WOMMNext- Day one download

I preach loud and often that we need to take more time to attend conferences outside of our industry and see what other successful brands are doing with their marketing. Inn taking my own advice, part of our team at YMC is attending the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s WOMMNext Conference in Chicago. The agenda is chock full of national brands sharing their personal Word of Mouth Marketing Success stories. Below is a recap of three main takeaways I wanted to share with you from Day 1, and hope that it inspires you to do something great at your credit union or organization today.

  1. Great Marketing Doesn’t Take a Huge Budget: Zillow’s CMO Amy Bohutinsky kicked off the conference by sharing Zillow’s humble beginning of a scrappy start-up, and the directive she received from her boss of reaching 1 million views within the first six months with zero marketing dollars. Zillow’s success was all thanks to earned media through PR opportunities, something we at YMC try to take advantage of for each client we work with. Some examples? Zillow decided to do a “Zestimate” of what the White House is worth and posted it on their site. Major news organizations and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno were all talking about the Zillow Zestimate of the White House. Zillow spent a day’s worth of work coming up with the Zestimate, but spent zero marketing dollars to achieve hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) of free publicity. Another success Zillow’s marketing team has seen comes from the creation of custom content. Zillow now produced over 30 articles a month that are published in newspapers across the country and used by media outlets around the world. Chances are there are some great copywriters in your community that could write some great financial education articles for you, that other media outlets would be willing to use. At YMC, we create two or three custom articles each month for use by our clients on their websites and social channels, with a great response from members.
  2. Successful Advertising Contains Data AND Human Emotion: Another takeaway from Bohutinsky’s playbook at Zillow is recognizing how consumers make decisions. “Shopping for a home is emotional, buying a home is rational” Bohutinsky said during her presentation. They recognize the difference in mindset during the different phases of the transaction and market appropriately. Could the same be true for banking? I believe so. Perhaps we should move beyond a “one size fits all” marketing message and adjust our message to fit what stage of decision the member is at when we are marketing our products and services.
  3. It’s OK to Suck: Dominos Pizza Director of Brand Innovations Amber Gadsby shared the incredible story of how Dominos went from being ranked number 6 in flavor among their competition, to being ranked top in their category in a matter of only a few years. “Your pizza tastes like cardboard” Gadsby recalled one of the reviews saying. Rather than taking offense, Dominos took it to heart and decided to do something about their brand image. Change was going to take more than a slick ad campaign to convince consumers that their awful pizza really wasn’t that bad. They started from the ground up and developed an entirely new recipe for their pizza. “You can let comments get you down or you can use them to excite you and make a better pizza” Gadsby said. They embarked on a truth in advertising campaign, apologizing for a less than stellar product and soliciting input from consumers. The result? A pizza that tasted much better, was much fresher, and a spike in sales. Today, Dominos has taken their sales process one step further by understanding that they are more than just a “pizza company.” “We’re a tech company and e-marketing company as much of a pizza company” Gadsby said. Yesterday morning Dominos released their first iPad app allowing you to order a pizza, is beta testing a “pizza cam” allowing you to be able to watch your pizza being made, and has recently struck a deal with Ford allowing you to order a pizza right from the dash of your vehicle on the way home from work. So what can we learn from Dominos? It’s time to redefine our business, figure out how to create a frictionless experience for members, and get the right people in place to make it all happen.

I hope my ramblings of Day 1 of the WOMMNext Conference will inspire you to do something different today and make your credit union an even better place for your members.

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