Give Jack Trout credit for inviting pro bloggers to participate in a roundtable discussion concerning his recent comments on word of mouth marketing (WOM). The event precipitated after Trout’s recent article slapped WOM as limited in value. The response was more “ineffective article” than support for his comments, but Trout responds with a roundtable discussion.

Did Trout provide additional evidence during the roundtable to support his article and limited faith in WOM strategies? You decide.

The podcast summary (link below) let’s you hear the players in a one-on-one, unrehearsed healthy discussion. I’m a strong believer in using WOM strategies given their effectiveness when targeted, implemented and managed correctly. However, there still appears to be significant confusion in the understanding of “purpose, approach, and results.” The clash lies in the communication gap between two merging schools of thought, but that’s another article in itself. I’ll write it up and post it here on my blog next week.

Trout does a great job painting the “big picture” landscape as seen by companies such as Coke – seasoned product, flat brand and declining sales. Let’s face it, a very small percentage of Coke’s target market is surfing blogs and casting pods. And on the surface WOM appears to be a hard sell. Are there opportunities for Coke and similar brands to implement effective WOM strategies? Listen to the podcast summary and you’ll find out how the pro bloggers responded.

The Podcast Summary: Jack Trout ends his series on word-of-mouth marketing with a roundtable discussion with Edleman’s senior marketing strategist Steve Rubel; Rick Murray, executive VP and GM of Edleman’s Diversified Services Group; and Errol Smith, founder of The Affiliate Nanocasting Network and producer of Trout Radio. You’ll find a comment from Errol Smith, a link to the podcast summary and a link to the Forbes article here.

Additional Resources: Bloggers with discussions on the topic include: Buzz Marketing and Maneuver Marketing Communique. What’s your view on the subject?

[tags] WOM, word of mouth, social networking, Forbes, eoecho [/tags]