Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Spend Hits $1.5B

Spending behind word-of-mouth marketing hit $1.54 billion last year, according to PQ Media. While most traditional channels saw spending slow, spending behind w-o-m tactics including buzz, influencer, community and viral marketing grew 14.2 percent in 2008. Food and drink brands led the way accounting for 30 percent of all w-o-m spending.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> PQ Media is forecasting the w-o-m spending will increase another 10.2 percent this year despite the recession. Total spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate 14.5 percent between 2008 and 2013. "Brands value and invest in w-o-m," said Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media, in a statement. "Our research indicates that brands are allocating more their budgets to long-term w-o-m campaigns, executing effective online and offline activities that resonate with consumers and their core groups."<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Reaching consumers via online communities like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace was an obvious priority for marketers. Spending increased 26 percent in those channels to $119 million, per the report. The largest amount of marketing dollars ($832 million) was dedicated for w-o-m strategy and consulting. W-o-m agencies grew 18.7 percent to $197 million. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Adding a little perspective, Quinn said, "Despite impressive growth in the industry, w-o-m remains just a fraction of the overall advertising and marketing landscape. But, double-digit growth in this economic environment is a strong sign of an increasingly prevalent roles in the future."