Hello from WOMMA

2

You know you’re part of the .1% of marketers who care about word of mouth when you attend the WOMMA conference, a collection of about 500 marketers in Orlando at the Disney Cornado Resort. In true word of mouth spirit, don’t come to this hotel for a vacation. Small rooms, you pay twice for WiFi, and you walk about a quarter of a mile from your room to the lobby.

Here’s a picture from the first keynote and panel discussion.

Andy Sernovitz delivered an evangelistic toast to the word of mouth industry, explaining where we are in its maturity. In short, we’ve established a presence and this year we have to maintain the integrity of word of mouth. Shun the companies and campaigns that are dishonest. Marketing is about listening, facillitating and helping customers buy.

I think everyone agrees the product is paramount for word of mouth to succeed. Although it strikes me that there are mostly PR, advertising and interactive agencies attending this event. Of course there are also company practitioners here…I don’t have a sense yet of where they sit in the organization. But I don’t imagine there are many product managers here.

The question we may ask ourselves, given the point above, are we too downstream and are we still too focused on campaigns. If customers share word of mouth on products they like and don’t like, ultimately the products that have bad WOM or none at all, should change. In my experience, advertising and PR don’t have a big influence on product change leadership.

We shall see.

2 Responses

  1. That’s a very astute observation. Product managers absolutely should be attending WOMMA conferences. It’s at least as important for them to be there as it is for PR pros, since products and services, not “the message”, are what people will either rave or rant about.
    Most companies still don’t get this. (Don’t even get me started.) We’re still at the stage where most VPs see WOMM as a campaign-driven strategy rather than an element of their companies’ cultures.
    How do we change that?

  2. I know WOMMA, but its hard to join them

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