In the world of online marketing, few things are more respected than positive viral customer communication. As advertisements and posts with a high virality quotient can reach millions of readers using social media, your current customer base should be leveraged into your viral marketing campaign strategy. By understanding consumer behavior and the use of the product and/or service, companies can easily and inexpensively enlist existing customers into their viral marketing campaign. With relatively little effort, a successful customer viral marketing campaign can result in a high return on investment (ROI). Anyone involved in internet marketing or marketing training must understand that, while not fail-proof, all customer interactions have this potential.

To measure the success of this type of customer-centric viral marketing effort, it will help greatly to fully understand some of the important metrics of customer viral marketing analysis. Three of the most important metrics to consider are customer lifespan, viral cycle time and viral co-efficient.

Customer Lifespan

This metric refers to the complete length of time a customer uses your product. A service might have a very short lifespan, a consumable product could have a long or short lifespan, and tangible goods like clothing and tools may have a lifespan of years.  Viral marketing campaigns can be conducted throughout the customer lifespan, or when concerning a service, could be focused upon a very limited period. Products with longer customer lifespans offer more opportunities for viral marketing. Understanding consumer behavior and psychology is vital so companies know where and when to focus their viral marketing efforts.

Viral Cycle Time

This is the amount of time it takes your customer to communicate the value of your product to others in such a way that generates a visit to your website. A site visit is the only passive way to measure the effectiveness of what customers have been saying. Companies must be pro-active in order to collect this information, and techniques such as a referral field that appears at the point of sale are often helpful. Referrals can come in the form of actually purchasing a product as well as any contact with customer service, email queries and other company interactions that do not result in a direct conversion. Viral cycle times should be as short as possible, and writing good copy for chat and call-center operators can be a highly effective tool in this regard.

Viral Co-efficient

The viral co-efficient is measured by tying a referral to a conversion. In other words, a customer refers another person to your site and that visit converts to a sale. In theory there's no limit to the number of new customers a current customer could convert. This number is an indicator that tells you how effective your efforts have been. A low number tells you to put more effort into the viral cycle time, or address customer lifespan.

Companies using customer viral marketing campaigns are always looking for individuals who understand consumer behavior and psychology. Crafting effective messages, knowing when to ask for information and understanding the best way to handle customer service issues are very important to viral marketing efforts. The goal should be to create positive interactions that customers will remember and mention to their friends. Positive results come from understanding these metrics, especially customer lifespan and viral cycle time, and success can be measured by monitoring the viral co-efficient.

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