Marketers Say "Word of Mouth Marketing" Is More Effective than Traditional Marketing; Forecast Big Increase in Social Media Spending

In Survey, Marketers Say that Difficulty Measuring Impact Is a Key Obstacle to Wider Use of Word of Mouth Marketing/Social Media

Survey Is First Collaboration for Trade Groups American Marketing Assn. and the Word of Mouth Marketing Assn.

Nov 19, 2013, 08:27 ET from Word of Mouth Marketing Association

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Word of mouth marketing is more effective than "traditional" marketing, according to 64% of marketing professionals interviewed in a new survey sponsored by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and the American Marketing Association (AMA).

The survey, which covered both online and offline forms of word of mouth (WOM) marketing, was released today by Brad Fay, the Chairman-Elect of WOMMA, at the trade group's annual Summit meeting. The survey was conducted online from September through October among 328 marketing executives ranging in a wide variety of companies. The research company, Decipher, conducted the interviews online, drawing on members of the AMA and WOMMA.

Entitled the "State of Word of Mouth Marketing Survey," the study found that 70% of marketers expect their companies will increase spending on social media in 2014 than digital advertising (59%) or email marketing (53%).

The survey also found that 29% expect to increasing spending on "offline word of mouth marketing," well ahead of print media (16%), product sampling (14%) and television (9%) in terms of future spending plans.

In the survey, marketers also said the three biggest obstacles in effectively pursuing WOM and social media marketing are difficulty measuring offline WOM (89%), showing return on investment (85%) and measuring online social media (79%).

"While the survey found marketers believe that social marketing is highly effective, they need better tools to demonstrate its effectiveness," said Brad Fay, Chief Marketing Officer of Kelley Fay. "This is the great challenge for our industry: to provide more tools to show the return on investment from word of mouth marketing."

"WOM is such an important aspect of marketing today, because it is where meaningful conversations happen with customers" said Nancy Costopulos, Chief Marketing Officer at the American Marketing Association. "This study is a call to action for our industry to help marketers prove the business value of WOM."

As part of his presentation at Summit, Fay announced that WOMMA is embarking on a new word of mouth measurement initiative called, "The Value of WOM Study," to address the measurement challenge uncovered in the survey. WOMMA has retained Sequent Partners, a brand and media metrics consultancy, to oversee a market mix modeling project that will put a dollar value on consumer-to-consumer conversations about brands, both online and offline. WOMMA is in the process of recruiting brands and agencies to participate in the study. 

WOMMA President Suzanne Fanning believes research is an increasingly important priority for the trade group. "We are focusing on research because agency and brand members alike say they need better measurement in order to move their businesses forward."  

About WOMMA 
Founded in 2004, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association is the official trade association in the industry dedicated to word of mouth and social media marketing. It is comprised of members from elite Fortune 500 brands, agencies and service providers, such as McDonald's Corporation, Unilever, Nestle, Nissan, Heineken International, Edelman and more. These exceptional thought-leaders across the globe and innovative companies are committed to expanding the word of mouth marketing industry through advocacy, education and ethics. For more information please visit

About the American Marketing Association 
The American Marketing Association (AMA) is the largest marketing association in North America with a global network of over 30,000 members. It is a professional association for individuals involved in the practice, teaching and study of marketing worldwide. As the leading organization for marketers, AMA is the trusted go-to resource for marketers and academics. AMA is counted on as the most credible marketing resource where members can stay relevant with knowledge, training and tools to enhance lifelong learning and obtain valuable information and connections. For more information on the American Marketing Association, please visit

Media Contact: 
Monica Gostkiewicz 
Word of Mouth Marketing Association 
65 E. Wacker Place, Suite 500 
Chicago, IL 60601 




SOURCE Word of Mouth Marketing Association