Times Sends Reporter Into WOMBAT Zone

NYT: As advertising conferences go, the take-home message at the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association meeting was a little unusual: Don’t advertise.
At the conference, held here last Thursday and Friday, more than 450 advertising and marketing professionals listened to speakers tell them how to reach customers using some alternatives to traditional advertising, like viral and buzz marketing, that are becoming increasingly popular within the industry.
The conference was called “Word-of-Mouth Basic Training,” and it was aimed at teaching attendees how to tap into the power of word of mouth, an ancient form of communication that many marketers have updated by using new technology like blogs, podcasting and online message boards.
At times, the conference could have been mistaken for a religious convention. Among Friday’s offerings were sessions titled “Turning Customers Into Evangelists,” “Word of Mouth in Faith-Based Markets” and “How to Create Brand Converts.” (Later that afternoon, two speakers explained how to “Bring Brands Back from the Dead.”)



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.