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ISBN: 9780195527988

Published: 29 Aug 13

Availability: 311




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Viral Marketing

The Science of Sharing

Karen Nelson-Field

Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing is not your typical ‘how to get shared’ book.

It would be nice to believe that viral success is as easy as being sneezed on. Those who spend a marketing dollar relish the possibility that the brave new world has brought brave new rules and the tantalising potential for a free ride. After applying scientific method and rigorous research to the topic, Nelson-Field says, “Wake up and smell the well-branded coffee”.

Using original research from more than 2 years of work, 5 different data sets, around 1000 videos, 9 individual studies and a large team of researchers from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, Viral Marketing offers solid advice on the nebulous business of video sharing. Dr Nelson-Field reports new knowledge on sharing, memory and the influence of creative devices.

Viral Marketing suggests that contrary to current trends, the old scientific laws of buyer behaviour and advertising still apply to social media. Marketers who have read How Brands Grow will find the key research that underpins this new work familiar. Nelson-Field’s research builds on the science behind brands and buying.

This is a must read book for anyone working in the social media space. Read it before you strap those roller skates onto a kitten, it might just save you some time, money and credibility.


Watch Karen Nelson-Field talk about her research on how emotions drive video sharing.

1. It’s an Epidemic
Karen Nelson-Field

2. When Laws Are Not Laws
Karen Nelson-Field

3. Emotions and Sharing
Karen Nelson-Field, Erica Riebe and Byron Sharp

4. Not all Fart Jokes are Funny
Karen Nelson-Field and Erica Riebe

5. Brand Prominence and Sharing
Karen Nelson-Field and Jenni Romaniuk

6. Reach [Still] Reigns
Karen Nelson-Field, Erica Riebe and Byron Sharp

7. The Pay-off
Karen Nelson-Field with Jennifer Taylor and Nicole Hartnett

8. The Social Opportunity
Karen Nelson-Field with Kellie Newstead

9. Last Drinks
Karen Nelson-Field

Appendix: Arousal Testing Research Method Explained
Karen Nelson-Field with Haydn Northover

Karen Nelson-Field is a Senior Research Associate with the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia. Her current research focuses on whether existing empirical generalisations in advertising and buyer behavior hold in the new media context. Her research into social media marketing, content marketing and video sharing have been internationally recognised both in industry and academic forums while her (sometimes controversial) findings regularly spark global discussion amongst practitioners.

Learn more about Karen by visiting her website.



Byron Sharp is a professor of marketing science and director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia. His research is funded by corporations around the world including Coca-Cola, Mars, P&G, Kraft, Turner Broadcasting, CBS, and the Australian Research Council. His book How Brands Grow, Oxford University Press, 2010, presents a wide variety of scientific laws and what they mean for marketing strategy.

Erica Riebe is a senior researcher at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia. Her work focuses on determining effective media placement strategies and measuring the impact of change in the media environment on audiences.

Nicole Hartnett is a Senior Research Associate at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia. Her current research interests centre around measuring advertising effects and advertising creativity.

Jennifer Taylor is a Senior Research Associate and Lecturer in the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia. Her key area of research interest and expertise is advertising effectiveness, with a particular focus on single-source measurement.

Jenni Romaniuk is an Associate Research Professor of Brand Equity and Associate Director (International) of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science. She is also a regular columnist in the Journal of Advertising Research. Her key areas of research are Brand Equity, Advertising Effectiveness, Word-of-mouth and Customer Loyalty. She advises companies around the globe on these issues.

Kellie Newstead is a Research Associate at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia Her research area is focused on understanding why and how marketing managers make changes to advertising. This includes understanding what effect changes to branding elements in advertising have on consumers’ ability to recognise the advertised brand. Her other research interests include new media and media strategy.

Haydn Northover has recently completed his PhD thesis "Are Biometrics Better" (fMRI, EEG, Skin Conductance amongst others). Haydn's key research interest is understanding how emotion and memory are measured, particularly in an advertising pre-testing context. Specifically Haydn utilises skin conductance and speeded response times to assess advertising effectiveness. Building on 15 years of advertising and communications research for some of the largest market research companies, Haydn has recently launched his own research company, The Ship. Haydn continues to teach at The University of South Australia.