One of the more provocative ideas that came out of last week’s WOMMA conference in San Francisco was the notion that there are two kinds of WOMM (word of mouth marketing): creationist and evolutionist. Each is legitimate but they spring from different philosophies.

Thanks to John Moore of Brand Autopsy for suggesting the terms. He couldn’t be at the conference but sent a neat video [links to YouTube] which outlined his concepts.

In a nutshell, creationist WOM is marketing so clever it tempts people to talk about it. Moore’s examples include Prada’s pop-up retail storefront in a tiny Texas town, Carl’s Junior which used sexy Paris Hilton commercials, forehead advertising (see above) and Home Depot’s parking lot advertising.

Apply this notion to corporate blogging and you come up with an agency’s “vision” for your blog. The agency finds writers to author your blog, monitors the comments and feedback for you and provides you with a nicely-packaged, hands-off blogging experience.

Evolutionist WOM, on the other hand, derives organically from products / services and experiences so
remarkable customers just can’t help talking about them. Moore’s examples: TiVo, Google’s search engine, Starbucks, Skype and YouTube.

Applied to corporate blogging, it means you launch your own blog with in-house talent, genuinely engage with
other bloggers, and slowly create genuine buzz around your blog AND by extension, your products or services.

I moderated the panel on Great Corporate Blogs for WOMMA and here’s how my two panelists squared off: one from the creationist or agency side, the other an evolutionist or DIYer.

Creationist Blogs

Marc Schiller, CEO of Electric Artists, has created impressively content-rich blogs for clients such as Fortune (featured in my book as an example of an “event blog”) and Starwood Hotels. He shared his 15 Golden Rules for Corporate Blogging which the audience loved.

Evolutionist Blogs

On the evolutionist side, Pinny Gniwisch EVP of marketing for and, described how he started a blog for the high-end jewelry e-tailer and saw sales rise noticeably [can’t remember the exact stats] in a period of a few months. He no longer writes the company blog but several enthusiastic staffers do. Check out Just Ask Leslie for jewelry tips and Sparkle Like the Stars for what the stars are wearing.

Useful Links

Brand Autopsy John Moore’s Creationist vs. Evolutionist WOM video

Corporate Blogging Tip #4: Who should write your blog? [WordBiz Report: June 26, 2006 issue]