Spending behind word-of-mouth advertising rose 14.2% in 2008. Food and drink brands were the biggest spenders, accounting for 30% of all w-o-m spending. Word-of-mouth advertising includes buzz, influencers, community and viral marketing.
PQ Media forecasts that w-o-m spending will increase by another 10.2% this year, even with the recession taking place. PQ Media also believes that total spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.5% between 2008 and 2013.
Most of the w-o-m spend was spent researching consumers via online communities like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. These channels saw a growth of 26.6%, bringing the marketing dollars to $119 million. By far the most money with $832 million, was dedicated to w-o-m strategy and consulting. Agencies that specialize in w-o-m grew 18.7% to $197 million.
Getting w-o-m right is tricky, it can either make or break a brand or a campaign launch. It is not surprising to see that w-o-m consulting agencies have grown as many traditional advertising agencies haven’t had the time or resources to put together an in-depth study on their online, social networking target audience.
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