Pacific B usiness R eview (International)

A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management Indexed With Web of Science(ESCI)
ISSN: 0974-438X
Impact factor (SJIF):8.603
RNI No.:RAJENG/2016/70346
Postal Reg. No.: RJ/UD/29-136/2017-2019
Editorial Board

Prof. B. P. Sharma
(Editor in Chief)

Dr. Khushbu Agarwal

Dr. Asha Galundia
(Circulation Manager)

Editorial Team

A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management

Viral Marketing Sustainability for Online Customers: A Theoretical Analysis and Future Direction


Monu Dihingia

Phd Scholar,

Amity Business school.

Expertise, year of research 2022,

Noida, UP


Dr. R. S. Rai

Director - Research, Planning & Statistical Services,

Director- IQAC,

Head-Quality Assurance and Enhancement,

Amity University,


Amity Business School, Noida

Orcid ID .


Dr. Jonardan Koner

Professor and Dean (I/C)- APNIR,

NICMAR University, Pune




Viral marketing (VM) is currently known as the viral marketing "holy grail.” Social networking is vying for a position in every aspect of our lives. New technology is transforming the landscape in which businesses operate. Digital technologies also greatly reduced information asymmetries between buyers and sellers. The examination of interactions between digital technology and environmental elements starts with a look at how consumer behaviour is changing as a result of proximity to a variety of online and mobile applications and devices. The science of online marketing has grown at an unprecedented rate since the dawn of the Internet age. A review of the literature base aids in categorising the topics studied and the fields that need to be researched further. This paper presents prior studies in the field of viral marketing and online customer behaviour. Between 1995 and 2019, 160 papers were reviewed; distributed in top marketing journals; and an analysis of important papers is presented. Viral marketing is a commercial strategy that sells a commodity across well-established social networks. Despite widespread scholarly and technical interest in viral marketing, the mechanisms that underpin successful viral marketing strategies remain poorly understood. The research on Viral Marketing and simulated environments is explored first, supplemented by a methodological context and, finally, managerial and theory- building ramifications. This paper is significant because it lays out the technique to be used in the future for online customer interaction using the Online Marketing platform, with a Model proposed.



Keywords:  Viral Marketing; Social Media; Word-of-Mouth (WOM); Customer Relationship Management (CRM); Brand Awareness, Sustainability




The promise of using the Internet as a marketing tool captivated early Internet era business managers, who believed that this medium would increase sales and operating performance (Hansen 1995; Westland and Au 1997). These believers argued that creating an online presence would help their customers by providing a shopping environment similar to that of a traditional brick-and- mortar shop (Jarvenpaa and Todd 1996). The advantages included providing consumers with 24 hours a day, removing geographic obstacles to reach new markets, and facilitating instant communication with customers. The forecast of an increase in internet purchasing evolved into a

collaboration between information technology specialists and marketing practitioners. Most people agree that computer technology experts were researching Internet technology and its benefits, while advertisers were concerned about how consumers utilised the technology. More marketing efforts arose as technologies progressed to sell products and services through the Internet (e.g. Bajpai et al, 2012; Bhagwat and Goutam, 2013; Erkan, 2014).


The term ‘viral marketing’ has grown in popularity in scholarly and practitioner circles over the last few decades. Viral marketing, first introduced by Knight (1999), has been examined in the context of numerous disciplines including advertising, marketing management, business, consumer behaviour and the service industry. Social media platforms represent a new place where people, organisations, and even governments can commercially, socially, politically, and educationally interact with each other and exchange information, thoughts, products, and services (Hawkins and Vel, 2013; Zhu and Chen, 2015; Alalwan et al, 2017). In the Business World, the advent of the Internet and customers' wish for a word in relation to a product or brand have transformed marketing experts into an alternative medium for the digital world. Via the internet, communication between people has completely changed and the sharing of their experience with a brand or product has become much simpler for clients. Viral marketing (VM) is currently regarded as the “holy grail” of digital marketing (Akpinar & Berger, 2017). The progress of the internet has given companies and social networks, such as online communities, the perfect example in recent years (Ozuem and Yllka Azemi, 2017). Since the internet is widely used, Word-of-Mouth marketing (WOM) has created a modern method of communication in marketing (Chen et el 2011). According to Kaplan and Haenlein (2011), VM results from the classic WOM, coupled with exponential growth and the use of social media. Rayport (1996) was one of the first to address VM in his article, “The Virus of Marketing.” According to Cruz and Fill (2008), the term VM was introduced by Jurvetson and


Draper in 1997 and defined as “network-supported word of mouth.” Hotmail, which used email as a distribution medium, was one of the pioneers in VM (Jurvetson, 2000). While Internet marketing is described as "the virtual shop where goods are marketed directly to the consumer” (Kiang et al. 2000, p.383), over the course of time, the possible communication channels of VM have expanded. This potential or breakthrough for technology is collectively referred to as viral marketing. In addition, social networking sites have a major impact on customer decision-making and behaviour. There are no brands on the social network platforms that proactively use digital networks for the targeted audience. Facebook (80%) and YouTube (94%) continue to dominate the generation of users 18-24 years old. This age segment heavily uses other social networks such as Snapchat (78%), Instagram (71%), and Twitter (45%), a study report by the Pew Research Centre (2018).

The customers and their brand ties are affected by different social networking types. A Fan group on Facebook, for instance, helps customers to talk with and communicate with each other directly and businesses improve the connection between their user and their clients via corporate blogs (Hennig- Thurau 2003; Jenny van Doorn et al, 2010). These online forums aim to improve the relationship between companies more and more (Kaplan & Haenlein 2009). For instance, companies may concentrate more on customer satisfaction through providing their consumers with immediate solutions through forums on consumer services. Social networking offers businesses various principles such as promoting communication with WOM (Chen et al 2011), increasing the brand popularity of their organisation (de Vries et al., 2012) and sharing information of the business context (Lu and Hsiao 2010).


Sustainable marketing is an important topic today because of the need to save the world for future generations as well as the need to support and integrate the economy, though analysts are still involved in brand equity and customer behaviour. Sustainability is a mainstream problem in an environment where energy must be protected, as demonstrated by the increasing interest in environmental issues (Vagasi Mária, 2004). Brand Products and Marketing are Being Shaped by Sustainability. Global trends are influencing how companies and influencers market, produce material, and grow goods. More marketers are joining the green bandwagon by creating goods and services that benefit both the world and people. While Martin and Schouten (2012, p2) defines Sustainability is: “the ability of a system to maintain or renew itself perpetually. And influencers are changing their perspectives on relationships in order to guarantee that their specific interests and identities are aligned in more than just a paying relationship contract. To analyse sustainable marketing and online customers, the theoretical paradigm of Sustainable Marketing, which is performed by Green Marketing, Social Marketing, and complemented by Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as theories of brand value and customer behaviour, is reviewed.


Green marketing, social marketing, and critical marketing will also help to promote sustainable marketing (Gordon et al., 2011). According to Gordon et al. (2011, p146), “Green Marketing creates and markets more efficient goods and services while integrating environmental activities into the marketing and business processes.” Social media harnesses the influence of both upstream and downstream marketing interventions to promote long-term action. Based on these ideas, the analytical structure of this research seeks to cover the literature on Sustainable Marketing, including Green Marketing, Social Marketing, and Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as the relationship between these methods and Online marketing and customer behaviour.


1.  Viral Marketing: A Concept


Viral marketing is a marketing technique that promotes people to spread a commodity or a marketing campaign through their social networks. It is a company strategy based largely on various social networking platforms and existing social media. The term 'viral marketing' was often used to apply to marketing strategies – marketing techniques that promote a commodity with little recognition of its placing on the market. The name applies to how consumers distribute product details in their social networks with other people such as a virus spreading from one human to another. Viral Marketing is a "marketing technique using the Internet, social networking, and technology, to allow people to participate in word-of-mouth, giving them a chance for exponential growth in the awareness and impact of the message," according to Mohr (2017). Viral marketing is a broad range of networking channels, from social media, mails, groups, journals, websites and other means of communication. Viral marketing definitions often unfold the virus analogy by considering which “disease vectors” (i.e. target consumers) are most susceptible to receiving or transmitting the virus (e.g. Ho and Demsey, 2010)

The definition of viral markets and examples show that advertisers may indeed use the ability to sell a good or service through interpersonal networks (De Bruyn & Lilien, 2008). Kumar et al. (2016) reports that one of the most important benefits of viral marketing is that, relative to traditional marketing, it is less costly to send advertising to consumers, where people in social media give more attention to the message content. The viral marketing message is influenced by variables such as sociality of the recipient or how he feels in talking to others about a specific object, emotion and, realistic meaning, according to Berger and Menon (2014). Online ads are a powerful marketing strategy that enables companies to create identities and to increase traffic (Song, 2001; Greer and Ferguson, 2011; Jung, 2017). Digital advertisement is more cost-effective for analysing ROI on ads in terms of outcomes and the calculation of effectiveness for dollars spent (Pepelnjak, 2008). Viral


publishing is one of the most popular forms of viral marketing, according to Dafonte-Gómez (2014, p199). Viral advertisement is mostly focused on the communication with others, particularly friends, where the effectiveness of the issue depends on clients, and thus consumers can share their advertising on their social network pages. Marketers will begin seeding their first letter with different forms of touch media like television, journals, daily news, and postal mails. However, the Internet is the most popular marketer of powerful viral advertisement posts, which are accessible at any time at a lower cost than TV and other media via personal computers, notebooks, tablets and mobile phones. Beneke (2015), who believes that the substance of a viral media campaign has to be emotionally attractive in order to achieve great popularity. Sometimes, since people don't use the word "viral," the following meaning is misused or mistaken. There are also Social Media websites (Facebook, Google, Google+, Linkedin), besides the mainstream social media websites (Word Press, Blogspot), the internet of sharing of videos (YouTube), open source encyclopaedia online (wikipedia), and the Internet of sharing of images (Flickr, Picasa) and microblogs ( Flickr, Twitter).



