“It’s a people driven economy stupid” and “Online word of mouth has made many traditional marketing strategies obsolete”. Those are powerful words and central to the theme in “Socialnomics” by Erik Qualman, Global VP for Online Marketing for EF Educatio, the world’s largest private educator.
I appreciate Erik’s characterization because it’s how I’ve viewed social media since our digital marketing & PR agency started blogging and using social news/bookmarking sites in 2004: as technology that facilitates word of mouth. At conferences, I often say to audiences that if a company has strong word of mouth in the offline world, then Social Media may be a powerful option for them. If not, perhaps social media can help them get word of mouth started.