Love it or loathe it

16 Oct

I’ve always liked ‘word of mouth’ as a description. (I once hoped to register for my freelance business only to find that this domain name had already been snapped up.)

Others are suspicous of the phrase, fearing a loss of message control and doubting whether it can ever be practised ethically when used for marketing purposes.

So we have something powerful, rather ill-defined and in need of best practice guidelines. Sounds a bit like public relations… What we need is an industry association to show leadership. So I’m behind the new Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOM UK) which is being launched today at the Marketing Week word of mouth conference. It follows on from the well-established Word of Mouth Marketing Association in the US.

The ubiquitous Stuart Bruce is involved, which bodes well. My only quibble: that this shouldn’t just be about marketing. Its remit should also cover conversations, participation and democracry – the whole of the public sphere (the space in which public relations operates). I find the thought of a marketing sphere depressing, and not just because I’m reading JG Ballard’s bleak new novel, Kingdom Come.

2 Responses to “Love it or loathe it”

  1. Stephen Davies 16/10/2007 at 10:03 am #

    It’s great to see the UK having it’s own version of WOMMA and with Stuart involved I’m sure… No, I **know** it will be a success.
    Not sure I agree with the price plans though which seem to insinuate the more money you throw at it the more you have control.
    Doesn’t seem very democratic to me.
    And as a individual who is still paying off university debts, bank loans and trying to get on the property ladder, I don’t think I can justify paying the £350 required of me sadly.

  2. Stuart Bruce 16/10/2007 at 12:28 pm #

    Richard, I argued exactly the same as you which is one of the reasons why in the UK and Europe we are WOM-UK (with the second M for marketing that WOMMA has). WOM is far broader and bigger than just marketing.
    Stephen, I agree with your comments about the membership rates. The reason they are set at those levels is because WOM-UK is finalising a deal with WOMMA and our prices have to match its, so that our members can share intellectual property etc. In the US WOMMA doesn’t even allow you to be an individual member.

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