Elements of Viral Marketing Policy


The following relevant aspects of viral marketing are highlighted by Wilson (2012) as:



  • Have goods and services: Several viral media programmes, to draw interest, provide useful items or services;
  • Quick to transfer: The viral advertisement message has to be transmitted and replicated easily via e-mail, internet, graphics, or app update;


  • Scalability from small to very large: The propagation system needs to be fast from small to very large in order to propagate like wildfire;
  • Inspiration and behaviours: Clever viral media plans benefit from the universal motivation of the individual being;
  • Use the resources of others: the most innovative viral media plans use the resources of others to talk;
  • Current contact networks: A larger network of individuals, according to their place in society, may consist of hundreds or thousands of citizens.




Sustainability is examined from different perspectives in the marketing sector. Some authors


centred on environmental or green topics, while others concentrated on social issues. In addition, there are three aspects of sustainability: natural, social and fiscal. Emery (2012, p. 24) describes Sustainability Marketing as "a holistic strategy whose aim is to ensure that marketing policies and methods are clearly crafted to achieve a socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable, economically equal and profitable enterprise for the good of current and potential generations of consumers, workers, and community as a whole.” Fuller (1999, p. 4) defines Sustainability Marketing as “the method of designing, executing, and managing the production, pricing, marketing, and delivery of goods in a way that meets the following three criteria: (1) consumer expectations are met, (2) corporate priorities are met, and (3) the process is consistent with ecosystems.” Previous study examines and analyses green and environmental marketing (Polonsky, 1995; Camino 2007, Fraj-Andrés, 2008; Aragón-Correa, 1998; Buysse and Verbeke, 2003). The marketing strategy was often investigated from a societal point of view (Maignan et al., 2005). However, relatively few studies have shown an association between sustainable development and marketing campaign. In terms of the inherent benefits of viral marketing, negative consequences are observed, particularly where electronic suggestions are viewed as spam messages. Communications sent of high amplitude may be viewed as spam messages that are unsolicited. “Sustainability issues are modifying the relationship between business organizations and the business environment they exist in. The relationship between the business organization and the consumer is also changing and the sustainable marketer needs to learn how to address these situations in order to be successful.” (Emery, 2012, p. 7)

To explain how sustainable marketing impacts customer behaviour, one must first understand the idea of sustainable consumption, which, according to Martin and Schouten (2012), "is that which meets people's needs without jeopardising other people's capacity to satisfy their needs, either now or in the future [...] is that which meets the four requirements of a sustainable system.” Consumer behaviour, according to Martin and Schouten (2012), is described as the experiences and actions of people who purchase, use, and dispose of products and services. In order to enhance brand recognition among customers, sustainable marketing plays an evident part. Some environmental marketing strategies are willing to offer customers a premium for green goods (Garcia-Gallego and Georgantzis, 2011), knowing that quality is essential and understanding the brand is more desirable for them to use.

Online Customers judgement on having a product depends on Viral Mode of Marketing. Viral marketing means something from person to individual in the advertising of companies or goods. Zarella (2010) defines the objectives of viral marketing as an appeal for the customers, raises consumer satisfaction and brand recognition. With too many internet marketing software accessible,


it is challenging to choose which tool helps you to maximise benefit. In all respects, viral marketing makes a huge contribution when it uses relative simplicity. Both advertisers who have successfully used the virus in their companies have tremendous advantages to sell. They also confesses that its business has actually exponentially increased with the traffic and rising profits. The success in viral marketing resides in its creation, which makes it much more appealing, in line with the needs of consumers. It contributes to creating a true consumer list. If a pleased consumer proposes the goods to another individual and a third person, viral marketing helps create the list of customers, which ultimately decides how popular a company is. This growing client list contributes to the company's accelerated development. The increasing profitability of the business' growth map is the same as the favourable feedback from one contested consumer to the next. Invest just a while in creating efficient viral media methods. The maintenance of continued interest in the Web site is only supported by special forums, apps and games and only if a possible buyer pleased with the goods.


Problem Statement and Study Objectives


For both Practitioners and academicians, viral marketing has become a phenomenon; therefore, previous viral marketing research explored variables that influence customer purchasing intentions. Since the dominance of the Internet and social networking would not diminish throughout the coming years, understanding social media and its relevance and influence on online customers is critical for every organisation (e.g. Teo, 2002; Kotler, 2007). As a result, the aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of internet marketing, its technologies, and its long-term viability, with the following goal in mind: Examine the work done in the area of impact of social media on online behaviour and its long-term viability in terms of online consumer experience. In analysing the literature, the researcher attempted to identify research shortcomings and requirements, as well as to discuss a research strategy that stimulates research to progress (Webster and Watson 2002).


The study marches further with Three Objectives, viz:



  1. To Review the work undertaken, in the area of Viral Marketing and Online Customers;


  1. To Identify the main themes and patterns;


  1. To explore further areas of work in Viral Marketing and Online Customers, further research based on the gaps or opportunity.




The focus of this study on Internet marketing research is to first classify patterns in the literature related to the study scope. The author performed a literature review in three stages in order to analyse the existing state of Viral Marketing and Online Customers. Stage 1, collected a representative pool of publications, stage 2, by process of research, and stage 3, by topic of research, as research subjects based on the objective of the present study. In order to look for study article focusing on Viral Marketing, Sustainability and Online Customers, the study used Thomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS) citing database, and Google Scholar. Based on: (a) the list of the top-ranked publications (Annexure 1), (b) a particular time frame and (c) main search keywords (Annexure 2), search parameters were limited. In stage 2, each article was analysed and classified in accordance with its analysis strategy until the researcher selected the items for the final data pool. While final inclusion for review, papers focused on Viral Marketing, Online Customers and buying behaviour were included.

Evolution of Sustainability in Marketing


With the course over time, marketing has often changed. Five principles examined the progression of marketing: concept of growth, concept of commodity, sales concept, concept of marketing and concept of company marketing. These ideals were the basis behind all marketing activities (e.g. . Polonsky, 1995; Vagasi Mária, 2004; Charter et al, 2006). The theory of production was that more was created at a cheaper cost to meet unmet demands. In contrast, the assumption that products are decent results and new functionalities is confirmed by consumers. The theory of sales is focused on vigorous marketing and sales. By the middle of the 20th century, a consumer-centered strategy had developed into a marketing model. It considers that marketing activities must concentrate on creating, interacting and offering special customers superior value. The theory of corporate marketing arose and based on social and ethical issues of marketing practises (Kotler, 2007). However, it is now time to incorporate principles of sustainability into the pressing marketing sector. Companies should bear in mind that sustainability is no longer an option (Charter et al., 2006). It used to be an alternative, but companies now have a strategic edge to achieve. This is fundamentally a corporate imperative because the concept of marketing is no longer restricted to intra-personal and interpersonal needs (Dam and Apeldoorn, 1996). Marketing evolves to address the needs of future generations, which include sustainable consumer growth, communication and valuation. One may say that the marketing campaign of a business has to be integrated, so that the


interests of consumers can be fulfilled and profitable, and public interest and environmental protection ensured (Aragon-Correa, 1998; Vagasi, 2004).

Review of the work


Viral marketing has generated a lot of excitement as studies have shown the results Viral Marketing produces in terms of Online Customers number growth. We're also conscious that marketing is transitioning from a world in which advertisers can use mainstream media to talk directly to audiences to one in which marketers are merely part of the audience themselves. TV, television, print, and other one-way interruptive marketing methods are rapidly losing their effectiveness. Businesses invest a lot of money on public communications. Indeed, global advertising consumption is projected to increase to $2.1 trillion in 2019, up from $1.6 trillion in 2014 (Amy Gallo, HBR, July, 25, 2017). Is all of the capital well spent? And, most importantly, does advertisement work or is it Viral Marketing approach the way forward? Marketing ROI research work may assist in answering these concerns, and an attempt is made in the present study to review the work on Viral Marketing and Online customers, and how has the journey benefited the trend.


