23 April 2007

The Brouhaha Over WOMM Returns

This was the poster for the 2005 WOMMA conference:

You should probably read my post about WOMM from December 2006 so what follows is put in perspective.

From the LA Times and Josh Friedman:
Blogging for dollars raises questions of online ethics
Thousands of bloggers are writing sponsored posts touting such diverse topics as diamonds, digital cameras and drug clinics. The bloggers are spurred by new marketing middlemen such as PayPerPost Inc. that connect advertisers with mom-and-pop webmasters.
Regarding Baby Boomers – at this point, it’s really not much of an issue because newfangled word-of-mouth marketing techniques – good/bad, ethical/unethical – really don’t have much impact:
Boomer communications are personal in nature. Eighty-four percent of boomer recommendations are made face-to-face and 82 percent by phone, as opposed to 45 percent that are made online.
What should the PR/WOMM standard be for Baby Boomers? Like I’ve said, make it simple, direct, and (an overused phrase, I know) transparent:
So your product or service is getting some sort of positive response from users/consumers? Maybe a cult is forming. Or something. People are talking.

Take advantage of this. You'd be stupid not to. Bring in the PR professionals, the marketing people. Reference it in advertising campaigns. Support this grass roots excitement.

But trying to create buzz out of nothing? Paying shills to hand out lipstick and gum, paying bloggers for their so-called objective opinions?
There was a WOMMA conference recently. I’m not sure what this sign referred to at the conference – why it was up, if there was a session about it, if it was officially sanctioned:

(photo by Josh Hallett)

Pretty funny. I railed about this theme for their conference two years ago.

Reaching Baby Boomers (and, I bet, most other demos): Good ol’ fashioned advertising, marketing, PR. And good web sites. Sure, pay attention to these fresh WOMM techniques – but if you think any of it is new, any of it will somehow replace advertising and marketing ...

Then I have the proverbial bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell. Could you get the word out for me?

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