Online Marketing Summit
From the front of the room
I've had the opportunity to stand at the podium on behalf of WOMMA twice in the past 10 days. I view it as both an honor and a privilege to be one of the association's spokespeople this year - a part of the president's role that I really enjoy.
On February 8th, I facilitated a panel of fellow WOMMA members at the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego. We were told that over 1000 attendees were registered for the three day event, which made this the largest gathering of this type that I've attended. Approximately 200 of the OMS guests chose to attended our session.
Aside from PEMCO, my employer and a regional insurance carrier, each of the panelists were representatives of highly recognizable global brands - Heather Oldani from McDonalds, David Witt from General Mills (both WOMMA aboard members) and Ekaterina Walter from Intel.
Our discussion focused on word of mouth marketing practices and precautions. We addressed the topic from several perspectives and by the time the hour had passed, we had touched on methods that each of our companies had used to successfully develop, implement and measure WOMM campaigns, both in online and offline ways. We discussed the importance of disclosure, authenticity, and finding ways to include as many parts of the company we work for as possible. (This blogger reviewed the summit and our panel in this post).
Perhaps the most memorable part of our discussion was when Heather had the floor - standing and sharing elements of a McDonald's house party experience. Without warning a woman who looked as though she could have been an OMS staff member, came into the ballroom and walked briskly up the center aisle. She looked Heather in the eye and simply said, "Excuse me. I have to make an emergency announcement." At that point she took the microphone, turned to the audience, and began to rail against McDonald's for practices that she and an organization she was representing disagreed with. We were shocked to say the least.
Within moments the crowd began to boo the speaker and the microphone was removed from her grip before she was escorted from the building.
Sometimes a presentation doesn't go exactly as expected. Heather handled the interruption with incredible poise and professionalism.
ANA / WOMMA Talkable Brands
On February 16th, on the Intuit campus in Mountain View, California, the years first WOMMA Talkable Brands Exchange was held... this one in partnership with the inaugural ANA West Coast chapter meeting. See the full agenda here.
Approximately 100 people were in attendance including a large contingent of Intuit marketers. Speakers included Julie Miller from Intuit, Matt Singley from Harrah's Entertainment and me. Our topics ranged from how to become a social media rock start, to using social media for customer service. I spoke on the journey to an engaged enterprise and used our company, PEMCO Insurance, as a case study.
The day moved quickly and the presentations seemed to capture the interest of the attendees. I was especially pleased with the interest in WOMMA by a number of people who were a first glimpse of what a WOMMA event could be like. I left feeling good that, despite a heavier than expected presence of ANA over WOMMA, people were talking about WOMM and expressing an interest in the WOMMA School of WOMM that is coming up in May.
Here's a look at the presentation that I gave at this event.