Janrain’s Key Takeaways from WOMMA Summit 2010

Last week, several members of the Janrain team travelled to Las Vegas for the WOMMA 2010 Summit. An annual event for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the conference brought together 600 marketers to share best practices on creating talkable brands.

I’d like to give a big shout out to Lee Hammond, Director of New Media at Interscope Geffen A&M Records, and Janrain customer for presenting with us on the topic of “Acquiring Customers and Increasing Engagement through Social Media.” After kicking off our presentation with the provocative tweet that circulated last year comparing social media to teen sex “everyone wants to do it, but no one knows how,” Lee shared specific examples of how he is leveraging social login tools from Janrain to get fans engaged with their favorite artists. He ended with a live demo of a site that had launched just that week promoting a new single by Dr. Dre. Getting a sneak peak of the MP3 was only accessible after a user had logged in with their Facebook account.

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There were several other hot topics in other sessions such as tracking ROI on social media, key performance indicators, and leveraging social media for specific campaigns. Interesting keynotes from the analyst community, included Josh Bernoff from Forrester Research and Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group. And NPR’s acclaimed Kitchen Sisters gave a fantastic presentation about the art of storytelling. If you aren’t familiar with their program, please check it out.

A highlight was a panel of influential bloggers in the social media space sharing thoughts on future trends. One interesting question and a challenge that everyone faced was whether or not brands should focus their marketing attention on the social networks or on their corporate site. The panel was evenly split. It was a theme that emerged in a session the previous day when Neiman Marcus and Brickfish presented a case study on their “Rock the Prom” promotion. If you’ve spent years investing in your corporate site, does it really make sense to drive traffic away from it?

We met loads of smart, interesting people, and came away inspired. I always enjoy presentations by the North Carolina based Brains on Fire agency. Geno Church did a masterful job of showing the difference between a campaign and a movement. There were several brilliant insights in his presentation, but a few of my favorites were “People are the Killer App” and “Buzz does not create evangelists; evangelists create Buzz.”

In addition to full-day workshops, one evening was turned over to a “Style Your Sole Party” with TOMS Shoes sponsored by two Janrain partners – Ning and Viewpoints. It was great fun to watch the creative flow as everyone hunkered down with paints, appliqués and more to put a personal stamp on a pair of white canvas shoes. If you have an upcoming event, this may be the way to go.

Thank you to WOMMA for another great conference. As a marketer, I am energized by the possibilities with social, and as a member of the Janrain team, I’m delighted to offer a solution that will help move the needle for many of my colleagues.