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Word of mouth

Word of mouth is spoken, rather than written, communication. It is the passing of information by verbal means, especially recommendations, but also general information, in an informal, person-to-person manner, rather than by mass media, advertising, organized publication, or marketing.

Word of mouth promotion is highly valued by marketers. It is felt that this form of communication has valuable source credibility. People are more inclined to believe word of mouth promotion than more formal forms of promotion because the communicator is unlikely to have an alterior motive (ie.: they are not out to sell you something). In order to manufacture word of mouth communications, marketers use publicity techniques.

There is some overlap in meaning between word of mouth and the following: rumour, gossip, inuendo[?], and hearsay; however the negative connotations of these words are not included in the meaning of word of mouth. See also grapevine[?].

See also: Marketing, promotion, Speech, verbal, unwritten, publicity

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