A Population Dynamics Approach to Viral Marketing

  • Pedro C. SoutoEmail author
  • Luísa V. Silva
  • Diego Costa Pinto
  • Francisco C. Santos
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 881)


The symbiosis of Social Media and viral campaigns has recently become ubiquitous. In many recent phenomena (e.g., the Cambridge Analytica scandal), rumours in viral marketing programs are present without being even noticed by consumers. Yet, the study of population dynamics and its complex patterns of interaction remains largely elusive. Here, we propose an agent-based Marketing referral model to study the impact on firms’ dissemination and profitability of biased behavior in a population of opportunistic individuals. We show that those agents only interested in collecting rewards without any brand recognition are responsible for most of Marketing campaign success and dissemination, for a large range of different cost structures, network characteristics, and number of invites. This effect is further amplified whenever the difference between the cost of using the service and the reward collected after bringing a new customer is higher.


Rumour and viral marketing Referral programs Social networks 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro C. Souto
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Luísa V. Silva
    • 2
  • Diego Costa Pinto
    • 2
  • Francisco C. Santos
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.INESC-ID and Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.NOVA Information Management SchoolUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.NOVA School of Business and EconomicsUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.ATP-GroupIST-TagusparkPorto SalvoPortugal

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