Table 1: Studies investigating the social media ads related issues



Sl. N



Data     Collection Toolsuses

Factors Analyzed

Target ed platfor



Taylor     et     al.


Congruity     with     the     self-brand,




influence    by    peers,     knowledge,

YouTube, and



entertainment, quality of life, the




structural era, invasion, privacy, and







Yang     et      al.

Survey questionnaire

User      experiences,      mobile      ad




behaviours,       mobile       technology




acceptance,       technology-       based




assessments,         reputation         and







Duffett (2015)


Access, length of use, frequency





structured questionnaires

log,    period   login,    incidence          of profile   updates,   sex,          age, ethnic

group and intention to buy



Jung (2016)




The perceived value of ads, information,               entertainment, promotional incentives, influence among peers, invasiveness, privacy, publicity and the

behavioural aim.



Lin    and    Kim (2016)

Survey questionnaire

Concerns about creativity, anonymity, perceived accessibility, easy use, promotional attitudes and buying intentions Data, annoyance

and entertainment








Entertainment,       information, irritation,publicity and attitudes



Shareef, Mukerji et al. (2018)

Experiment                         and quantitativestudy

Hedonic inspiration, derogation of the source, self-concept, informal message, experiential message, and

publicity attitude



He    and    Shao (2018)

Content analysis

Number of symbols, number of indexes, number of Icons, social help, social presence and impact

of communication

No          name given


During the literature review researcher tried to recognise research limitations and also to discuss a research strategy to advance research (Webster and Watson 2002). The search parameters were constrained to time period of 1995 through 2019. The final restriction was focused on the keyword "Viral Marketing and Online Customer”. When the quest was executed, the search engines of both WoS and Google Scholar searched for the term "Viral Marketing and Online Customer" and near variants of this concept contained in the title, summary, and keywords of papers published in the top Marketing and related subject journals. The pool of papers returned by the two search engines has a lot of overlap (Google Scholar and WoS). After excluding redundant entries and non-research papers (book reviews, editorials, opinion, write-ups, opinions, views, and so on), the composite data


pool included 200 articles. The researcher also went through each paper and found around 38-40 papers that had little to do with Viral Marketing and Online Customer. These 40 papers were excluded as false positives, leaving 160 articles in the final composite article data pool for review. The researcher had selected the papers for the final data pool, reviewed and classified each one based on the analysis strategy. Since study scope definition is subjective, content review approaches were used for categorisation. The content analysis process adapted from Neuendorf (2002) and successfully employed by several similar research studies (Corley et al. 2011; Cumbie et al. 2005; Jourdan et al. 2008) was the base for categorising in the present study.


The study seeks to identify and analyse the key factors which could predict the intention of the consumer to buy products promoted with publicity from social media. Furthermore, the following objectives are set for the present study:


  • Summarise the extant literature in Viral Marketing and Online Customers, and
  • Identify a few areas for future



The Review of study in area of Viral Marketing, Sustainability, and Online Customers undertaken are categorised into 4 buckets, viz: viral marketing dimensions namely, promotion, brand awareness, CRM and brand association.


  1. Viral Marketing and its Techniques
  2. Positive and Negative Outcomes of Viral Marketing and Customer Relationship Management
  3. Integration of Viral Marketing with Customer Relationship Management
  4. Viral Marketing and Brand Awareness
  5. Word of Mouth (WoM) and also eWoM



           Viral Marketing and its Techniques


A technological marketing tool that uses social networks to generate a self-perpetuating message that is easily distributed by internet users (Anis and Ismail, 2014; Leskovec et al 2007). According to Cruz and Fill (2008), Viral marketing is described as “network-enhanced word-of-mouth." Granitz and Ward (1996) separated viral marketing from word-of-mouth marketing in a socio- cognitive study. The primary distinction is that word-of-mouth marketing is spoken, while viral marketing is written. Infant, Social networking with an out-of-the-ordinary example Facebook has


allowed companies to engage with millions of people about their goods and services, as well as created new marketing opportunities in the market. Firms in Singapore have shown the effectiveness and utility of digital marketing tools in achieving results (Teo 2002). This is only possible if managers are completely aware of how to use communication tools to engage consumers and improve their experience (Mangold et al 2009).

Wilson (2000) based on outcome of the study, defined it as a strategy that encourages a person to spread a marketing message to others, thus creating potential for exponential growth in terms of message exposure and influence. Off the internet, the term has been referred to as "creating a buzz," "network marketing," "leveraging the media," and "word-of-mouth," but it has been referred to as "viral marketing" on the internet. An successful viral marketing strategy encourages quick transfer of info to others; gives away goods or services; scales quickly from small to large; allows use of existing communication networks; utilises common habits and motivations; and leverages the power of others. According to a case study conducted by Ferguson (2008), viral marketing has described the industry trend over the decade by introducing Brand Big and Small launches by posting new product details on social pages and viral videos on YouTube. As a result, word-of- mouth (WOM) spreads viral marketing messages as gospel (e.g. Alsamydai, 2016; He and Shao 2018; Jurvetson, 2000).


A effective viral marketing campaign is dependent on three factors: the audience's online tenure, the nature of the industry, and the message's subject (Rasmusson, 2000). Viral marketing electronic word-of-mouth contact occurs in a variety of ways, including boycott blogs, web-based opinion outlets, discussion boards, and newsgroups (Hennig-Thurau et al, 2004), which influences the customers on online behaviour. Middleton (2012) specified the carrier of the viral marketing message as happy consumers, customers, journalists and field experts. Several medium are used in viral marketing, including instant changes, blogs, and email (Goldsmith and Horowitz, 2004; Akrimi and Khemakhem, 2012). Common social media medium include Whats’app and Facebook, and these sites are ideal for promoting a brand or a business because audiences actively use which advertisements can be displayed (Gangadharbatla, 2008).


According to Harris and Rae (2009), there are undeniably various social media outlets such as chat groups, social networking sites, wikis, blogs, streaming videos, and podcasts. The selection of appropriate social media such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, newsletters, and other social networking sites is critical for achieving the desired results based on the marketing strategy. For example, targeted marketing may be carried out based on the characteristics of the targeted audience, such as age, interests, and gender (Muzaffar & Kamran, 2011; Jung et al 2016). Viral Marketing prime


objective is to bring the interest level of customer through online mode. According to Kabani (2012), price is not the primary focus in viral marketing, as the primary objective of viral marketing is closely associated with the spread of the message at a global scale. Waldow and Falls (2012) confirm that if people like a marketing message, it gets spread and may achieve its objectives.

The study conducted by Bhagwat and Goutam (2013) is consistent with the study conducted by Jati and Mohanty (2012), which asserts the importance of social networking sites in industry. They emphasise that social media is linking people in ways that enable them to exchange information with one another. According to their research, Facebook is the most popular social media networking site. They have also presented statistical evidence demonstrating that social media platforms are rising and offering services to both businesses and individuals. Their credibility in a short period of time is in lieu of their necessity in society for communication as well as company.


           The Positive and Negative outcomes of Viral Marketing


Viral marketing communication include any positive or negative declaration made by current, former and future consumers regarding a business or product that is made public on the Internet by many individuals and organisations (Hennig-Thurau et al, 2004). In order to work viral marketing, successful marketing will generate positive WOM through social interaction or networks. For example, marketing of social networks that generates "likes" leads to positive WoM. The effectiveness of viral marketing however needs a faster, automatic and more persuasive message (Sohn et al, 2013). Providing customers with the ability to express their opinions by word-of-mouth would not always be optimistic. It may sometimes jeopardise a company's credibility and good image among its customers (Wilson, 2000). The positive effect of viral marketing will greatly benefit the business, but it can also have a negative impact if it has dissatisfied customers (e.g. Hennig-Thurau & Walsh, 2003; Greenberg, 2010). The majority of customers in the United States and Europe are already doing internet research into goods and marks that they are contemplating buying, and these results are referred to by Ryan and Jones (2012) to account for the increased value of viral marketing.


Irritation is one of the viral marketing strategies that reflects the degree of annoyance. According to study of Muzaffar and Kamran (2011), this strategy needs due consideration because the consumer can develop a negative attitude towards the marketing messages if they are annoying. Similarly, a non-irritating message would be widely disseminated. The echo sentiment was proposed by Leskovec et al. (2007). Inappropriate use of viral marketing is detrimental because it can foster a


negative attitude towards a brand or product. As a result, it necessitates greater focus on its content and messages being disseminated. A negative message delivered through viral marketing is much more likely to be believed than a positive message, particularly when the customer has no prior awareness or experience with the brand or product. As a study result, negative reviews have a greater effect than positive ones (De Valck et al, 2009). Similarly, Kiss and Bichler (2008) demonstrated that a negative WOM spreads much faster than a positive one. However, customers are more likely to ignore social media ads if they perceive a degree of privacy concern, Jung reported (2017).


