1 Case Study: Mekanism: Engineering Viral Marketing 4/26/14 BUSA 468 Case Study Background:
2 Mekanism is a digital social-media production company, for the development of viral marketing campaigns. Mekanism began as small production shop that advertisers hired to create digital media content for its clients. The company was founded by Tommy Means and three partners in 2000. Tommy and his partners were visionaries. Social media and user-created content sites had only begun to appear when they started the company. However, they recognized the potential of digital marketing. Business was slow at first, but they were rewarded for their forward thinking as the media landscape began to shift in 2005. Traditional media outlets declined, while online videos increased exponentially. “From 2005 to 2011, the percentage of Internet users regularly watching videos online in a month increased from 56% to 83%” (Teixeria & Caverly 2013) . At first small advertisers sought out viral marketing because it provided cost savings, fast reach, and consumer engagement. Major advertisers eventually recognized these benefits and began experimenting with virtual marketing. By 2009, many new clients signed on with Mekanism and they enjoyed a staggering 68% annual growth in billings. However, Mekanism was not successful merely because it was one of the first digital marketing organizations to enter the market. It has been successful because of its ability to differentiate from its traditional and digital agency competitors. From the beginning it positioned itself as a “one-stop digital shop” (Teixeria & Caverly 2013), for the creation of campaigns involving digital content for social media. Clients find Mekanism appealing because it can handle a wide range of tasks. Working with one consolidated digital company is more convenient for the client rather than having to work with multiple agencies for new and social media. For example, having to hire one agency for animated video, and another for websites. Mekanism does everything when it comes to digital marketing.
3 Virtual marketing proved to be cheaper, spread quicker, and engage consumers better than traditional media outlets. What is the catch? Many in the advertising industry claim that viral marketing is unpredictable, and an unreliable tool for markets. After all, on YouTube, only 3% of videos got more than 25,000 views. However, Mekanism believes they can successfully control and “engineer virality” (Teixeria & Caverly 2013). They claim, “We guarantee we can create an online campaign and make it go viral” (Teixeria & Caverly 2013). Based off the work they have done, it seems they have backed up this claim. They have averaged 3.5 million views, on average, per campaign. They attribute this success to their storytelling. They claim their storytelling “builds brands” (Teixeria & Caverly 2013). Their stories build brands because they “engage emotions and connect on a deeper level” (Teixeria & Caverly 2013). Consumers also become involved in
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