Engaging Moms? Let Them Engage You!

It's a simple mantra that seems foreign, counterintuitive and down-right risky to those raised with traditional media. But, consumer created media is one of the strongest influencers in the buying decision. Consider these statistics:
  • Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted -- nearly 12 times more -- than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of U.S. mom Internet users by online video review site Expo. (eMarketer, February 2010)
  • 44% of Moms use social media for brand/product recommendations; 73% trust online community recommendations. (BabyCenter LLC, July 2009)

That said, real, nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror exists at many firms (and in particular in their legal departments) when contemplating encouraging just this sort of behavior ... having consumers join and often lead discussions about the product.

It shows up in odd places. Just as marketers leap for joy to learn a celebrity uses their product, caution is suggested when reposting from a major news outlet. As experienced social media executers get with the flow of their particular niche on Twitter, nervous managers advise everything be run by legal. Even worse, in a crisis, too many companies, unprepared, let the naysayers take hold of the message ... as they see it and broadcast it across the web.



I'm not advocating a reckless "anything goes" approach, especially for brands with significant equity. We do, of course, live in a litigious society. But by being too cautious one runs the risk of ignoring those moms who can be your biggest advocates and your best defense in a crisis situation.

So truly engaging the alpha moms, the influencers, the early adopters means letting them speak for your company. It's not so far away from the traditional relationship that we've had with trusted media outlets ... we shouldn't be afraid.

2 comments about "Engaging Moms? Let Them Engage You! ".
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  1. Lindsay Maines from Rock and Roll Mama, November 17, 2010 at 11:48 a.m.

    Maryanne- I so agree. One method which I've seen evolve over the past two years is the "Mom Advisory Board"- moms who are genuine brand enthusiasts are reached out to, and engaged (and compensated, fairly and ethically) to provide brand insight, feedback, and some public social media support as needed. It's a contractual position, which makes legal comfortable, and the "control" of message isn't totally lost. And most importantly, the feedback garnered is immensely valuable. I've personally assisted in putting together 2 and served on 4 in the past 6 months alone, and see it as a strong model for managed engagement which yields true value. Thanks for your commentary!

  2. Harley Evans, November 21, 2010 at 6:24 p.m.

    The only problem with this, I see far too many companies including my competitors pretending to be "moms", pushing the envelope/definition of slander.
    I once even blogged about how companies ( i used moving companies as an example) go online to post positive comments about themselves pretending to be these "alpha moms" only to dishonestly promote themselves.

    From my experience it appears nothing you read in online postings where identity has not been confirmed has any meaning anymore.

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