The study of literature has shown several efforts to compare viral marketing to alternate marketing techniques. The comprehensive comparison offered by Mackay and Willmshurst (2012) as seen in table 2.






Two Way





































Promotio n















Table 2: The comprehensive comparison offered by Mackay and Willmshurst (2012) Source: Mackay and Willmshurst (2012)





           Integration of Viral Marketing with Customer Relationship Management


Technological advances have elevated the customer relationship to an immersive level. Brand building is possible through technology by maintaining a long-term, sustainable partnership with the consumer (Singha et al, 2008). A social CRM is a market strategy that uses a technology platform to provide shared gain for the value of an organisation and its target audiences (Iris Mohr, 2017). The social CRM approach promotes active customer participation and involvement by engaging the firm and the customer in a two-way relationship (Faase et al, 2011).


The CRM allows for the creation of dialogue, the gathering of intelligence, and the engagement of individuals in novel ways (Meadows-Klue, 2008). Consumers of social media act differently; since they are more linked, they exchange more information; they expect information on demand, and they prefer to communicate with their friends and brands, which they reward with public statements of support as a sign of loyalty. As a result, if things go well, they will appear to be advocates; hence, confidence is the primary motivator in this type of partnership as the study outcome of Greenberg (2010).


In general, CRM applied to how an organisation manages its customer relationships across platforms such as corporate web pages and other networking media. Customers are more influential and motivated as a result of social media, which has changed the way companies operate. For example, if a consumer spreads derogatory information about a company's product on social media, it can severely harm the company's image. Around the same time, social media creates a wide range of ways for companies to connect with and listen to their customers. As a result, customers serve as ambassadors and advocates for their brands, says the study results of Baird and Parasnis (2011).


Similarly, Kumar and Singh (2013) argue that social media as a marketing engagement tool aids in the development of brand equity and consumer relationships. They studied the technique "Live the moment" used in Maruti Suzuki's social media campaign for its Ritz car to create awareness and preference for its car in their report. They discovered that the company's use of social media strategy was a most effective campaign, capable of building a strong brand and strengthening its customer relationships through social media network. This tool not only piqued the attention of its online fan base, but also raised the curiosity of other stakeholders (e.g. Kiang Melody and Raghu Santanam, 2000; Jenny van Doorn et al, 2010).


In their research, Shabnam et al. (2013) observed the boom in social media marketing and highlighted the opportunities for marketers to establish a personal relationship with the target population. They conducted an exploratory study among Bangladeshi campus youths to investigate


social media networking platforms and discovered consumers' attitudes toward social media as a marketing communication choice through a pilot study that considered brand image, affiliation, recognition, loyalty, and customer experience as independent variables and social media effectiveness as the dependent variable. They also conducted an in-depth interview to explore marketers' attitudes toward social media use for brand building and to define various strategies and activities of social media sites for brand building.

           Viral Marketing and Brand Awareness


Dawar and Dawar (2015) examined the idea of a paradigm shift in marketing, which exposed the credentials that prepare viral marketing as an effective weapon in growing brand recognition. Consumer attitude towards viral marketing messages are dignified based on their responses, and the parameters include rewards, informativeness, relevancy, message clarity, frustration, brand recognition, brand familiarity, and entertainment. Social networking sites assist in brand recognition, and viral advertisements can take the form of e-books, video clips, photos, brand-able apps, and interactive flash games (e.g. Kusumadjaja, 2014; Manorek, 2016; Kudesia & Kumar 2017).


Viral marketing is seen as a branding method for advertisers in order to raise awareness of goods and brands (Kusumadjaja, 2014). Customized online communities of opinion leaders are built using viral formats and blogs, allowing the brand to establish deep relationships with the targeted audience. As a result, there is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to increase brand awareness (Datta et al, 2008). Marketers can use viral marketing to increase brand positioning, raise brand awareness, and influence buying decisions and attitudes towards their products with little investment and rapid growth. Online marketing generates the most extensive and rapid brand recognition with low-cost referrals and exponential development (Dobele et al., 2007). By enhancing a brand's profile, viral marketing raises brand awareness. It elevates the consumer relationship to an immersive stage, in which technology contributes to brand building by fostering long-term relationships with consumers. According to study undertaken by Baird and Parasnis (2011), social media has a great potential for marketers to grow their brands through the use of WoM in a low-cost manner. The term eWoM (Electronic Word-of-Mouth) refers to any comment made by former or actual customers regarding a brand, product, or business that is made accessible to a large number of customers and institutions through the internet. When consumers come across such claims, they become more conscious of a brand or business. Qualman (2011) asserted that even though a company is not involved on any social media page, if their brands are discussed on various forums and sites, a culture is built around a brand even if the company does not want it to be. The essence of social


media is pervasive, complex, and constantly changes the settings for effective brand management (Gensler et al., 2013).


           Word of Mouth on the Internet (eWoM)


The concept of electronic word of mouth (E-WOM) has emerged and evolved with the introduction of social networking sites, where individuals can record the ideas exchange and related concepts to brands of goods or services with their friends through the Internet (Erkan, 2014). Dichter (1966) describes typical WOM contact as the exchange of knowledge about a brand, a commodity, or a service between a non-commercial communicator (i.e., someone who is not rewarded) and a recipient. Word of mouth has gone electronic in the social networking world, and it has become one of the most valuable advantages for users of social networking sites. Because of its popularity, many people can openly share their opinions about businesses, brands, goods, and services. Faithful consumers of any company can use their eWoM to act as a bridge between the organisation and its products and prospective customers, converting them into actual customers (Owino et al., 2014).

E-WOM is a reliable source of information that reduces risk and increases the certainty of customers' decision-making processes (Berger & Menon, 2014). On the other hand, eWoM would be a good indicator for the consumer through shared knowledge as he evaluates the alternatives before making the actual purchase, and it will influence purchase intention through its consistency, quantity, and reputation. There is an effect of eWoM on customers' purchasing intention. Hennig et al. (2004) indicated that eWoM is a useful drive for customers and firms in outlining their feelings about the purchased products either goods or services, the expressed feeling may be either positive or negative; prospective customers may explore product reviews and knowledge through various online channels. From the study conducted by Saleem et al. (2017) in the branded fashion market, which stated that there is an impact of eWoM on customer intention. The study conducted by Kudeshia and Kumar (2017) in the field of electronics stated that positive eWoM through SNS' has an effect on customer purchase intention. Hadi and Nejad (2017) conducted a survey in Iran about Mellat bank and discovered that eWoM has a positive effect on customer purchase intention in the banking sector. In North Cyprus, the conduct aim of five-star hotels was investigated using eWoM on their Facebook hotel pages (Ibrahim Aljarah, 2018). Similar studies have demonstrated the word- of-mouth and eWoM influence these have on brand awareness and purchase intentions (Akpinar and Berger, 2017; Cruz and Fill, 2008). According to Lee and colleagues (2006), further research on word of mouth in social networks is required. Previous studies, according to Lee and colleagues (2011), based on technical variables such as ease of usage or navigation speed to understand the operation of knowledge exchange on the Web. According to William and colleagues (2010),


recommendation on social networks is a modern form of word of mouth that requires more investigation to understand what motivates users to suggest on social networks.

Purchase Intentions of Customers


Online platform create the intentions for Customers towards Marketing Behaviour (Kiang Melody and Raghu Santanam, 2000). The purpose predicts the principle of reasoned action (TRA), which in turn imposes a behaviour based on the individual's mindset and normative belief (Coleman et al., 2011). TRA created important research in the history of social psychology, revealing that its goal is to explain secret personal behaviour (Teo, 2002). The TRA model contained four hidden variables: "attitude, subjective norms, intention, and actions." Consumer behaviour is described as the actions of a consumer when exposed to stimuli, either internal or external effects, in order to fulfil his desires or needs, which is a series of procedures that begin with the stage of feeling the need, continue with the stage of searching for information, evaluating alternatives, and ending with the stage of actual purchasing and feedback (Prasad & Jha, 2014). Behavioural purpose is described by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) as "a measure of the probability that an individual will participate in a specified behaviour." According to Ajzen (1991), "intentions are believed to catch the motivating variables that affect actions." A person's purpose, according to the principle of rational conduct, is a result of two fundamental determinants, one personal in nature (attitude toward behaviour) and the other representing social control (subjective norms). According to Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975) principle of Rational Action, behavioural purpose is influenced by mood, which is influenced by subjective norms. There are several variables that play an important role in influencing consumer buying intentions for a product, for example the smartphone (Walia et al., 2016). Similar studies (e.g., Rakib, 2019; Taivanjargal et al., 2018; Uddin et al., 2015) claim that “Brand image, Product features, Social impact, price, style, brand name, perceived quality, durability, easy handling, ease of use, brand promotion, phone size, appearance” can influence consumer purchasing intention in the smartphone sector. Since targeted customer is the most important aspect of market, and customers are looking for quality of goods and services, if businesses want to increase sales volume, they can make consumers feel the added-value of their products and services, which will increase their satisfaction (Chen et al., 2016).

