WIIFM: Keeping Up With Moms

When I worked as a marketing strategist for several startups in Silicon Valley, I did my homework and built ROI (return-on-investment) models to show how the technology we were pitching actually saved money and made you more productive. Successful B2B (business-to-business) marketing strategies apply the WIIFM principle (what's in it for me) to engage the client.

This was the lesson I learned early on in my career: If you want to engage the corporate client, you need to start by listening and understanding its workflow and problems before you can provide a better process or technology to streamline its operations. The net result of delivering on the WIIFM model is a happy client who can now do more for less.

As a mom, that's what I've looked for in the partners that I've chosen to shop with, the ones that can help me do more, for less (time and money).

In the mid '90s, I started shopping online to gain time back from my work and travel schedule. The convenience of e-stores saved me time as I could order the items needed on the Internet while away from home and, in return, I had more time for my family.

Many of my family and friends thought I was nuts for buying something that I didn't try on or touch and for putting my credit card out there. Merchants got wise to these fears quickly and engaged security providers to ensure SSL encryption along with great return policies. We've come a long way over the past 12+ years with personalized email marketing for opt-in subscribers, rewards programs, coupon codes, rebates, recurring shipments, and the best of all, free shipping (my favorite).

Now that's how you engage and gain adoption, make it easy to save time, money and reduce waste through electronic communications that I ask for.

As an uber-geek Mom, the adoption of new technology and services that enable me to do more in my day comes with one minor pitfall ... I keep adding more to my day as my productivity increases. But that's what moms do; we adopt new ways to do more in our day.

Looking beyond the social revolution, going mobile is the next frontier for those seeking to engage with the mom on the go.

Why mobile? According to The Nielsen Company (Sept 30, 2009), mobile Internet users are up 34% to over 56.9 million in the U.S. The biggest gain is the 9 percentage points of growth for female users putting them at 47%. Two key things that women are utilizing mobile web access and apps for: shopping and social networking.

A huge benefit of mobile for me is that brands are starting to figure out that moms really don't have hours to clip coupons every week, that's so June Cleaver! As much as we love to save money, more and more of us want to do it on the go.

One of my favorite iPhone apps is called Yowza. It's free and not only does it carry local deals but it counts up the dollars that I save, and that's a huge warm-fuzzy! There are also cool services like Cellfire that store your coupons on your club card. You simply go to the Internet and click on the product coupons that you intend to use (look Ma, no clipping).

Then there are the merchant programs that offer coupon codes for discounts and free shipping along with the ones that pay you back with rebates like Drugstore.com and Ebates.com. I also love sites like K9cuisine.com, where I can set up a regular shipment of the same dog food I buy every month and they will auto ship it.

You have the technology, you can use it to help you engage - WIIFM is not just for B2B marketing ... now more than ever: What's in it for Moms?

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