An innovative take on the oldest form of marketing is on the rise. Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) concerns itself with buzz. The idea is that the right idea will be so engaging that people will talk about it with each other, with the marketer just knocking over the first domino of the idea’s propagation, so to speak. Yesterday, the WOMMnext Conference kicked off in Chicago, IL, where the best and brightest from companies including Google, McDonald’s, Bing, and LinkedIn will speak on the creative tactics they’ve employed to a sea of marketers from across the country. This is the future of WOMM. It started Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., Chicago time.

Before the show officially kicked off, TweetReach had already registered 87,400 accounts reached with 302,623 impressions on Tuesday.

The fascinating thing about these conferences is that you can catch a lot of their messages just from monitoring social channels. With those big numbers behind the conference, and with lotus823 watching Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, WOMMnext officially inaugurated its first day. It began with a few words from keynote speaker Amy Bouhutinsky, the chief marketing officer at Zillow.

Her opening keynote speech was closely followed by representatives from Google and Domino’s Pizza. Bouhutinsky’s success with Zillow can be chalked up to a WOMM victory. She was hired on with a marketing budget of $0 and asked to build a base of 1,000,000 followers with WOMM. She did it by uniting product with marketing every step of the way and by pushing hard with social media.

Next up was Jennifer Weasley from Google. Her message was one of unity between digital and physical worlds, or essentially what Google Maps does. Here are some takeaways from her speech.


Amber Gatsby from Domino’s took the stage next. The Domino’s brand was on hard times, and negative comments were prolific on their digital channels. Rather than let themselves be vilified by the public, they worked with the public, took their comments to heart, and made major changes. The WOMM took care of itself.


This video shows the Domino’s WOMM campaign in action.

Gatsby estimates that 90% of the Domino’s turnaround was word of mouth. After a networking session, the breakouts portion of WOMMnext day 1 began, with 4 simultaneous panel talks. Experts in word of mouth marketing weighed in on creative content, the big 3 (mobile, social, and content marketing), native advertising, and millennials. That last topic is particularly interesting, in light of these two bits of data:



Furthermore, 1/3 of millennial media consumption is user generated (i.e. Twitter). That 1/3 is the word of mouth around which the WOMMnext conference revolves. This market is of crucial import, and if part of your target group is millennial, word of mouth marketing is the way to go. Taking the above stats into account, virality appears the most valuable currency in word of mouth marketing, and millennials are the engine that propagates it. The breakouts were followed by an hour-long discussion on neuromarketing by Michelle Adams of Marketing Brainology. If you don’t know what neuromarketing is, it’s ok, we had to look it up too. Neuromarketing is the nexus of psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience. Piece of cake, right? If you can understand the subconscious inner-workings of the human mind, then you can market to our most core emotions. Here’s a formula for neuromarketing:



By observing data, categorizing it by consumer type, and running tests, you can read the emotional touch points of your consumer.

And that was the end of WOMMnext day 1, at least as far as topical discussions go. For some, the day was just getting started. A series of bands took the stage and shredded to provide a backdrop for some serious networking. Marketers grabbed drinks, let their hair down, and explored some of the subconscious emotionality espoused by neuromarketing. That means everyone had fun.

That’s an excellent chandelier.

Excellent tunes from a city known for its music.

That was WOMMnext day 1 in a nutshell. Stay tuned as we cover the next two days of the word of mouth marketing conference, and thereby participate in some word of mouth marketing, yourself. Do you feel strangely compelled to return to this blog? That’s neuromarketing for ya.

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