Marketing to Moms BSM Media
Latest News and Trends in the Mom Market by BSM Media and Maria Bailey

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Motrin Mom Controversy

I feel like I need to comment on Motrin-gate as I continue to read the endless flow of articles, blog posts and videos regarding the now pulled Motrin ad campaign. As the author of every book but one on Mom Marketing and most recently, "Mom 3.0: Marketing With Moms by Leveraging Social Media and New Technology", it seems as if I need to issue an opinion. The reality is that almost everything I would say has already been said in one form or fashion so perhaps the best service I can do is comment on some of the words already written.

Tonight I read an article in Ad Age that did an excellent job at speaking to scope, reach and reaction. The article illustrated that, although the Motrin dialogue among moms seemed loud and vast in numbers, in reality it touched only a small number of online mothers. Twitter, which served as the social media platform for much of the discussion among mom bloggers, myself included, reaches only 0.15% of the entire Internet audience. Blogs, which also fielded posts and discussions among mothers, only reach 38% of the mom market according to BSM Media research. However, what the Ad Age article didn't measure was the vast number of online videos, vcasts and vlogs that were uploaded by opinionated mothers. These have far more reach than either of the two previously named social media platforms. We don't speak much about videos now but I can assure you ,as a trendspotter in the mom market, we will be hearing as much about Vlogging by Q1 2009 as we do about blogs in Q4 2008. In fact, 85% of all moms have watched an online video in the past 7 days and it was videos recorded by mom bloggers turned Vloggers that caught the media's attention. Stephanie Precourt's heartfelt video led to exposure on NBC News and the Chicago Tribune. My point in bringing your attention to the real numbers of social media is to help marketers avoid a mistake I see happening every day. Marketers are clamoring so quickly and carelessly in their attempt to get into the social media space that they are doing so without their traditional sense of marketing savvy. They are trusting non-marketing experts who demonstrate even the slightest bit more knowledge than themselves with their brand and their messaging. They are forgetting research and measurement. They are throwing away any thought of integrated marketing plans that build upon each other and handing over their marketing dollars to individuals whose knowledge is limited to one space.

I will be the first to tell marketers that you must market WITH moms rather than TO them. I even changed the title of my book to reflect this approach. This does not mean, however, that one should abandon all traditional strategy to touching your consumer in a meaningful manner.

Another interesting stream of blog posts come from moms themselves. Their basic message was that the uproar doesn't do well for the connection between businesses and bloggers. That somehow the power of social media could work against how far moms have come in earning the respect of companies if mothers do not find less chaotic manners of protest. I would agree that moms have come a very long way in earning the respect of companies. Ironically, most of the moms who enjoy this respect were still single, childless and probably still in college when people like myself were fighting for face time with big brands. I recall when my first book, "Marketing to Moms" was published, I spent 90% of my time trying to convince marketers that they should pay attention to women with children. The first Marketing to Moms Conference brought out 10 attendees. I even went more than a year without a paycheck trying to build the first ever Mom Marketing Agency. Today, thousands of moms enjoy some kind of income from working with companies, at least a dozen Marketing to Kids firms have added "and Moms" to their taglines and multiple conference companies have monetized the desire of brands to reach this market. Yes, we've come a long way and we still have a long way to go. Marketers and moms of influences such as bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and webmasters need to realize that this industry is still young and ever evolving. It's been less than a decade since the spending power of moms was quantified by BSM Media and with changes in technology, the road ahead will have lots of growing pains. The good news is that we have Motrin to help cure them

Thursday, October 23, 2008

State of the American Mom

The Marketing to Mom Coalition, of which I am a Founding Member, today released the results of the State of American Moms. It's a wonderful report focused on everything from technology to shopping behaviors of mothers. The full report is available from the Marketing to Moms Coalition,

I am excited to share a few of the highlights with you:


Survey Shows More Moms are Stressed Out in 2008, Cites Top Issues of Concern

October 9, 2008, Chicago, Ill. -- Stress levels were brewing among moms across the country well before the recent financial crisis began, and the current economic environment isn’t helping matters. According to the recent State of the American Mom Report from the Marketing to Moms Coalition, nearly all moms (90%) saw the economy getting weaker even before the collapse on Wall Street. According to the nationwide survey of 1,033 mothers, more moms (40%) feel stressed about their current family life, than feel good about the way things are (33%).

