State of WOMM: Word of Mouth Trumps Traditional Marketing [SLIDESHARE]

Jessica Murray Director of Membership, Word of Mouth Marketing Association

Posted on April 17th 2014

State of WOMM: Word of Mouth Trumps Traditional Marketing [SLIDESHARE]

State of Word of Mouth Marketing Survey 

In the first of its kind survey sponsored by the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), 64% of brand marketers say word of mouth marketing is "more effective than traditional marketing."

The survey was conducted online among more than 300 marketing executives in a wide variety of companies. 

Here are some 2014 State of WOMM Survey highlights:

Spending on word of mouth marketing is modest, but growing fast.

– Online social media is a major spending area according to 26% of marketers and “offline word of mouth” is a major spending area for 21%, well behind customer service (54%), email marketing (40%), customer relationship management (39%) and digital advertising (36%).

– But spending levels are poised to grow fast. 70% say their company will increase spending on social media, more than any other marketing channel, including offline WOM at 29%. Both forms of WOM marketing rank ahead of print media (16%), product sampling (14%), and TV (9%) as growth areas.

 Widespread use for many social tactics

– The survey measured usage levels for 19 specific tactics for social and word of mouth marketing, finding that two-thirds of companies have already tried six that relate to online social media, including building/managing profiles (82%), monitoring online social media (72%), and using sharing buttons (68%).

– The tactics best poised to see more usage are enlisting advocates (40% are considering it), and setting WOM as an advertising objective (35%).

– High levels of satisfaction is reported for every WOM marketing tactic, with at least 7 in 10 marketers satisfied with their experiences.

Difficulty of measuring WOM is an obstacle for the majority of companies.

– 64% of marketers believe social marketing is “more effective than traditional marketing,” but relatively few think they can effectively measure the ROI of online social media (34%) or offline WOM (22%).

– Indeed, large majorities say that measurement problems are obstacles to greater usage of WOM Marketing in their companies. The top three obstacles are difficulty measuring offline WOM (89%), not being able to show ROI (85%), and difficulty measuring online social media (79%).

– Other key obstacles are a lack of company coordination (75%) and lack of understanding about word of mouth marketing (64%).

Few companies rate themselves as “Advanced” in WOM marketing 

– Just 6% are “advanced” whereas 16% describe their companies as “very innovative” generally.

– Even among “Innovative” Companies, Only 40% Rate Themselves as Above Average or Advanced in WOM Marketing.

See the entire State of WOMM Survey here,

Are you surprised by the survey findings, why or why not? 



Jessica Murray

Director of Membership, Word of Mouth Marketing Association

Jessica Murray, identified as “Top 100 Global Community Manager to Follow” by Little Bird, currently serves as the Director of Membership of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). As the official association dedicated to the word of mouth and social media marketing industries, WOMMA members include the world’s top digital agencies and Fortune 500 brands like Nestle, Nissan, Procter and Gamble, Unilever, American Express and hundreds more.  Jessica leads fulfillment of year-round membership benefits and business development efforts which have resulted in the highest retention rates in the history of the organization and an increase in membership revenue.

Prior to her role at WOMMA, Jessica served as Global Community Manager of Social Media Club (SMC), a nonprofit trade association dedicated to bringing together small businesses and digital savvy professionals to educate them on social media tools and technologies. She grew SMC from over 100K members to more than 500K in 2 years and expanded from 26 countries to 57 countries.

Jessica has worked on social media campaigns for Dunkin’ Donuts, General Motors and several startups but her passion is in nonprofit education, ethics and advocacy.

When not being plugged into all things digital in Chicago, Jessica hosts a 24-hour design-a-thon in Nashville, TN which brings together the most talented creatives to provide pro-bono services to underserved nonprofits. These annual events have delivered more than $500,000 in creative services to nonprofits focused on different causes including literacy, homelessness and juvenile incarceration prevention. 

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