What shocked me was Ben divulging that he's not a big believer in word-of-mouth marketing. This is odd coming from such an advocate for social/participatory media. Hmm...
Conversely, I'm not a big fan of "regular" marketing. In fact, the IGDA hasn't had a marketing budget - ever (we don't even have a line item in the accounting system for it). We haven't put out much in the way of official press releases in the past two years (besides getting tons of media coverage). We've not done any marketing campaigns or membership drives in the traditional sense. We've haven't bought any magazine ads or web banners. Really, nothing.
Yet, the IGDA has enjoyed a massive amount of growth over the years (from less than 500 members in '99 to 13k today (oddly enough, who's average age is 31, but that's a whole other discussion)).
Now, certainly, there are many variables at play, not least of which that we are a relatively new association in the booming video game industry. But, we've been so deliberate about not marketing, that much of our focus has simply been on doing "meaningful stuff" - or rather, facilitating/enabling members to do "meaningful stuff" via the IGDA.
My guess is that the "meaningful stuff" comes with built-in marketing. Admittedly, I've not looked at WOMMA for insight, so perhaps they have some sophisticated models/theories for how "meaningful stuff" = free/word-of-mouth marketing.
Also, to some extent, it means that there's not much for the Bens of the world to do or control from a marketing plan point of view (hmm, do I smell a hint of protecting professional turf). That is to say, the marketing plan is really the overall plan to ensure that your association does "meaningful stuff". (Though, there are probably lots of little tactical things to do like ensure that each web article has an "email this to a friend" type link, etc.)
Decision to Join, word-of-mouth, the Net Promoter Score concept, social media, etc, etc, really do require us to do a complete rethink of what we mean by marketing. I, for one, can vouch for the success of not doing any!