Take a look:
The most frequently identified methods of gathering information were:
- Using a company website (36%),
- Face-to-face with a salesperson or other company representative (22%), and
- Face-to-face with a person not associated with the company (21%).
Other frequently mentioned methods or sources were:
- Advertising in print media (19%),
- Independent websites that have reviews (19%),
- Phone call to the company (16%), and
- Public or private social networking sites (4%).
Thirty-six percent use a company web site. Four percent use social networking sites.
The real issue is that WOMMers have usurped the term word of mouth. Word of mouth is what word of mouth marketing isn’t. From my book:
When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, print ad, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying.
As far as all the claptrap about WOMM replacing advertising - people who are hawking that one have a slippery grip on history. Word-of-mouth marketing is nothing new. It's been around for a hundred years, since the beginning of modern advertising, always morphing into various forms. The latest morphs: online social networking and blogs.
There is plenty of marketing and advertising to be done on the Web, and who knows what forms they will take over the next ten years. We'll all be surprised. But word-of-mouth as the primary driving force of marketing? I think not.
Remember this: Advertising didn't die with the invention of the telephone.
Someone who understands history and makes you laugh:
The Revolution That Never Happened
Ten years ago, if you would have said that DVR viewing would represent only 5% of total viewing today, you would have been called a fool and a Luddite. – The Ad Contrarian