Word of mouth marketing in 2009 and beyond

Word of mouth 2009 was a tough year for marketing in general. However, some marketing techniques were doing just fine. One of them was, despite all the challenges, email marketing.

Another one was word of mouth marketing. Now, you probably know that word of mouth marketing is still predominantly an offline matter. However, with the increasing adoption of social media, word-of-mouth moves online more and more.

Despite the recession, word of mouth marketing (WOM) remained a strong grower in the media and communication industry in 2009.

Last summer, PQ Media presented the results of its research regarding word-of-mouth spending in the US. The research showed that the surveyed companies increased their spending on WOM with 14.2 % to a total of 1.52 billion USD in 2008. For 2009, PQ Media expected budgets for word of mouth marketing to increase again, be it with a more modest growth rate of 10.2%. 

Even with this slight decrease, the company stated that WOM remains one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.   

I just checked the company’s web site but could unfortunately not find an update or confirmation of that percentage (people at PQ Media, if you read this: some recent data?).

Explanations for the increasing success of word of mouth marketing

The CEO of PQ Media explains the success of WOM by the obvious fact that people are more influenced by the advice of people they trust, such as friends, family members, opinion leaders and so on. Of course the same applies to advice concerning purchase decisions and opinions about brands.

I think the fact that spending on word-of-mouth marketing increases is due to many other reasons besides this perceived trustworthiness of word of mouth marketing, including the rise of social networking and social media, the fact that companies start to see the power of WOM and start to understand how to use it and probably even the fact that it has become easier than ever to measure the efficiency of WOM-related activities.   

Of course the economic climate, with a negative impact on many forms of marketing and advertising, plays a role too.

Word of mouth marketing spending: 3 billion USD in 2013?

Whatever the reasons: PQ Media is even more optimistic about the future of word of mouth marketing. The company believes that by 2013 total investments will increase to an amount of 3 billion USD. 

It shows that people and the stories they share become more and more important in the reality of marketing and communication.   

In these figures, the spending on campaigns, services and consultancy is included.

Some related posts:

The value of word of mouth marketing
Why people talk about products and brands
Some benefits of word of mouth marketing

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