Marketers have long understand that word of mouth advertising is the most powerful form of advertising, now enhanced by social media tools, evolving into the term “word of mouse” to describe the phenomenon.
This leads to a further distinction: media that is paid for, Vs media that is earned.
Consumers understand that paid media has a commercial purpose for the advertiser, they have a vested interest in being persuasive, and not necessarily being long on facts. By contrast, the notion of “earned media” content that is spread because it has value, approaches the value of word of mouth endorsement.
The fragmentation of media options has made life much more interesting for marketers, for those with a bit of creativity and curiosity, it is a smorgasbord, for most, just a pain in the arse and an opportunity to game the unwary.