Date of Award

9-26-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Program

Communication and Media - with a specialization in Media Studies and Practice

Department

College of Communication and Design

First Advisor

Erika Grodzki

Second Advisor

Harry Murphy

Third Advisor

Yolanda Cal

Abstract

In today’s digital marketing driven environment, it is essential that organizations understand the strategies behind technology in advertising. Unfortunately, many marketers do not have a strategy when they begin utilizing digital marketing strategies. The purpose of this study is to understand how viral topics translate into digital marketing. The research includes a case study on United Airlines, followed by in-depth interviews with digital marketers, and accompanied by an analysis of the business’ digital marketing campaigns. Analysis of the campaigns reveal the different digital marketing strategies organizations use to build and maintain relationships with consumers. The study concludes with a discussion of the lessons learned from the research: the implementation of viral topics in digital marketing increases brand exposure; focusing more on relationships than sales, increases sales; interesting content promotes interaction.

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