Golden Ticket Viral Marketing





The guys at carsonified have come up with a great online marketing campaign for their series of conferences, Future of Web Apps, Future of Web Design, Future of Mobile and Fuel.

Basically they want people to hear about their conferences through other peoples efforts to “advertise” on their blogs and generating comments. See here for the competition.


It got me thinking about mobile viral marketing. How can mobile services improve on what already exists for online campaigns.

What we need is the operators to expose the how messages are sent through their networks.

The idea would be that anyone can submit a message to the operator marked as a viral message, this could be an advertiser, individual, blogger etc. The message is submitted through an interface which allows the operator to track when the viral message is forwarded.

The operator provides an interface to view the statistics associated with your message, you can see how many times the message was forwarded, you could match this up with actual click through on your mobile site received from sending the message.


This type of mobile viral marketing would be well suited to MMS, no need to trawl through the 100’s of millions of SMS just the few million MMS per day to provide the info, wouldn’t even need be real time. MMS would be well suited to containing advertising / marketing messages with its image and video capability.


Now I am being really optimistic but how great would it be if the operators worked together so that the way the messages were traced was consistent across all networks so you could tell from the outside when messages are sent from one network to another.


I think this technology would be extremely useful for the charity sector as well. Most causes, world wide events are spread virally, if there were a method of sending the message out and tracking its success and reach the larger charities would be very interested.


There are some companies out there with solutions for the operators to make this happen. Vantrix, Mobixell and Amethon all have products which provide the trace through the networks messaging systems and provide the stats.

Let me know what you think of the opportunity for mobile viral marketing, remember I need 25 comments to be entered into the draw for the carsonified prize.




28 responses to “Golden Ticket Viral Marketing

  1. The biggest problem with viral marketing is its lack of measurability and demographic targetting.

    I can’t think of one genuine viral campaign that has been an enormous success, in fact it’s normally the spoof campaigns – email Sainsburys/Tesco/ASDA and they’ll send you a voucher for £100 etc that generate the most interest.

    I received an email recently imploring me to download a “lucky leprechaun”, the testimonials stated that everyone else who had downloaded it had gone on to amass great fortunes. Temping as it was, I decided not to go ahead with the download.

    Most of the content in these campaigns is at best, inane and I just cannot think that anyone in their right mind is influenced by it.

    Please pass this blog post onto ten of your friends, if you don’t the credit crunch will continue forever and your hair will turn ginger.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Amethon is working with a number of operators around the world to analyse and track viral MMS marketing campaigns with our Content Fingerprinting solution.

    We are seeing some great results with 25%+ response rates, especially with some key demographic groups.

    The key benefit of viral MMS campaigns include:
    – An MMS is very easy to forward through most handsets
    – An MMS can provide a far richer experience (including branding) compared with SMS
    – Recipients are far more likely to open and engage with an MMS sent by a friend compared with ‘broadcast’ marketing campaigns

    Michael Stone
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amethon Solutions

  3. hi Chris. Like the Viral idea. Good luck,.


  4. Hi Chris,

    I agree with Mark – “viral marketing” can be such an overused term. Easy to say, but nearly impossible to achieve. To give it the best shot, it goes back to understanding basic customer needs and setting clear and measurable objectives. As for MMS, you and I have often not seen eye-to-eye, especially P-2-P MMS! Maybe MT-MMS will be of more benefit for specific ideas, but I’m still to be convinced of its merits

    Speak soon,

  5. thought provoking, hope your blog virals its way through to the networks

  6. Hi Chris

    An innovative approach, gets people thinking.

    I agree with the coments inn that there is acchallenge in showing a measurable benefit to the advertiser that their messge is reaching the target demographic and also providing some assurance to the end client of the wholesomeness of the content

    Maybe scope for some clever analytical tool?

  7. Hey Chris,

    Interesting idea, but I’m not convinced MMS is the way to do it. Tracking Viral is a great idea though and regardless of which medium, your idea seems sound.

    Speak soon!

  8. Hi Chris, as you know I’m a fan of this viral marketing stuff though it’s taking a while to actully happen for many reasons. Maybe driving it with Charities will be an incentive for it to go cross-network which would of course make it truly viral.


  9. Gosh you’re clever

  10. Sounds Good.


  11. Thomas Corkindale

    Good work, by the sounds of it. I like the way people in some fields seem unusually open to looking at this sort of strategy (where most would be too cynical). Hope this continues to generate interest.

  12. Hi Chris,

    “viral marketing” makes me thing of a disease. I don’t believe it will ever take off, so good luck, you will need it.



  13. Interesting concepts. Best of luck.

  14. Interesting idea… Just wondering what it would take for operators to agree on a way to exchange the data. How would you reward them? LEtting them sell the data to the message originators?

  15. Chris,

    Viral markering is taking a long time to pick up, but ultimately it makes a lot of sense for advertisers. It will really rely on the advertisers creaing content that people will want to share with their circle. If it’s not cool they won’t want to send it.


  16. Great blog, very interesting ad good luck! 🙂

  17. Great blog, very interesting and good luck! 🙂

  18. Great Post, The way in which Carsonified succed here, is their costs are minimal, by implementing MMS / SMS technologies they are raising the costs of their marketing.

    Also by using the blogging, they are receiving more track-back links, which in turn empowers their key words/phrases. SEM wise this is a smart move, they are gathering more links with their desired keywords and phrases such as FOWA, FOM, FOWD, Carsonified, Carson, Bath etc… without having to pay for them.

    Best of Luck with the competition, you now have 19 comments 😀 Could you please leave a comment over on my blog post, on my site. Thanks.

  19. Fair enough, here’s a +1, good luck!

  20. A comment for a comment 😉 You’re getting close!

  21. It would be a useful tool. Nice idea.

    But even if you can get the technology in place you still have to get the marketing right in order to have something viral to track.

    Good luck.

  22. Viral effect is a key measurement of any successful marketing campaign. In today’s saturated media world, brands and products must be significantly contagious to succeed. This often happens without people realising they are doing it. Just look at the viral nature of the Cadbury’s Gorrila campaign.

  23. Hello Chris,

    I hope all of us go to Carsonified in some way and meet each other there as well.

  24. Viral marketing is a great way of cheap advertising, but as with all things someone has to pay for it in the end, do you think the end user will be interested in sending on a message if they realise it will cost them money?

  25. Cheeky. Here’s your comment moocher!

  26. Good luck!! I’m in, too. Please drop by if you would like to return the favor (and leave a comment on my blog). Thanks a lot. Cheers, Chris

  27. Hi Chris
    What a great initiative
    Ali P

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