Today I am at WOMMA’s 2nd WOMBAT (word of mouth marketing association). So far, and with few exceptions, the sessions have been pretty useful and interesting, and if you are interested in seeing live blogging from the sessions, check out Olivier Blanchard’s blog, who is one of the few official bloggers for the conference.
Troubling was the fact that many people speak of WOM as if it were yet another department or function (some even look at it as a new medium ?) in the marketing department. Unless marketing becomes totally integrated and tied together with other company functions like sales and customer service, just to name a few, most marketing people will fail. The same is true for WOM if it is to succeed.
The metrics sessions left many people asking for more. Sure 92% of people consider wom as their best information source, and positive wom outperforms negative wom 6 to 1. And a great majority of wom happens offline instead of online. But we were not able to get an answer on how they actually measure online word of mouth. So for example, if Jeff Jarvis complains about his Dell, do they count that as one negative story, or do they count it as 100’s of thousands of negative stories – which is probably the right number considering that this many people actually read the story (and continue to read it because it gets a high ranking in Google searches).