While year-over-year growth is expected to slow in 2009, WOM spending is on pace to grow another 10.2% this year, placing it among the fastest growing advertising and marketing segments, according to the research. By comparison, the U.S. economy, as well as the advertising and marketing services sectors are all expected to decline in 2009.
The industry is changing and growing as consumers become more connected to one another
through high-tech devices, such as smart phones, and social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter. As a result, brand marketers -- particularly packaged goods and food & drink brands, which
accounted for nearly 30% of all WOM spending in 2008 -- have increased spending and emphasis on WoM as part of their overall marketing strategies.--Tanya Irwin