well done Marketing Week, very insightful journalism...

Anonymous said...

absolute bollocks. AND they've completely ripped off the 'explore the van' bit from here http://www.beeneverywhere.com.au/flash.htm

smorgasbord-design said...

What a good spot, I'd not even clicked on the 'explore van' link ... doing so revealed at least some more useful stuff (guide book and so on) but to get to it you have to explore and I just doubt there are many blokes that will have done this. Why look in the glove box when sections like 'peep show' and 'download pictures of the girls' are more attractive propositions...