Ramnarain and Govender (2013) discovered a relationship between gender, social media browsing, and purchasing behaviour of 150 youths aged 18- 24 studying at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, using a standardised questionnaire in their exploratory research work. They discovered that social media browsing has affected the buying behaviour of young people across three factors: an important medium for communication, increased product and brand


preference, and spending power. The results of their research showed that advertisers needed to re- evaluate their marketing and networking strategies in order to influence the buying behaviour through a thorough investigation into social media. The scholars and few work agreed on the significance of emphasising brand value; brand image is the primary driver of brand equity, is related to customer overall view of the brand, and influences consumer behaviour (Hong & Zhang, 2017). According to Aaker (1991), picture in different styles create value by assisting consumers with information, separating the company, spawning reasons to purchase, providing progressive emotions, and providing a foundation for extensions. According to Manorek (2016), the most critical part of every business and the customer partnership is the brand's branding, which is more meaningful than the name and logo. Since brand value affects consumer behaviour against a commodity, a corporation can take note of the product's brand image under such strategic situations in order to win potential buyers and maintain current ones (Dunuwille & Pathmini, 2016). Many research have found that images of products increase customer confidence in their decisions to purchase merchandise and have an effect on purchasing behaviour (Harsono et al., 2018; Surjaatmadja & Purnawan, 2018).

There was an work undertaken on the myth of Viral Marketing. While viral marketing is an attractive phenomenon, recent research (S. Goel., Watts and Goldstein,, 2012) indicates that it does not accurately describe how adoption occurs online and truly viral diffusion is extremely rare. The notion that tweets often go "viral" and spread across social networks is now accepted in corporate marketing and culture. However, new analysis shows that the word "viral" marketing does not adequately reflect what occurs more often online. Goel, Duncan J. Watts, and Daniel G. Goldstein (all at Yahoo! Research when they published the article, now at Microsoft Research) explain how they researched seven web scenarios to see how a number of apps and content dispersed in a paper titled “The Structure of Online Diffusion Networks,” which was discussed at the 13th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce. The researchers investigated: Yahoo! Voice, an online phone service started in 2004; Zync, a Yahoo! Instant Messenger video-sharing application;; Friend Sense, a Facebook app introduced in 2009; “The Secretary Game,” an online hiring game; Yahoo! Kindness, a charitable website launched in 2010; news stories sent via Twitter in November 2011; and; YouTube links diffused through Twitter in November 2011. Goel and his colleagues decided to know how acceptance spread virally, “like the common cold,” or by any other form of biological contagion. According to this model, "one individual becomes infected, and then their friend becomes infected, and then a friend of their friend becomes infected, and so on." This is known as multistep diffusion. And the evidence from the researchers suggests that this is not how other communications and apps propagate.


Customer Purchase Intention and Viral Advertising


Viral advertisement has evolved as a method for marketers to advertise and include further knowledge on their goods or items. A viral approach to internet advertisement has a significant benefit in that feedback is more tailored to the expected user of a brand (Bampo et al., 2008). Viral advertisement is described as “unpaid peer-to-peer sharing of offensive material originating from an established supporter through the Internet in order to encourage or manipulate an audience to move along the content to others” (Porter and Golan, as cited by Chu 2011, 31). Wang & Nguyen (2018), found that viral video has an impact on customer intention. Yaqoob (2018) demonstrated that the mobile edition of Facebook ads influences consumer buying intent. In his analysis of the Jordanian airline industry, Alnsour (2018) found that social media ads influenced customer purchasing intentions, and preference for having the Airline for travel. Alsamydai et al. (2016) conducted a study in Jordan and discovered that viral advertisement (Facebook advertising) has an impact on consumer attitude and, as a result, customer buying intention, which has an positive effect on product purchase.


Bajpai et al (2012) investigate how viral marketing as a phenomenon finds a home on social networking sites. They used Facebook to conduct their research. They also explicitly stated that all direct marketers who employ intelligent tactics for the Facebook world would undoubtedly succeed. They also highlight Facebook's deals for brand marketers and conclude that there is still plenty to learn and marketers are still in the early stages. Further, the study focuses on the various social media marketing strategies for small businesses that can take this viral marketing type beyond the current social media to create a community powerful enough to make an initiative purchasing and marketing successful. They often contrast it with the consequences of conventional marketing methods (214-223). Castronovo and Huang (2012) identified the role of social media as an alternative marketing communication model in their research. Their paper main goal was to outline WoW Marketing, Social media, and alternative marketing communications as potential components of integrated marketing communications. Furthermore, they have built an integrated alternative marketing communication conceptual model that can be used by industrial practitioners to assist them in realising their marketing goals, namely, increase revenue, increase customer awareness, and increase consumer loyalty, where all of the model's different components can be integrated to synergize and achieve success.


Moderator of Brand Picture


"In the age of empowerment, we live, led by rich knowledge and networked communities," explains Philip Kotler. He says, ‘A brand must have a strong and consistent standing for brand positioning, difference and honesty’. When word-of-mouth becomes a new means of promotion, credible brands cannot thrive and customers rely more on information in their network group than on what corporations advertise and claim. It can only work integrity, originality and authenticity."Customers are likely to purchase familiar packaged goods with a certain brand name because it reduces their perceived risk (Akaah and Korgaonkar, 1988) or increases the value (Romaniuk & Sharp, 2012). The brand name is something that is brought out by advertisements, advancements, or customers, rather than something that happens in the attributes, creativity, or the actual item itself. When consumers are evaluating an item before purchasing it, the brand image is often used as an extraneous symbol (Richardson et al., 1994; Zeithaml, 1988). Lin et al. (2015) conducted a study in Taiwan on the impact of restaurant discount coupon depths on re-consumption willingness in the presence of brand image as a moderator, finding that brand image moderated the relationship between the two variables.


Greer and Ferguson (2011) used a content study to examine the use of Twitter for promotion and branding. They examined the Twitter sites of 488 local television stations in the United States using a tactical and strategic model of media promotion. One result of their research was that news reports were the most frequently occurring items on the pages. They also discovered that stations that provided news items seldom advertised their daily newscasts. Other factors in this category, such as contest promotions, breaking news, or invitations to user engagement, did not appear as often. They conclude their research by reporting that, in general, stations did not use Twitter to direct viewers to the station's on-air programming.


Future of Sustainability Marketing Strategy- Issues and Challenges


The goal of sustainability marketing strategy has shifted to obtaining a competitive advantage through an attractive, distinct, and defensible role (Obermiller et al., 2008). However, because of the associated problems and obstacles, it is not easy to design these types of marketing campaigns in practise. Furthermore, according to sustainability principles, there is a need to save resources and consume less, while marketing principles say to sell more, which means more demand, and therefore more resource consumption (Jones et al., 2008). As a result, there is a need to strike a balance between the two, which means that the plan should be designed in such a way that income


can be gained even after reducing the effects on the environment and community. There is no question that problems and solutions go hand in hand because when one problem is solved, another problem occurs. The same is true for sustainability marketing strategies: if someone discovers a solution to one environmental or social problem that is also economically viable, a new set of problems which emerge as a result, and the cycle continues indefinitely (Charter et al., 2006).


However, only a few businesses are attempting to integrate sustainability into their marketing strategies. As a result, first and foremost, market groups that are early adopters and ready to purchase sustainable goods should be targeted and placed. The future aim of sustainability marketing strategy should be focused on consumer segmentation, targeting, and positioning based on sustainability criteria, as well as creating a sustainability marketing mix for better goods and services, better prices, better distribution, and better promotion.


Limitations, Recommendations, and Future Study


Every study has certain objectives, scope and limitations. While studies define their intention of enquiry, and design a scientific methodology, there are ways to take the work forward, with untouched areas for possible further enquiry. The latest review of the Internet marketing literature has shortcomings that can be compensated for with potential attempts. Inspite of the best methodology adopted in the present study, future literature reviews, according to the author/ researcher, could provide full-text paper scans, a wider domain of research sources, and other Internet marketing-related search keywords. In present study, literature review is intended to be a small sampling of publications rather than a thorough examination of the whole population of papers written on the subject of ‘Internet marketing.’ Other study could study the literature in fields such as electronic sales, search tactics, social networking, e-tailing, and numerous other analysis domains to take a more in-depth look at the various business models or Internet advertisement techniques involved with Internet marketing.

