Word of Mouth Marketing has taken it on the chin lately. Social Media has grabbed the spotlight as the tools to use to create Word of Mouth. Last week WOMMA’s WOMM-U launched a comeback with a ferocious people-powered counter punch (in the interest of total transparency, Brains on Fire is a governing member of WOMMA and on the Board of Directors). But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go back to the beginning.
Last week was a blur, the Brains on Fire Fire Sessions and then right out the door to WOMM-U in Miami. But, after some time to reflect on last week, it was, in my opinion, a great week for Word of Mouth Marketing. WOMMA’s WOMM-U event falls in my top two of all WOMMA events, and I’ve attended them all.
Why? I heard less conversations about tactics and pitching of services and more conversations about strategy and what’s working and what’s not working. Both events were powered by dialogue.
I shared a workshop session with Chris Aarons of soon to change their name Buzz Corps. We had a lot of fun sharing the lessons and differences of building a long-term sustainable word of mouth program. This dynamic facilitated great discussions that often lead to folks lingering long after the workshop ended and over drinks.
The first WOMMA event in Chicago four short years ago was an inspiring opening round, urging all of us to be inspired by the customer. Now we have so many powerful tools that we can put into the ring and just manage safely from the corner.Ã‚Â Who can blame us? We can now see all of our comments and the faults of what used to be trusted brands.
WOMM-U was the great hope. The battle is still on, and brands and institutions are not giving up in these difficult economic times. Brands from Texas Instruments to Disney want to engage in the ring of conversations. Yes many tools will be applied – but not before engagement happens with the real stakeholders – employees and customers.