Listen To Your Mother, The New Assistant Brand Manager

There are 82 million Moms in the U.S. and they are the golden ticket to marketing success for many brands. It's evidenced not only in the focus, research and communication all around her, but based on the fact so many companies are employing and deploying Mom panels. Mom panels like Walmart Moms are Moms recruited by brands to help brands connect with larger Mom audiences. They are usually chosen for their social influence, personality and the size of their social graphs. Brands utilize the Moms for insights, blogging, tweeting and creating content on their behalf. In effect, Mom has become the new Assistant Brand Manager.

So even if your brand doesn't have a Mom panel and you are thinking about next year's budgets and the allocation, here is what she's telling you to think about.

Rethink budgets and where they are spent.

A recent Café Mom study showed Mom is spending a lot of time on multiple communities and adapting new technologies. It's time to think about where the marketing dollars are getting the most bang for the buck and make adjustments or additions. Websites need to be content-rich, social-enabled and mobile friendly.



Evolve your mobile strategies and tactics.

Moms are mobile and increasing their use of mobility every day. There are 8 million Moms in the U.S., 20 million worldwide and 5 billion mobile phones worldwide, even in developing countries. She's going to want brands with mobile applications to help with purchase decisions at point-of-sale. She wants information at her fingertips. Websites need to be WAP enabled. And she might want GPS to help navigate stores. Give her coupons at her fingertips and the ability to check competitor prices and read reviews before purchasing. And if you are already there, then go further with virtual reality to allow her to explore the world around her.

Create a strategy for branded apps.

This is one of the easiest ways to be a part of a Mom's daily life. Build her apps that add value to her life. A tool that simplifies, enhances, saves her time will ingrain the brand in her life. There are Moms filling this void and creating their own apps by hiring their own developers to bring their ideas to life. Make sure to invest in apps that will be meaningful for her and be sure to maintain it over time.

Develop a content strategy.

Moms love entertaining, informative content. If you want to take advantage of her incredible sharing and relationships, you need content. Brands need a cross platform content strategy-where does the content live, what lives where and what is the mix of content.

Studies show Mom watches TV, but usually with her children while on her computer multi-tasking. So content has to relevant, entertaining, useful for her to consume it and socialize it. And with so many different kinds of Moms, content can't be one size fits all.

Reinvent customer service.

When it comes to talking to brands, Moms often use Twitter and Facebook for solving issues, problems, asking questions or conflict resolution. It is becoming the new customer service. Brands need to make channel management is structured to cover customer service as well as deliver compelling and engaging content. DeltaAssist took the folks monitoring Twitter and spent months training them on the reservation systems and more so they can quickly resolve issues making Twitter truly the new customer service.

She wants brands to think about causes and being eco-friendly.

Moms don't choose products for price alone. Moms care about the world in which they are bringing up baby and what their future will be like for them. You'll see more and more Moms purchasing eco-friendly and recycled products from food, light bulbs to furnishing. And if it isn't the environment, she likes products with causes especially if it is local. So test new eco-friendly products or product innovation. Scott and their tube-free toilet roll is a great example of a simple environmentally friendly change Moms should love.

Develop programs with her for next year.

The best way to understand what she needs and is looking for is to partner with Mom. This is why brands need a Mom(s) on their team. Develop the programs with her early on. Don't use her to socialize what you've developed after the fact. There are so many bright, entrepreneurial, social savvy Moms out there looking to collaborate and be a part of a brand's team. And with so many brands missing the mark with their marketing efforts targeting her maybe it's time to get her on your team. Trust her. She just may be the best assistant Brand Manager you've ever had.

3 comments about "Listen To Your Mother, The New Assistant Brand Manager ".
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  1. Melissa Lande from lande communications, February 23, 2011 at 7:43 p.m.

    If you're smart you'll go to a Baby Boomer Mom. Why? because we're watching you all make the same mistakes we are paying for now. I do not say this with regret. There can be no decent playbooks for being a Mom -- new stimuli enters the Kidosphere every six seconds. That's right. Six Seconds. And Moms have to be vigilant safety guards. I see new Moms 20-40 asking all the same questions we asked -- and they are asking their peers. BIG MISTAKE (except for the case of branded merchandise.) If it's just about selling stuff to Moms, fine. That's only part of Mom's job. Lately all you read about is Mom The Consumer. Sure, moms want things to be eco-friendly and cost effective and make nifty brand managers. Who better? But Experienced Moms-- where did they get lost in the mix?

  2. Maureen McKeown, February 24, 2011 at 10:09 a.m.

    “Attention all brands: listen to Mom” Not just YOUR mother, and not the archetypical mother of yesteryear crocheting afghans with more time than she knows what to do with. But today’s mom who’s redefined the art of multitasking with handfuls of apps, activity org charts and communities of advisors who steer her decisions, and vice versa.

    Listen to mom who buys your brand, who’s responsible for her family’s purchasing decisions, and is more likely to have a conversation with your customer service department than anyone else in her family —and she expects respect.

    Listen to mom who is better connected than you can ever imagine, with tens of thousands of global Twitter followers and hundreds of Facebook friends she’s earned for life.

    Listen to mom, because she’s starting her own company, on her terms, instead of being underpaid and under heard in the old corporate regime.

    Listen to mom because she’ll steer your brand.
    And she happens to know where your socks are.

    Thank you Holly for writing this.

  3. Maryanne Conlin from RedRopes Digital/4GreenPs, March 7, 2011 at 4:24 p.m.

    Great article!

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