In the context of this topic, there are a number of recommendations that must be considered either in the practical or academic field; the practical one would cover specifically; the most important direction to be the need to choose the appropriate marketing techniques for the advertised product and in an effective and creative manner. From a practical standpoint, the current study's Review have given hints about the key aspects that should be the object of attention for marketers who use social media advertising. The customer should be subjected to a similar series of content advertisements that transmit the same concept to the same product to the consumer; these ads will be marketed for a fixed period of time, which will eventually encourage the purchasing decision of


the promoted item through the use of the viral advertising campaign (e.g. Webster & Watson 2002)To gain a larger market share, marketers must execute viral campaigns that provide all information about the product that customers are searching for with a high level of authenticity and honesty in an effective and appealing manner. Companies should also provide adequate and ongoing training for the company marketing department to inspire workers to develop, invent, and actively learn about something new in the field of e-marketing. Firms could also ask the marketing team to monitor and react to any suggestions, inquiries, or reviews from customers about social media advertising. Marketers can also use social media advertising to build their audience (number of Quality fans and followers).


In terms of academic study, the researchers suggest looking at other viral marketing strategies such as buzz marketing. Furthermore, investigating the impact of other influences on the key relationship such as respondent gender, age level and perceived importance in various sectors. Potential mediators such as product familiarity and product type should also be considered. From a statistical standpoint, future research should emphasise the conduct of a meta-analysis report, particularly given the number of quantitative studies that have accompanied over the field of viral marketing and consumer purchase intention. Based on the findings of Aljarah et al., future meta-analysis studies will investigate the moderator effect, such as economic growth -compare developing and developed countries (2018). As a result, such research endeavours are required to contribute to the existing literature. Personality traits (such as image, technology readiness, advertisement imagination, culture, and privacy concern) are not taken into account in this analysis. As a consequence, it may be helpful if future studies pay attention to such aspects.





This model suggests that viral messages have an effect on consumer propensity and perception through their development of interest and desire, and that they attract consumers to act. In the end this leads to more shopping. Where as, the present study would propose a model for understanding the Viral marketing for the Online Customer. Viral messaging content, along with external factors such as friends, family, relatives, reference groups, blogs and online reviews influence modern purchase intentions. As such, marketers design viral messages which attract consumers. This study has achieved this and has created a better understanding of the relationship between viral marketing and purchase intentions in the context of Consumers.


Author statement: I / We declare that there are no conflicts of interest associated with this manuscript. The paper is not under consideration for any other publication and it has not appeared in print in this or any form.


Declaration of Competing Interest: None.




Aaker, D.A. (1991). Managing Brand Equity. The Free Press, New York.



Ahmad Aljarah and Blend Ibrahim. (2018). “Dataset of Relationships among Social Media Marketing Activities, Brand Loyalty, Revisit Intention. Evidence from the Hospitality Industry in Northern Cyprus”, Creative Commons, 21, December, p1823-1828, 2018.11.024


Akaah, & Korgaonkar, P. (1988). “A conjoint investigation of the relative importance of risk relievers in direct marketing”, Journal of Advertising Resources, August-September, p38– 44.


Akpinar, E., & Berger, J. (2017). “Valuable vitality. Journal of Marketing Research”, 54 (2), p318– 330.


Akrimi, Y., & Khemakhem, R. (2014). “What drive consumers to spread word in social media?” Journal of Marketing Research & Case Studies, June, p1-14.


Alalwan, A.A., Rana, N.P., Dwivedi, Y.K., Algharabat, R. (2017). “Social Media in Marketing:A Review and Analysis of the Existing Literature”, Telematics and Informatics, doi: j.tele.2017.05.008


Alnsour, M. (2018). “Social Media Effect On Purchase Intention: Jordanian Airline Industry”, Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 23(2), June, p1-16


Alsamydai, M. J. (2016). “The trust of viral advertising messages and its impact on attitude and behaviour intentions of consumers”, International Journal of Marketing Studies, 8(5), p136- 145.


Andres EF Salinas EM and Vallejo JM (2009). “Factors affecting corporate environmental strategy in Spanish industrial firms”, Business Strategy and the Environment, 18 (8), p500-514.


Anis G.R. and Ismail A.H. (2014). “Viral marketing: origin, concept, campaign stages, and

measurement”, Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, 20 (76), p145–175.



Aragon-Correa JA (1998). “Strategic pro-activity and firm approach to the natural environment”, Academy of Management Journal, 41(5), p556-567


Baird, C.H. & Parasnis, G. (2011). “From social media to social customer relationship management”, Strategy & Leadership, 39(5), p30–37.


Bajpai, V., Pandey, S. and Shriwas, S. (2012). “Social Media Marketing: Strategies & Its Impact”, International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research, 1(7), pp.214-223.


Beneke, J. and Trappler, E. (2015). “The might of the brand: A comparative analysis of brand prevalence in an emerging market setting", British Food Journal, 117(2), p485-505. 10.1108/BFJ-06-2014-0192


Berger, J.A, & Menon, G, Amit Bhattacharjee, (2014). “When identity marketing backfires: Consumer agency in Identity Expression”, Journal of Consumer Research, 41(2), p294-309 (August).


Bhagwat, Shree and Goutam, Ankur (2013). “Development of Social Networking Sites and Their Role in Business with Special Reference to Facebook”, IOSR Journal of Business and Management, (IOSR-JBM), 6(5) (Jan-Feb), p15-28.


Buysse K and Verbeke A, (2003). “Proactive environmental strategies: a stakeholder management perspective”, Strategic Management Journal, 24(5), p453-470


Rivera-Camino, J. (2007), "Re-evaluating green marketing strategy: a stakeholder perspective", European Journal o f Marketing, 4 1 ( 11 / 1 2 ) , p 1 3 2 8 - 1 3 5 8 . 10.1108/03090560710821206


Castronovo, Cristina and Huang, Lei (2012). “Social Media in an Alternative Marketing Communication Model”, Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6(1), p117-131.


Charter M Peattie K Ottman J and Polonsky MJ (2006) Marketing and sustainability. Available at:;


Chen, Y., Chen, T., & Lin, C. (2016). “The analyses of purchasing decisions and brand loyalty for smartphone consumers”, Open Journal of Social Sciences, July, p108-116.


Chen, Y., Fay, S. and Wang, Q. (2011). “The role of marketing in social media: how online consumer reviews evolve”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 25, 2, p85-94.


Coleman Linda Jane., Nisreen Bahnan., Mayuresh Kelkar.,Nicole Curry. (2011). “Walking The Walk: How The Theory Of Reasoned Action Explains Adult And Student Intentions To Go Green”, Journal of Applied Business Research, 27(3), May, p107-116


Corley, J. K., Jourdan, S. Z., & Rainer, R. K. (2011). “Privacy research: application of content analysis to assess a contemporary area of research”, International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 4(2/3), p129–150.


Cruz, D. and Fill, C. (2008). “Evaluating viral marketing: Isolating the key criteria”, Market Intelligence and Planning”, 26, 7, p743-758.

Cumbie, B. A., Jourdan, S. Z., Peachey, T. A., Dugo, T. M., & Craighead, C. W. (2005). “Enterprise resource planning research: where are we now and where should we go from here”? Journal of Information Technology Theory & Application, 7(2), p21–36.


Dafonte-Gomez, A. (2014). “The key elements of viral advertising. From motivation to emotion in the most shared videos”, Comunicar- Media Education Research Journal, 43, XXII, p199- 206


Dam KY and Apeldoorn PAC (1996). “Sustainable Marketing”, Journal of Macromarketing, 16(2), p45-56


Datta, R., Joshi, D., Li, J., Wang, J.Z. (2008). “Image retrieval: Ideas, influences, and trends of the new age”,  ACM Computing Surveys, 40(2), p1-5, 49.


Dawar, S., & Dawar, P. (2015). “Viral Marketing: A concept of paradigm shift in marketing”, International Journal of Management and Social Sciences Research, 4(5), p2319-4421.


De Bruyn, A., & Lilien, G. L. (2008). “A multi-stage model of word-of-mouth influence through


viral marketing”, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 25(3), p20-30



de Vries, L., Gensler, S. 8c Leeflang, ES.H. (2012). “Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: an investigation of the effects of social media marketing”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26, 2, p83-91.


De Valck, K., Van Bruggen, G.H. and Wierenga, B. (2009). “Virtual communities: A marketing perspective”, Decision Support Systems,  47 (3), p185-203.


Dichter, E. (1966). “How word-of-mouth advertising works:, Harvard Business Review, 44(6), p147–160.


Dobele, A., Lindgreen, A., Beverland, M., Vanhamme, J. & Van Wijk, R. (2007). “Why pass on viral messages? Because they connect emotionally”, Business Horizons, 50 (4), p291-304.


Dunuwille VM and Pathmini MGS. (2016). “Brand image and customer satisfaction in mobile phone market : study based on customers in Kandy district”, Journal of Business Studies, 3(June), p1-13.


Emery, B. (2012).Sustainable Marketing. England: Pearson.



