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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 28, 2014

Marketers struggle to measure offline word-of-mouth marketing

New research finds that while marketers believe the difficulties of measuring word-of-mouth offline is a major obstacle to its implementation, nearly two-thirds believe the channel to be more effective than traditional marketing particularly when coupled with social media.

by Helen Leggatt

A new survey of 328 marketing executives from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association found that nearly half of all respondents found difficulty measuring offline word-of-mouth marketing, viewing it as a 'major obstacle' with 39% saying it was a 'minor obstacle'.

These difficulties means that word-of-mouth is not a major budget item in most companies' marketing plans, coming well below other items such as customer service (54%), email marketing (40%), customer relationship management (39%) and digital advertising (36%).

Nevertheless, nearly two-thirds (64%) believe that word-of-mouth marketing and social media are 'more effective than traditional marketing'. In fact, the majority (70%) said their business would be upping their social media spend and 29% will be increasing spend on word-of-mouth.

Interestingly, the survey found that marketers associate social media with online (86%) and word-of-mouth with offline (62%).

According to the ensuing report, 'The State of Word of Mouth Marketing', "these findings suggest that, despite wide adoption or plans to adopt these tactics, there remains some confusion in terms of what constitutes social and word-of-mouth marketing".

Tags: marketing budget, social media, survey, word-of-mouth

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