According to consulting giant McKinsey, about two-thirds of all economic activity in the US is influenced by shared opinions about a product, brand or service. To help make some sense of that, WOMMA (The Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has partnered with eMarketer to deliver a report examining why so many online marketers are engaging in word of mouth or viral campaigns – and why even more plan to do so in the future.

According to the report, the top ten reasons are:

1. The consumer is in control
2. There is a growing distrust of advertising messages
3. Empowered consumers are not just negative, they are fighting back
4. There is a marked increase in online advertising
5. Media fragmentation is causing marketers are shifting from mass advertising to targeting efforts
6. Email and other interactive platforms make it easy to employ viral programs
7. Word of mouth marketing is relatively free advertising
8. New tools can now track and measure online word of mouth
9. Online word of mouth marketing campaigns have a long shelf life
10. Remarkable offline marketing campaigns can ripple on to the web

The full, paid version of the report is available here. [via Church of the Customer]