Erkan, I. (2014). “Vine”: Do you miss it? Electronic word of mouth on the social networking site,”, International Journal of Business and Information, 9(4), p461-473.


Ferguson, R, (2008). “Word of mouth and viral marketing: Taking the temperature of the hottest trends in marketing”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25 (3), p179-182.

Fuller, Donald A. (1999). Sustainable Marketing: Managerial-Ecological Issues. London: SAGE.



Gangadharbatla, H. (2008). “Facebook me: Collective self-esteem, need to belong and Internet self- efficacy as predictors of the iGeneration’s attitude towards social networking sites”, Journal of Interactive Advertising, 8(2), p5-15.


Gensler, S., Völckner, F., Liu-Thompkins, & Wiertz, C. (2013). “Managing Brands in the Social Media Environment”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(4), p242–256.


Gordon, R.; Carrigan, M. and Hastings, G. (2011). “A Framework for Sustainable Marketing.”, Marketing Theory, 11(2), p143-163.


Granitz, N.A and Ward, J.C. (1996). “Virtual community: A Sociological analysis”, Advances in Consumer Research”, 23, p161-166


Greenberg, P. (2010). “The impact of CRM 2.0 on customer insight”, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 25(6), p410–419.


Greer, C. and Ferguson, D. (2011). “Using Twitter for promotion and branding: A content analysis of local television twitter sites”, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 55(2), p198-




Hadi, S., & Nejad, M. (2017). “Brand Personality toward Customer Purchase Intention  : The Intermediate Role of Electronic Word-of-Mouth and Brand. (January 2016). 10.21315/aamj2016.21.2.1


Hansen, H. R. (1995). “Conceptual-framework and guidelines for the implementation of mass i n f o r m a t i o n - s y s t e m s ” , I n f o r m a t i o n M a n a g e m e n t , 2 8 ( 2 ) , p 1 2 5 - 1 4 2 . d o i : 10.1016/0378-7206(95)94021-4.


Harris, L. and Rae, A. (2009). “Social networks: the future of marketing for small business”, Journal of Business Strategy, 30(5), p24-31.


Harsono, S., Perdana, S., Riyadi, D. B., & Normasita. (2018). “The Influence of Brand Image, Brand Trust, Perceived Quality and Perceived Value on Consumer Purchase Intention at Different Categories of Product”, Advanced Science Letters, 24(5), p3198–3207


Hawkins, K., & Vel, P. (2013). “Attitudinal loyalty, behavioural loyalty and social media: An introspection”, The Marketing Review, 13(2), p125–141.

He J, Shao B (2018). “Examining the dynamic effects of social net-work advertising: a semiotic perspective”,           Telematics            Informat-ics           35(2),            p504–516.           https




Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K.P., Walsh, G. and Gremler, D.D. (2004). “Electronic word-of-


mouth via consumer - opinion platforms: What motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the Internet?”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18 (1), p38-52.


Hennig-Thurau, T., & Walsh, G. (2003). “Electronic word-of-mouth: Motives for and consequences of reading customer articulations on the Internet”, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 8(2), p51–74.


Ho, J.Y.C. and Demsey, M. (2010), “Viral marketing: motivations to forward online content”, Journal of Business Research, 63(9/10), p1000-1006.


Hong, D., & Zhang, L. (2017). “Does Transactive Memory Systems Promote Knowledge Integration Directly?”, Procedia Computer Science, 112, p896–905. 2017.08.107


Iris Mohr. (2017). “Managing Buzz Marketing in the Digital Age”, Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 11(2), p10-16


Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Todd, P. A. (1996). “Consumer reactions to electronic shopping on the World Wide Web”, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 1(2), p59–88.


J Chandler Pepelnjak.( 2008). “Measuring ROI beyond the last ad”, Atlas Institute”, Digital Marketing Insight


Jati, Nityananda and Mohanty, Ajit Narayan (2012). “International Social Media Marketing: A Global Business Environment Perspective”, VSRD-International Journal of Business and Management Research, ISSN: 2231-248X, 2(5), p199-212.


Jenny van Doorn., Katherine N. Lemon., Vikas Mittal., Doreen Pick., Peter Pirner., Peter C. Verhoef. (2010). “Customer Engagement Behaviour: Theoretical Foundations and Research Directions”, Journal of Service Research, 13(3), August, p253-266


Jourdan, Z., Rainer, R. K., Jr., & Marshall, T. (2008). “Business intelligence: a framework for research categorization”, Information Systems Management, 25(2), p121–131.


Jung, A. R. (2017). “The influence of perceived ad relevance on social media advertising: An


empirical examination of a mediating role of privacy concern”, Computers in Human Behavior, 70 (May), p303–309.

Jung, J., Shim, S. W., Jin, H. S., & Khang, H. (2016). “Factors affecting attitudes and behavioural intention towards social networking advertising: A case of Facebook users in South Korea”, p35(2), 248–265


Jurvetson, S. (2000). “What exactly is viral marketing?”, Red Herring, p110–111. 10.1093/icsidreview/12.1.60


Jones P Hill CC and Comfort D (2008). “Viewpoint: marketing and sustainability”, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 26(2), p123-130.


Kabani, S.H. (2012). The Zen of Social Media Marketing 2012: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue. Ben Bella Books


Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, (2009). "The fairyland of Second Life: Virtual social worlds and how to use them," Business Horizons, Elsevier, 52(6), p563-572, November.


Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2011). “Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance”, Business Horizons, 54(3), p253– 263.


Kiang Melody and Raghu Santanam, 2000, “Marketing on the Internet- who can benefit from an online marketing approach?”, Decision Support Systems, January, 27(4), p383-393, DOI:10.1016/ S0167-9236(99)00062-7


Kiss, C. and Bichler, M., 2008. “Identification of influencers—measuring influence in customer networks”, Decision Support Systems, 46 (1),p233-253.


Knight, C.M. (1999), “Viral marketing – defy traditional methods for hyper growth”, Broadwatch Magazine, 13 (1), p50-53


Kotler, P., Keller, L (2007). Marketing management, Grada Publishing, ISBN 80-247-1359-5.



Kudeshia, C., & Kumar, A. (2017). “Social eWOM: does it affect the brand attitude and purchase intention of brands?”, Management Research Review, 40(3), p310-330.


Kumar, R. Satish and Singh, Atul Sen (2013). “Social Media as an effective tool of Marketing Communication: A Case study of Maruti Suzuki”, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing & Management Review, ISSN 2319-2836, 2(5), May, p79 – 84.


Kumar, A., Bezawada, R., Rishika, R., Janakiraman, R., & Kannan, P. K. (2016). “From social to sale: The effects of firm generated content in social media on customer behavior”, Journal of Marketing, 80(1), p7-25

Kusumadjaja, L. (2014), “The impact of viral marketing through social media on BCD’s consumer brand knowledge”,  iBuss Management, 2(2), p162-172.


Lee, M. K., Cheung, C. M., Lim, K. H. & Sia, C. L. (2006). “Understanding Customer Knowledge Sharing in Web-Based Discussion Boards: An Exploratory Study,” Internet Research, 16, (3), p289-303.


Leskovec, J.; Adamic, L.A.; Huberman, B.A. (2007). “The Dynamics of Viral Marketing”, ACM Trans. Web, 1 (1), p.5.


Lin, M. L., Yang, J. T., & Wan, C. S. (2015). “Effect of restaurant discount coupon depth on re- consumption willingness: A moderating role of brand image”, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 15(3), p193-205.


Lu, H.-P & Hsiao, K.-L. (2010). “The influence of extro/introversion on the intention to pay for social networking sites”, Information & Management, 47, 3, p150-157.


Mackay, A. & Wilmshurst, J. (2012). Fundamentals and Practice of Marketing. Routledge



Maignan I Ferrell OC and Ferrell L (2005) “A stakeholder model for implementing social responsibility in marketing”, European Journal of Marketing, 39(9/10) p956-977


Mangold, Glynn W., and David J. Faulds (2009), “Social Media: The New Hybrid Element of the Promotion Mix,” Business Horizons, 52, p357-365.


Manorek, S. L. (2016). “The Influence of Brand Image, Advertising, Perceived Price Toward Consumer Purchase Intention (Case Study: Samsung Smartphone)”, Jurnal Berkala Ilmiah


Efisiensi, 16(1), p661–670.



Martin, D; Schouten, J. (2012). Sustainable Marketing. New Jersey: Peason.



Meadows-Klue, D. (2008). “Falling in love 2.0: Relationship marketing for the Facebook generation”, Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 9(3), p245–250.


Middleton, S. (2012). What You Need to Know About Marketing. John Wiley & Sons



Muzaffar, F., & Kamran, S. (2011). “SMS Advertising: Youth Attitude towards Perceived Informativeness, Irritation and Credibility”, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(1), p230-245.

Neuendorf, K. A. (2002). The content analysis guidebook. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.



