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DIGITAL MARKETING: Quest for the holy viral

Cost-effectiveness, freshness, measurability and clear ROI - campaign qualities marketers are searching for during the turbulence of the credit crunch. While any channel can be touted for its flaws and merits, many are lauding viral marketing as the holy grail - campaigns so effective, they seed themselves - a cheap solution for trying times.

Consequently, the B2B arena has been infected with a rash of viral initiatives, with brands such as Google, Microsoft, Capgemini, IBM, UPS, Nortel, Siemens Medical Solutions and SAS (to name but a few) jumping on the viral bandwagon.

While successful campaigns can see as many as half a million hits and 100:1 ROI, those that crash and burn can have calamitous consequences for brands. With stakes set high in the current climate, B2B marketers must ask - could viral marketing be their credit crunch solution?