Monday, June 14, 2010

Yahoo Study: Internet Can Drive Word Of Mouth Even Better Than Television

There's no arguing that word of mouth (WOM) marketing impacts sales. And while a large number of people talk about content they found online, three-quarters of the time those conversations take place offline.

A recent study from Yahoo on WOM marketing demonstrates that the Internet has grown more influential when it comes to informing people through conversations about brands, even more so than TV in certain categories. The study also finds that the best vehicles for influencing WOM come from consumers who play in social networks. These "Conversation Catalysts" drive a disproportionately higher percentage of WOM activity.

While many marketers have little doubt that the Internet can influence WOM marketing nearly as much as TV, the huge gap in budgets for online versus television tells a different tale, says Radha Subramanyam, Yahoo vice president, who heads corporate and media research. "There's a bit of an intellectual gap in how marketers spend their budget that doesn't exactly tie to ROI," she says.

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