Highlights from WOMMA’s WOMM-University in
1. New Format: WOMMU was the trial run of a new event format that John Bell and I were part of hatching from previous event feedback. There were 3 types of sessions: Mainstage keynotes/case studies, 12-person working group sessions with experts, and large working groups tasked to complete a Word of Mouth Marketing plan for 1 of 3 charitable projects. Most of the feedback I heard was very positive (balanced with the fact that participating in discussions and workgroups is more tiring than being fed Powerpoint presentations), but I also had lively discussions with someone who vehemently disliked the new format. What I learned is that by enacting a radical change, we began a dialogue that no amount of theoretical “how can we improve?” questions could have elicited. Go ahead and build that strawman to get people talking.
2. Word of Mouth is “marketing’s butt crack”. Jeffrey Graham from the New York Times chose to use this particularly colorful metaphor as a tribute to the appearance of the sliver of WOMM spend as a part of the total marketing spend pie. Graham shared great data surrounding the increased return of WOMM as part of an integrated program – brands require both relationships and impressions to achieve communications goals.
3. Dell’s social media transformation story continues to grow and evolve very swiftly. An amazing 120 ideas from Ideastorm have already been put into production. Check out the very light touch of Regeneration.org. My favorite quote from Dell’s VP of Community was “Beware of Content Pushers“.
4. Carnival Cruise Lines has come a long way since Kathie Lee sang “Ain’t We Got Fun?”. The blog of Senior Cruise Director John Heald takes brand personality to the next level as does their enthusiast club named for an on-board drink specialty “The Monkey Head Wasters”. Carnival noticed that a group had formed and built them their own forum to keep in touch. Bringing customers together is powerful marketing.
5. OPI proves names contribute to WOMM. Technically, this wasn’t the point of their case study, but it was demonstrated by the women who asked questions afterwards – all of whom identified themselves by the fun OPI color they were wearing. The effort put into hatching names like “I’m Not Really a Waitress” certainly creates some brand preference.
If you missed it, check out the live blog for all the details. Hope to see you at the next WOMMA event in November!