Word of Mouth Marketing – can’t fight it anymore

Word of Mouth Marketing – can’t fight it anymore

Back in April 2006, I wrote “Call it what it really is!” and criticized Michael Sampson
Global VP of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Foldera, Inc. I respectfully disagreed with the term “word of mouth marketing.” Maybe, just maybe, I’m changing my mind (ever so slowly).

I’m from the “old school” and will admit that change can be difficult. It takes a lot to convince me, to change, to adapt, and to concede. But now six months have passed, and you can’t pick up any magazine or news story without hearing the buzz words “WOM” or Word of Mouth Marketing. There is now even an entire conference dedicated to preaching a new type of marketing. Guest speakers at the conference include Coca-Cola, DuPont, Intuit, Microsoft, and Ogilvy Public Relations, just to name a few biggies.

Michael Simpson kindly and thoughtfully responded back in April to my blog. I wonder how he’s doing today? I wonder if Foldera (along with other very large corporations) has really distinguished WOM from anything other than simply being a variation of traditional marketing? It’s sort of like a thick rich cream sauce. A basic Hollandaise sauce can be transformed into a Mornay sauce, simply by adding some cheeses and pepper. Just like marketing terminology, both sauces still taste great over fish, vegetables and eggs. I few variations and viola, a whole new meaning.

But coming up on the scene is a newer word, coined by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba of Church of the Customer Blog with the upcoming release of their new book. The newest buzz word . . . CITIZEN MARKETERS -- everyday people who are using social media to create content -- blogs, podcasts, videos, etc. -- about product, brands and companies they love. Or hate.

I wonder if companies will create new titles, Chief Officer of Citizen Marketing (it makes me think of wearing an official gold badge on my chest, opening my wallet as a police officer does and flashing my credentials as I interrogate those poor consumers who won’t know what hit them.)

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