WOMMfest 2013

Hugh MacCleod illustration

Some members of the Brains on Fire team attended the WOMMfest conference yesterday in Atlanta. WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) was spot on with determining the right time to host the event, as Tuesday was also deemed National Word of Mouth Marketing day (hooray!)

There were a host of speakers that included Kristian Bush (lead singer of Sugarland) in Atlanta, Hugh MacCleod in Chicago, and C.C. Chapman in Seattle. We watched Kristian live and the other presenters were beamed into the 755 Club at Turner Field via live webcast.

It made for an interesting time, and we left with some good nuggets of WOMM wisdom to take home and chew on. Here are some highlights from those who attended:

Emily Everhart, Community Manager + Account Executive
There’s a difference between creating something talkable and pulling off a stunt. For example, take Lady Gaga’s “monster claw” and her infamous meat dress. The claw is a simple thing that Gaga’s fans can embrace and own, while the dress was more of a publicity stunt designed for shock value. You don’t need to set something on fire to get it to catch on. You want it to be replicable and have beauty in its simplicity. Your fans will appreciate it, and make it mean something a little different to each one of them.

Vicky Hammond, Community Manager + Account Executive
The core values of WOMM are not rocket science. It was great to hear all the sexy buzzwords stripped away in order to get to the core of what makes WOMM remarkable and effective. The secret? Be good at listening and responding to your customers. These gestures some in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they’re as simple as sending a thank you note, sometimes it’s as grand as creating posters for the fans who have helped crowd source your band’s playlist.

Katie Scully, Community Manager
The golden rule still applies, it doesn’t matter if you’re 7 or 97. Be a good neighbor, show your respect. Respect garners respect. I was reminded of what it really means to be in the shoes of my community and audience. It’s important for brands to ask themselves whether they’re communicating with their fans the way friends would, or are they talking at them? Being a good friend and neighbor trumps all.

Nathan Spainhour, Art Director + Interactive Director
Hugh MacCleod brought up a great quote from Aristotle that states “man by nature is a social animal.” Tying this to C.C. Chapman’s idea of “being a good neighbor” online, pretty much conveys the theme of WOMMfest. Treat people like human beings, listen to them and respond to them. Pretty basic stuff, but important to pay attention to when you’re on the front lines of customer interaction online.

Amy Taylor, Community Manager + Lead Copywriter
My favorite tidbit of the day came from C.C. Chapman, who hit on a subject near and dear to my heart when he spoke about the power of amazing your fans by putting in that little extra bit of effort. “If you really want [your brand fans] to connect and share your story, amaze them.” Most people not only want to do business with brands that make them feel good, they’re willing to pay more to do business with brands that do so.

For the WOMMfest wrap up on Storify click here. For more information on WOMMA, visit their site here.