Hello world, Dab here, I'm talking to Justin Kirby of the VBMA, sipping absinth at the Carlton hotel in Cannes. Ok, so I fibbed a little on the last bit - in reality we've just emailed. Let a girl dream.
DB: So Justin, what is Viral marketing vs what is word of mouth? (if you had to explain it to your mum)
JK: My Mum's doing a PhD (seriously and she's over 70) so how about what Dr Paul Marsden says:
Viral and Buzz: Spreading crafted advertising messages through consumer networks - either through media, ambient or online.
Word of Mouth: Accelerating, amplifying and measuring natural word of mouth recommendations.
He also says; Buzz, WOMM and viral are all the same - namely "network-enhanced word of mouth".
If you want to talk of nuances then;
... viral has tended to be used by those dealing with online networks
... buzz by those who exploit media networks (PR-ability)
... and WOMM by those who harness traditional social networks.
But it's all network-enhanced word of mouth. Simple!