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Growth in Word-of-Mouth Marketing Influence


In its latest market assessment, eMarketer predicts an 8.2 percent decline in U.S. total media advertising spending in 2009, after a 3.6 percent decrease last year.

However, some channels continue to grow -- including word-of-mouth marketing. According to PQ Media, much this growth is due to the rise of new media channels, such as blogs, social networks and other social media sites.

The research firm also found that U.S. word-of-mouth marketing spending on online communities increased 26.6 percent in 2008 to $119 million.

After 37.6 percent compound annual growth from 2003 to 2008, PQ Media predicts total U.S. word-of-mouth marketing spending will continue growing. They estimate an increase of 14.5 percent compounded annually between 2008 and 2013.

Total word-of-mouth marketing spending for 2009 is estimated at more than $1.7 billion, a 10.2 percent year-over-year increase.

Consumer goods firms were the biggest spenders on word-of-mouth marketing in 2008, with a 17.4 share of the total. The food and beverage industry contributed 12.2 percent of spending. Other shares were typically below 10 percent.

Among U.S. Internet users who bought a product based on an Influencer recommendation, 34 percent said that guidance came from a friend or relative. One-quarter followed the advice of a spouse or partner.

In other research, B2B buyers tend to follow the guidance of business associates and recognized sources of qualified influence from independent blogs and groups or communities of interest on professional social networks.

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