My family are board game fanatics, wit “Catch Phrase” being a favorite. I constantly hear phrases that I think would be good for a professional version of the game. This happened a lot last week at The Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s (WOMMA) annual industry confab.The content in many of the sessions definitely went beyond the usual 101 of many conferences that focus on social media marketing and social business. While listening to many of the presentations, I found myself highlighting an interesting phrase that captured a key point. Following are some of my favorite phrases and some of the thinking behind them.

· MasterCard and Insites Consulting teamed up for a session titled, “How Cool Brands Stay Hot, Branding to Millennials”. First of all, they get the prize for the best slide deck that I saw at the conference. The session drafted off of the book of the same name by Joeri Van Den Bergh and Mattias Behrer. I couldn’t find the exact deck they used at the WOMMA Summit but this one was foundational to the presentation. Anna Zanghi from MasterCard shared some examples of how they put the books principles to work. The session laid out how millenials think about marketing (they don’t like it) and their short attention spans. The phrase that summarized this session was “Millenials are stimulation junkies.” They are easily bored and want new stuff continuously. And, they want to be part of the co-creation process, a voice of the customer model on steroids. Everything from content to products to messaging needs to reflect their voice and aesthetic. They want to feel close to the brand without being dictated to by the brand. They want fun, cool, relevance, unique and self-brand identification. Interesting session with lots of great examples.

· Another great session was from the AttainFertility Clinics. CMO Doug Weiss presented an interesting distributed social model to drive conversions for independent practices groups who subscribe to AttainFertility’s marketing services. The phrase that represented the essence of this session is “The docs need the patients more that the patients need the doctors.” He talked a lot about patient experience and the disconnect between what the doctors think is paramount—practice reputation and outcomes—vs. what’s really important to patients—cost and emotional support. The company believes in using content marketing to drive influence across the patent decision journey especially in light of poor patient experience in many practices. Often, patients are shuttled between departments with long waits for tests, results and consultations. The practices do not respect the patients’ time nor are they prepared to have the conversations the patient wants: help me through this. Often, patients research a different practice via mobile devices when left waiting too long before the first appointment, make an appointment with a competing practice while still in the waiting room and bolt. Weiss’ programs help develop great experience and make sure that AttainFertility docs are front and center with content, apps and reviews that drive preference and conversions.

· Pete Blackshaw from Nestles shared their concept for global community management across the social and digital ecosystem. I loved more than one of his phrases, but this one captures what a lot of people live in the social business and marketing spaces: “The only way to stay ahead of the social learning curve is to stay connected and externally focused.” Blackshaw believes that great ideas and new thinking is not directly correlated to the size of a company or the heft of a brand. Rather, innovative thought and breakthrough concepts can be found in a variety of places and people need to be open to finding them through community and conversation. Blackshaw shared his company’s Digital Acceleration Team model which is organized around Listening, Engagement and Inspiring transformation. It is an immersive process that is designed to promote “friction-free sharing across functional and operational silos.

· Verizon Wireless presented a program it is doing in conjunction with CrowdTap, a platform that uses brand advocates to promote “advocacy anywhere” (great phrase number four). It facilitates the creation and sharing of content across digital, social and mobile platforms. Iskra Dobreva (Verizon Wireless) and Brandon Evans (CrowdTap) shared specific examples of how influence flows through small groups and demonstrated the power of the “network of networks”.

The conference was high energy with a real sense of community. What are the best catch phrases you heard at a conference this year?

Cheryl Treleaven

Cheryl Treleaven


Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.