spread ad budget across many countries or few?


Assume we have a limited advertisement budget that we are currently spreading it across 30 countries.

Is it valid to think that by putting it all on a single country (e.g Italy) there is an increased probability that we'll go viral (in Italy) due to greater accumulated local awareness of the advertised service/product?


Edit : I'm asking something very specific here. Does it play any role if the people who are exposed to the product/service know each other in the hope that they'll discuss it and spread it to other friends? Or not?
I assume that I have greater chances to expose the product to people who know each other if I spend all my budget in a specific country vs the whole world.

Advertising Budget Viral

asked May 10 '11 at 21:23
219 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


It depends on how 'viral-worthy' your content is... Most viral campaigns flop. The content isn't interesting enough, doesn't trigger enough of an emotional response, doesn't work. Most of the time.

A good viral campaign will do some awareness-building at the beginning, but it doesn't require continual funds or effort once it's caught on. The buzz around it keeps it going. So if your content is viral-worthy you need to get it in front of just enough people that a proportion of them will forward it on and contribute to the buzz.

If you think that one in ten people might forward it on and talk about it - then you can probably spread your budget around many countries. If you think that only one in a thousand people will run with it, then you'll need to focus on one country - but your chances of it succeeding are slim anyway, because that one person will probably not know enough other people that will find it interesting enough to pass on - and therefore the virus dies.

answered May 10 '11 at 22:49
2,333 points
  • Thanks. My main and only question is whether people who know each other (and have been exposed to the product) have a greater chance of spreading the word to other friends or social networks since they'll perceive it as more of a buzz (since they already found another friend who knew about the product/service in question). – Cherouvim 13 years ago
  • Yes. I think your premise is correct: if people find that others around them have also heard about it - the buzz will be elevated and more likely to go viral. – Edralph 13 years ago


Yes. People who know each other will have a greater change of spreading the word to other friends or social networks in a way that results in additional referrals. People may spread their exposure to a product to people thy don't know, but the impact of that will be far less than the impact of shared exposure from someone they know.

This may be one reason to concentrate your limited advertising budget in one country.

As @edralph was referencing there may be other significant challenges with the proposed advertising campaign as references which go beyond the decision to focus a limited advertising budget on one country in an effort to develop more peer-peer referrals. I am sure that @edraplph shares my anticipation of questions from you that may provide us the opportunity to address those.

answered May 11 '11 at 00:09
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • Thanks. I'm not sure I understand your last phrase. Do you need more info from me? – Cherouvim 13 years ago
  • I look forward to seeing additional well worded and focused questions -- like the one above -- which address issues like "advertising to promote viral marketing" or "cross national social networking" -- These additional quesitons may end up providing more valuable information than simply asking if "the social cohesion between individuals impacts whether they will discss and share a product they were exposed to." The answer is -- yes, that is the foundational principal of social network marketing -- but it doesn't really answer any specific issue facing your current startup. – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago

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Advertising Budget Viral