Friday, September 30, 2005

Matt Galloway lists a myriad (or is it a panoply?) of great quotes from the WOMMA conference. As I mentioned in my previous post, there was so much content, it was hard to absorb everything in the first pass. I look forward to the CD of the proceedings which should be completed soon. (I’m disappointed in the audio medium, btw. Why can’t I get an eight-track? How about an Edison cylinder?)

One quote in Matt’s list that jumped out was the following:

George Silverman, Author of The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
"I have a client that is coming out with a product that will have lots of PR. He doesn't want to do blogs because he is afraid it will undermine the PR. I think this is so insane that I cannot answer." (paraphrased slightly) I think it's insane to Mr. Silverman. I have several discussions in which people used the world "fear" in association with blogs – I think that's insane too.

The fear is irrational and counterproductive, but completely understandable. A major source of human fear is a feeling of a loss of control. Traditional marketers are used to complete control over their brand. They own the message and they buy the medium. This “information is power” mentality has permeated their entire self-worth – they believe they are worthy of a six-figure salary because they know stuff that you don’t.

Now, we WOM geeks are telling them to turn over the marketing reins to the gabbing grannies at Viv’s Beauty Salon in Topeka, or the Philly cube dwellers on their lunch break, or some pimple-ridden reviewer posting under the name WyldKatt347(at) It’s unsurprising that VP of Marketing at AutoSludj International is furious at this career-shaking turn of events. “This is an outrage! I have a friggin’ MBA from Northwestern! I AM SOMEBODY!!! ::arrgh!:: They’ll never take away my Lexus… you do know that don’t you?

Although it is painful for some, please know this: You have already lost control of your brand, your message and your medium. The customer owns all three and will never give them back. So I suggest you voluntarily release the few remaining trappings of control you still have left. It’s difficult to do, but easier than seeing WyldKatt347 rip it out of your hands.

technorati tags: ;

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I just returned home from a rousing engagement at the WOMMA Word-of-Mouth vs. Advertising Conference They asked me to share my experience with Cold Stone Creamery's Word of Mouth initiatives which was a great deal of fun. I had never presented to more than a handful of people and this room topped 250 by my estimate.

Was I adored? Most assuredly. But more important was the amazing amount of knowledge I gained from every other speaker. I don't even know where to begin since the agenda was so thick with genius. It will take my sizable brain a few days to process the volume of case studies, examples, research, quips, etc., into any cogent grand strategy about WOM vs. ADV.

The first thing I got from the conference was unexpected. As I listened to the AM speakers, a bit-torrent of WOM tactics I could use for my brand just popped into my mind. Just being in that room seemed enough to break down my mental cubicle walls which held me to traditional marketing. Time once again to annoy my work associates with my stellar insights.

All kudos to Andy Sernovitz, Michael Rubin and the rest of the WOMMA team for arranging this exceptional conference. And thanks to every speaker who contributed -- you've helped a lot of us out here!

technorati tags: ;

I'm Jon Gabriel. (Yes, THAT Jon Gabriel!) I long ago set up this blog but finally decided to begin sharing my extraordinary wisdom with an desperate, expectant world.

Oh yes, you're welcome.