Geno Church is a speaker, author and the word of mouth inspiration officer at Brains on Fire, a marketing company that helps organizations build sustainable word-of-mouth movements. Their focus is less on use of technology and social media and more on faces, conversation and passion to achieve success in your business.

Uplifting, right? To remember that technology doesn’t need to be the only way? Geno’s presence carries listeners to a place that doesn’t feel overwhelming or fast-paced, but attainable because the No. 1 tool in starting a movement is … well … you.

Here’s a little bit from Geno:

“Word of mouth marketing should be honest, authentic conversations between people, and it should happen face-to-face and online,” he says. “WOMM is often ignited by a brand/organization. The Brains On Fire point of view is that this conversation should be about shared passions of the brand and its advocates … the goal of WOMM is advocacy … people who give a damn about your stuff, your ideals. So much so that they become living messengers for your brand, products, services and ideas.

“Now, for a movement to happen (I believe a true movement is fueled by people – advocates, not brands), a community has to form first. Vibrant communities have some form of action – something to do. That thing they do ignites a movement.

“Brains has been around over 20 years; instead of focusing on how we came to be, I’d like to share how we became inspired into thinking community, movements, and starting with people first. Back in 2003, we we’re hired by the state of South Carolina to tackle very high smoking rates by teens in our state. We answered the RFP by saying we didn’t believe that a commercial would sustainably make a difference in teens smoking.

“So we empowered teens to be the messengers, at a face-to-face level. We learned a lot, made mistakes, had some successes, and those teens got into our hearts and started to change they way we did marketing.”