Some 64% of marketing executives believe that word-of-mouth (W-O-M) marketing is more effective than traditional marketing, says a new survey from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and the American Marketing Association (AMA). While there may be some skew to the survey results (some respondents were drawn from the WOMMA), consumers seem to agree when it comes to the power of W-O-M: a recent survey of global consumers by Nielsen found them more willing to trust and act on recommendations from people they know than any form of paid media.
The WOMMA and AMA survey included both online and offline forms of W-O-M marketing – although spending plans tend to show a focus on social media. According to the study, 7 in 10 marketers believe that their companies will increase their social media spending next year. Comparatively fewer – 29% – expect to increase spending on “offline word of mouth marketing.” (Just 9% will increase spending on TV – although research has found TV to be the leading driver of word-of-mouth both online and offline.)
For the time being, most brand conversations are occurring offline, per recent study results from COLLOQUY.com, although social word-of-mouth is on the rise.
Meanwhile, separate results from the WOMMA and AMA survey indicate that the top 3 obstacles to effectively pursuing W-O-M and social media marketing are: difficulty measuring offline W-O-M (89%); showing return on investment (85%); and measuring online social media (79%). So it appears that marketers are confident in the effectiveness of W-O-M marketing, but still want to be better able to measure it.
About the Data: The survey was conducted online in September and October among 328 marketing executives from a wide variety of companies. The research company, Decipher, conducted the interviews online, drawing on members of the AMA and WOMMA.