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Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is the technique of promoting a product, service or business by soliciting positive comments from satisfied customers. Word of mouth marketing is an interactive process such that customers are collaborating with the business, product or service for which they have derived enough satisfaction that they are willing to speak out about it and even recommend it to others.
Word of mouth marketing isn't new. The term was coined in the early 70s by George Silverman who was a mathematician and statistician. Silverman noticed that within a physician focus group he was conducting that very few had experienced satisfaction with a certain pharmaceutical product. Yet those with conversely positive experiences were able to sway the cynical physicians as well as those who no longer used the product.
The difference now is that social media has made word of mouth marketing even more important. Happy customers can create a buzz faster, and to a larger audience than they were able to prior to social media and the Internet.