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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.0  Introduction

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This chapter will gives an overview about viral marketing on food related contents in Facebook and how the young adults use it as a platform for them to go to that particular food establishment. This chapter also will includes the problem statement, objectives and research questions. Moreover, the significances of this study are determined regarding on the application and effectiveness of the viral marketing in Facebook towards food establishment and also amongst young adults in Selangor.

1.1  Background of Study

Every business wants to grow and also develop their business to get a strong customer base. Marketing is one of the main keys to achieve growth. Before the advent of Web 2.0, traders or sellers relied on traditional marketing such as flyers, billboards, newsletters, newspaper prints ads, television commercial, radio ads and etc. In this modern era, this way of marketing is said to be no longer efficient because of the high competition in business. In addition, traditional marketing methods use a lot of time and cost. Thus, traders or sellers have used social media as a marketing medium since they existed. Web-based social networking or social media is a progression of sites and applications made to enable users to share data and substance rapidly, effectively and continuously. Most users these days characterize online networking as an application in their devices, however truth be told, this communication tool has begun with computers. The best platform of social media for advertising are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Traders or seller use these social media because they can target their products or services through a wider medium to the public. All social media marketing can be tracked, altered and adjusted over time, based on the public’s response as well as your own observations. In addition, social media users can also interact with each other and also provide feedback directly to the food service establishment as well as the customers. Social media are the “group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content” (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2011; Chu, 2011). There is ongoing battle between offline and online marketing. However, both are useful as long as we understand limitations.

The use of social media as a platform for marketing has created a phenomenon called consumer-generated media that promotes interaction among users. This phenomenon has created viral marketing and E-WOM (Electronic word of mouth) become a tool in empowering the viral marketing. Basically, this viral marketing is one of the ways in which marketing is encouraging the spread of advertising online through social media users. So, when a post has features that interest the users, they are likely to share the post with others on their social media. Basically, viral marketing was introduced in 1997 when the founders of Hotmail, Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson found the idea to include the ‘Get your FREE Web-based email …’ message and URL the bottom of every Hotmail sent. At first they were a bit worried because consumers might think it was spam, but their assumption was wrong, because the opposite thing happened. They have registered users average for one million within less than 6 months from the launch. From that, they decide to use the term ‘viral’ because they feel it is best to describe this infectious spread of the Hotmail word.

 

Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper (Knight, 1999) first used the term viral promoting in 1997. The term depicts any methodology that urges people to pass on a showcasing message to others, making the potential for exponential development in the message’s presentation and impact. Like infections, such methodologies exploit fast duplication to detonate the message to thousands, in fact millions (Kirby and Marsden, 2006). Right now, be that as it may, an absence of accord exists concerning any reasonable meaning of what viral showcasing is. While for a few, viral promoting alludes to verbal (WOM) correspondence whereby certain individuals converse with others about a specific item or administration (Phelps et al., 2004; Rosen, 2000), for others, viral advertising contrasts from WOM correspondence in that the individuals who make the infection have a personal stake in connecting with, selecting or contacting particular people in the net. Put in an unexpected way, the estimation of the infection for the individual who initially spreads it is straightforwardly identified with the quantity of different clients the infection draws in (Modzelewski, 2000). In this manner viral promoting is advertising connected to WOM (Gruen, Osmonbekov, and Czaplewski, 2006), at the end of the day, the utilization of WOM as an instrument to disperse the showcasing effort (thus the term buzz showcasing which is likewise used to portray it). It is along these lines important to blend informal exchange with organize impact hypotheses. Vilpponen et al. (2006) characterize viral promoting as verbal correspondence in circumstances where positive system impacts win and where the part of the influencer is dynamic because of positive system impacts, a viewpoint that the ebb and flow inquire about offers. Put in an unexpected way, the constructive outcome of the system is in confirm not just on the grounds that the message contacts a more extensive gathering of people and spreads at a more prominent speed yet in addition in light of the fact that the reaction among people is more constructive. In an influential correspondence setting, an ideal demeanor towards the source or individual passing on the message, or essentially a learning thereof, is reflected in a more noteworthy receptivity thereto, with the end goal that we discuss the duplicating impacts in the viability of viral correspondence. In the event that we add to this the way that in viral correspondence it is people who expect the ”cost” of spreading the battle or message, the marvel winds up plainly one of colossal enthusiasm to firms. However, notwithstanding assessing the constructive outcomes of the net, there is still an awesome arrangement to be learnt concerning the particular impacts engaged with the sending and sending of viral messages, a hole which we mean to fill to a limited extent through the present research.           

Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper (Knight, 1999) first coined the term viral marketing in 1997. The term describes any strategy that encourages individuals 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, indeed millions (Kirby & Marsden, 2006). At the present time, however, a lack of consensus exists concerning any clear definition of what viral marketing is. Whereas for some, viral marketing refers to word-of-mouth (WOM) communication whereby certain people talk to others about a particular product or service (Phelps et al., 2004; Rosen, 2000), for others viral marketing differs from WOM communication in that those who create the virus have a vested interest in engaging, recruiting or reaching specific individuals in the net. Put differently, the value of the virus for the person who originally spreads it is directly related to the number of other users the virus attracts (Modzelewski, 2000). Therefore viral marketing is marketing applied to WOM (Gruen, Osmonbekov, & Czaplewski, 2006), in other words, the use of WOM as a tool to disseminate the marketing campaign (hence the term buzz marketing which is also used to describe it). It is thus necessary to merge word-of-mouth with network effect theories. Vilpponen et al. (2006) define viral marketing as word-of-mouth communication in situations where positive network effects prevail and where the role of the influencer is active due to positive network effects, a standpoint that the current research shares. Put differently, the positive effect of the network is in evidence not only because the message reaches a wider audience and spreads at a greater speed but also because the response amongst individuals is more positive. In a persuasive communication context, a favorable attitude towards the source or person passing on the message, or simply a knowledge thereof, is reflected in a greater receptivity thereto, such that we speak of the multiplying effects in the efficacy of viral communication. If we add to this the fact that in viral communication it is individuals who assume the ”cost” of spreading the campaign or message, the phenomenon becomes one of enormous interest to firms. Yet, even taking account of the positive effects of the net, there is still a great deal to be learnt concerning the specific effects involved in the sending and forwarding of viral messages, a gap which we aim to fill in part through the present research.

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