Only 15% of viral campaigns got consumers to promote marketers’ messages in the past year, according to JupiterResearch’s "Viral Marketing: Bringing the Message to the Masses" report.

JupiterResearch also found that viral marketers plan to decrease targeting influential consumers by 55% within the next year.

"Viral marketers often send one campaign to all influentials," said JupiterResearch analyst Emily Riley in a MediaPost article. "Different influential groups not only respond very differently to advertising campaigns but also influence others in very different ways."

Relatively older online users were more likely to pass along marketing messages than younger users, according to Ms. Riley.

Younger users visited social sites where viral marketing messages were typically seeded. Yet older users showed significant use of e-mail and online video.

As a result, Ms. Riley said older users "should be absolutely incorporated into viral marketing campaigns, especially because they are the traditional target audiences for brands or products."