The ComBlu contingent just got back from WOMMA’s annual confab, which I always find interesting and inspiring. To me one of the biggest values of attending conferences is gleaning little nuggets of wisdom from across varied presentations. Here are some of my favs from this year.

“Stories connect neurons previously unconnected. They are the software of our lives.”

Jan Wesley from Google wove an awesome story as she told us about story telling. One example of a long lost child reconnecting with his native land via Google maps inspired an emotional connection with the brand.

Another interesting tidbit from Wesley:

“YouTube is the largest cable network for 20-somethings.”

“Employee advocacy requires senior leadership and cultural support.”

Sue Emerick from IBM talked about how to inculcate advocacy among employees. The pay-off for IBM is in higher conversion events, which are 2x higher from the advocacy and amplification from employee advocates than from other social and digital marketing.

“Shareable is not enough; it needs to be brand-right”

Judd Hooks from Delta airlines talked about how they monitor what’s trending and quickly release shareable images that incorporate the brand appropriately. One example was a pic of a Delta aircraft sporting a Princess Leah ‘do’ on Star Wars Day. Another was putting Peeps into airline seats and releasing as an image with the line: Happy Easter to all our Peeps!

“Find something integral to the product and use it as a stimulus to tell a story”

Mona Hamouly from American Express demonstrated the power of this approach. They created a “Member Since” app that asked people to enter the year they first got an AmEx card. The app then displayed American Express factoids associated with that year. It had innate utility to share on Facebook Timeline or to Tweet out your year.

We’ve all seen the factoid that the brain processes images 60,000x faster than text. So much of the sessions at the WOMMA Summit focused on storytelling and visual content. Brands and their agencies need to tell compelling stories that connect on multiple levels and wrap them in imagery that is both evocative and meaningful.

In addition, brands need to have capability to react in real time. The half-life of relevancy is shrinking as the velocity and volume of content expands.

This was underscored by the graphic mapper who captured the essence of some very real complex session on the fly as the speakers presented their thoughts and case studies. The one below provides a summary of a session that Jenny Voisard and Cheryl Treleaven did with client Heather Alter of Cisco.


These maps captured the essence of these sessions and provided stimuli to remember key points. And, these images are so shareable. What a concept!

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.