Obermiller C Burke C and Atwood A (2008). “Sustainable business as marketing strategy”, Innovative                                Marketing,                4(3):                20-27.                Available                at:                                                 im/2008/im

_en_2008_3_Obermiller.pdf; (accessed 1 December, 2010)



Owino, E. O., Kibera, F., Munyoki, J., & Wainaina, G. (2014). “Service quality in Kenyan universities dimensionality and contextual analysis”, European Journal of Business and Management, 6(11), p180–195.


Pew Research Center (2018). Social media use in 2018. Pew Research Centre. https://


Polonsky, M.J. (1995), "A stakeholder theory approach to designing environmental marketing strategy", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 10, 3, p29-46. 10.1108/08858629510096201


Prasad, R. K., & Jha, M. K. (2014). “Consumer buying decisions models: A descriptive study”, International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, 6(3), p2028–9324.


Qualman, E., 2011. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. John Wiley & Sons.


Rakib, M. R. H. K. (2019). Factors influencing purchase intention of cellular phones among the university students in Bangladesh. 11, 92–101. DOI: 10.7176/EJBM/11-2-10


Ramnarain, Yavisha and Govender, Krishna K. (2013). “The relationship among certain youths’ demographic variables and their social media browsing behaviour”, African Journal of Business Management, ISSN 1993-8233, 7(25), 7 July, p2495-2499, doi: 10.5897/AJBM2013.6883.


Rasmusson, E. 2000. “Viral marketing: healthier than it sounds”, Sales and Marketing Management, 152(6), p18.


Rayport Jeffrey (1996). The Virus of Marketing. marketing


Richardson, P. S., Dick, A. S., & Jain, A. K. (1994). “Extrinsic and intrinsic cue effects on perceptions of store brand quality”, Journal of Marketing, 58(4), p28-36. 10.1177/002224299405800403

Rodney Graeme Duffett. (2017). “Influence of social media marketing communications on young consumers’ attitudes”, Young Consumer, 18, 1, p19-39


Romaniuk, J., & Sharp, B. (2012). “Brand salience and customer defection in subscription markets and Byron Sharp”, Journal of Marketing Research, (October), p37–41. 10.1080/0267257X.2003.9728200

Ryan, D. & Jones, C. (2012). Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Engaging the Digital Generation. Kogan Page


  1. Goel, D.J. Watts and D.G. Goldstein. (2012).“The Structure of Online Diffusion Networks,” Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC ‘12), Valencia, Spain, June 4-8, p623-638.


Saleem, A., & Ellahi, A. (2017). “Influence of electronic word of mouth on purchase intention of fashion products in social networking websites”, Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences (PJCSS), 11(2), p597-622.


Shabnam, Saadia; Choudhury, Afreen and Alam, Muhammad Intisar (2013). “An Emerging Method of Communication: Social Media Marketing and It’s Social and Managerial Implications”, World Review of Business Research, ISSN: 1838-3955, 3(1), January, p1-25.


Shareef, M. A., Mukerji, B., Alryalat, M. A. A., Wright, A., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2018). “Advertisements on Facebook: Identifying the persuasive elements in the development of positive attitudes in consumers”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 43(July), p258–268. http:// Available at.


Shareef, M. A., Mukerji, B., Dwivedi, Y. K., Rana, N. P., & Islam, R. (2017). “Social media marketing: Comparative effect of advertisement sources”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. (in press) Available at.


Singha, T., Veron-Jackson, L., & Cullinane, J. (2008). “Blogging: A new play in your marketing game plan”,  Business Horizons, 51(4), p80-90


Surjaatmadja, S., & Purnawan, D. (2018). “Store Image, Service Quality, and Familiarity on Purchase Intention of Private Label Brand In Indonesia”, International Review of Management and Marketing, 8(1), p79-85.


Taivanjargal, O., Batbayar, A., Batlkhagva, N., Tumenbayar, D., & Enkhtaivan, U. (2018). “Influencing factors on purchase intention of Smartphone users: In case of Mongoli Invention”, Journal of Research Technology in Engineering & Management (IJRTEM) Www.Ijrtem.Com, 2(6).

Taylor, D. G., Lewin, J. E., & Strutton, D. (2011). “Friends, fans, and followers: Do ads work on social networks?: How gender and age shape receptivity”, Journal of Advertising Research, 51(1), p258–275


Teo, T. S. H. (2002). “Attitudes toward online shopping and the Internet”, Behaviour & Information Technology, 21(4), p259–271.


Vagasi Mária,     (2004). “Integration of the Sustainability Concept into Strategy and Marketing,”, PERIODICA POLYTECHNICA SER. SOC. MAN. SCI. 48, 2, p245–260


Uddin, M., Xu, H., & Tahlil Azim, M. (2015). “Factors affecting mobile handset (MH) buying decision: An empirical study”, International Journal of Management and Business Research, 5(3), p225-236.


Waldow, D.J. & Falls, J. (2012). The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. Que



Walia, N., Srite, M., & Huddleston, W. (2016). “Eyeing the web interface: the influence of price, product, and personal involvement”, Electronic Commerce Research, 16(3), p297-333.


Wang, Y., Huang, Q., Davison, R. M., & Yang, F. (2018). “Effect of transactive memory systems on team performance mediated by knowledge transfer”, International Journal of Information Management, 41, p65–79.


Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2002). “Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: writing a literature review”, MIS Quarterly, 26(2), xiii–xxiii.


Westland, J. C., & Au, G. (1997). “A comparison of shopping experiences across three competing digital retailing interfaces”, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 2(2), p57–69.


Wilson, R.F. (2000). “The six simple principles of viral marketing”, Web Marketing Today, 70(1), p.232.


Wilson, R. F. (2012). Viral marketing: An online spin to additional word of mouth advertising.

Retrieved from



Williams, R., Van Der Wiele, T., Iwaarden, J. & Eldridge, S. (2010). “The Importance of User- Generated Content: The Case of Hotels,” The TQM Journal, 22 (2), p117-128.

Yang, B., Kim, Y., & Yoo, C. (2013). “The integrated mobile advertising model: The effects of technology-and emotion-based evaluations”, Journal of Business Research, 66(9), p1345– 1352.

Yaqoob, Q. T. (2018). Impact of Facebook Advertisements on Purchase Intentions of Mobile Facebook Users: Investigating the Moderating Role of Brand Origin and Perceived Product Value. Tohoku University.


Zarella, D. (2010). The Social Media Marketing Book. O’Reilly


Zeithaml, V. A. (1988). “Consumer Perceptions of Price, Quality, and Value: A Means-End Model and Synthesis of Evidence”, Journal of Marketing, 52(3), p2-22. 10.1177/002224298805200302


Zhu, Y. Q., & Chen, H. G. (2015). “Social media and human need satisfaction: Implications for social media marketing”, Business Horizons, 58(3), p335–345.


Annexure 1




Journal abbreviation Journal name




MIS Quarterly




Information Systems Research




Journal of Management Information Systems




European Journal of Information Systems




Communications of the AISa




Information and Management




Decision Support Systems








Journal of the Association for Information Systems




Information Systems Journal




Information Resources Management Journala




International Journal of Electronic Commerce




Journal of Computer Information Systems




Journal of Database Management




Information Technology & People




Journal of Strategic Information Systems




Journal of the ACM




Information Systems Frontiers




Journal of Global Information Management




MISQ Discoverya




Information Systems




Journal of End-User Computinga




Journal of Global Information Technology Management




nforming Sciencea




Australian Journal of Information Systemsa




Journal of Information Technology Theory & Applicationa







Information Technology & Management




Information and Organization




Electronic Markets




Behaviour & Information Technology







Source: Peffers, K., & Tang, Y. (2003). Identifying and evaluating the universe of outlets for information systems research: ranking the journals. Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 5(1), 63–84.


Annexure 2





Main Keywords Used





Sustainability Online Customers Social         Media Online Marketing

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems Online marketing strategies

Internet-enabled marketing strategies Internet Advertising Landscape Business Models of Online Marketing








Annexure 3



Articles per research topic












Online Marketing



Viral Marketing



Research Methodology



WoM/ eWom













Annexure 4

Definition of the terms used in the study








Social Media

A group of Internet based applications and tools that build on the ideological and technological foundations and allow the creation and

exchange of user generated content

Viral marketing

The   act   of   propagating   marketing   messages   through   the   help   and

cooperation fromindividual consumers

Consumers’ Sentiment toward Marketing


A    philosophy    referring    to    customers'    general    feelings       towards advertisement andthe marketplace

Shopper marketing

The preparation and implementation of all marketing practises that affect a shopper along and above the entire road of buying, from the moment the desire to buy first appears through purchase, use, repurchase, and


Virtual Brand


A brand network is a collective of people who have a common interest in a certainbrand or commodity

Consumer Generated Advertising


A type of user-generated content that refers to particular instances in which users produce brand-focused communications with the intent of educating, persuading,or reminding others