2014 Landmark Study

Landmark Industry Study Finds Word of Mouth Drives 13% of Consumer Sales

The Return on WOM study was organized by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), and released at their annual Summit in Los Angeles on November 18, 2014. The study was based on sophisticated econometric modeling of sales and marketing data provided by participating brands on a confidential basis. The offline word of mouth data used by the researchers was contributed by Keller Fay Group (now Enagement Labs).

Key Findings

• WOM drives 13% of consumer sales, about $6 trillion annually.
• Media Amplification: WOM boosts effect of paid media by 15%.
• Offline WOM accounts for 2/3rds of sales impact; online social media 1/3rd.
• An offline WOM impression drives 5 to100+ the sales impact of paid media alone.
• WOM’s impact happens close to the time of purchase—often within two weeks.

View the full study:



  • The independent modeling firm, Analytic Partners, named top modelers by Forrester, conducted the research with sophisticated market-mix modeling methods.
  • Consultants at Sequent Partners managed the process on behalf of WOMMA.
  • The study was organized by WOMMA and made possible by sponsors who contributed funding and data: AT&T, Discovery, Intuit, Pepsico, and Weight Watchers.

Role of Keller Fay Group (now Engagement Labs)

  • Keller Fay Group contributed data from TalkTrack® (now TotalSocial®), which covers both online and offline word of mouth conversations.
  • TalkTrack® involves a survey of 3,000 consumers every month, reporting on their daily conversations, 75% of which happen face-to-face.
  • Without TalkTrack®, the WOMMA Return on WOM study would not have been possible.

Press Coverage