Evil Viral Marketing?

The other day I revisited a book by Mark Joyner titled The Irresistible Offer which talks about how to create product how Mark had impressed me by bringing to life a vivid discussion about an important marketing technique – Viral Marketing.

If you don’t know much about Viral Marketing, check out this link:


In his book, Mark cited two distinct types of viral marketing tactics. The first is driven by incentive, which he called “Incentivized Word of Mouth.” In this type, the Word of Mouth is spread by greed – “ the greed of gaining the reward offered for spreading the message.The second type, he named “tag]Inspired Word of Mouth.” In this type, the Word of Mouth is spread by the pure motivation of sharing good information. This type of viral marketing, Mark maintains, is much more powerful.

I both agree and disagree with his words. It is absolutely not an “evil”to use monetary (or other) incentives to motivate someone to spread the word about your products. But let me say that with the caveat that it’s only not “evil” provided that you are not intentionally selling low-grade quality products, and are therefore exclusively relying only on the reward scheme of your affiliates to expand your business. I have seen many network marketing programs use this tactic in a wrong way. And the result you can always bet on: more than 99% of them fail miserably.

Good product motivates people to spread the words about it, and only good product can excite customers. In this, I definitely agree with Mark. As he says in his book, “There is no substitute for an ecstatic customer.”

Therefore, viral marketing motivated purely by greed is doomed to fail.

If you are interested in reading Mark’s book for yourself, visit this link:


Tags: Incentivized Word of Mouth, The Irresistible Offer