Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


Technological evolutions, principally developments in electronic and digital social media, have introduced new marketing paradigms, such as viral marketing. Viral marketing is a relatively new phenomenon which offers marketing practitioners significant opportunities to reach target audiences in a credible and attention grabbing way.

Students have rapidly adopted new social technologies, and they use these media to enrich existing offline personal relationships that they have with friends within their tertiary level environment. Students have a predilection to forward messages to friends, and value messages they receive from friends. This is because students trust friends, and also believe that friends will know which messages are particularly interesting or relevant to them. Students are incentivised to propagate messages which contain an offer, or content, that the student perceives to be of value, and that are emotionally arresting. Therefore, students can, and do play an active role in the marketing communications process. This study contends that viral marketing strategies are extremely relevant to closed environments, such as tertiary level educational establishments.

This research examines the key factors which impact upon the implementation of effective viral marketing strategies by on-campus organisations within tertiary level educational establishments.

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