Among many findings, the report shows an increase in moms admitting to be stressed, particularly full-time working mothers and those with lower incomes. Also, stress appears to be on the rise for divorced moms (47%).

“There’s no question that moms continue to have a growing list of concerns in this country,” said Michal Clements, founding member of the Marketing to Mom Coalition and partner of Incite to Action, the research firm that fielded the study. “The State of the American Mom Report shows that moms are feeling more overwhelmed, more concerned about their children versus themselves. Moms are continuing to try to find ways to streamline and simplify their lives – now more than ever.”

Stress Varies by Season

Overall, moms say the holidays are the most stressful time of year (40%), followed by summer when children aren’t in school (32%), back-to-school time (25%) and the end of the school year (6%). However, there were some interesting differences:

· Self-employed moms (43%) and moms with more children at home think summer is the busiest time of year for them, as they juggle working and childcare on top of children’s summertime activities.

· African American moms also say that summer is most stressful (34%) followed by back to school time (33%), and the holidays (28%).

What Moms Do to Save Time and Money

The majority of moms (75%) say they have been using leftovers more this year in an effort to save money, especially Caucasian moms (78%) and Hispanic moms (74%). Conversely, one in three African American moms (31%) either doesn’t use left overs or uses them less now than in the past.

Many moms are trying to find ways to do more one-stop shopping to save time and money. Sixty three percent of moms try to one-stop shop, especially those moms with children age two and under (69%). Other top ways moms try to save time and cut costs include making meals at home (63%), shopping/paying bills online (55%), enlisting children to help in household chores (46%), and shopping in bulk (45%).

What Matters Most to Moms

When asked to what are the most important issues on moms’ minds in 2008, collectively the respondents provided this ranking:

  1. Relationship/communication with their child
  2. Quality of education for their children
  3. Safety in the world for their children
  4. Drug use among their children’s peer group
  5. Cyber/Online safety for their children

Listen Up, Girlfriends

In spite of all stress, more moms are becoming experts in the art of parenting – or so they think. When compared to 2007 data, more moms in 2008 identify themselves as an ”opinion leaders” and say they are likely to share information among their friends and family. This may be correlated to the boom in mommy blogs and web sites over the past year.

The State of the American Report surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,033 mothers with at least one child aged under age 18 in the household. Data was analyzed by working status, household income, ethnicity as well as number of children living at home. To see the executive summary of the study and to purchase the full report, visit _

About The Marketing to Moms Coalition

The Marketing to Moms Coalition is the only industry group dedicated to furthering an understanding of America’s most powerful consumers. A not-for-profit organization, the group’s goal is to share knowledge and insights about moms to help marketers create programs that engage and empower this driving force of the American economy. More information about the coalition can be found at

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mommy Blogger Monologues

This week the Marketing to Moms Coalition and BSM Media, hosted the Mommy Blogger Monologues. It was the second of a national tour of events planned to educate, inform and create a dialogue between Mommy Bloggers and companies.

When I created the Mommy Blogger Monologues it was the outcome of reading hundreds of mom blog posts which expressed a discontentment with how marketers were reaching out to them. Bloggers complained that their in-boxes were being clogged with irrelevant press releases and emails asking for one-sided favors.

Companies on the other hand are eager to get to these influential mothers. Last week's New York Mommy Blogger Monologues seemed to hit the mark for both bloggers and marketers. In fact, you can read some of the great recaps from the bloggers’ perspectives here, here, here and here.

The panel was filled with eight very smart and savvy mom bloggers:

Gabrielle Blair, founder of, and

Kimberly Coleman of

Kelcey Kintner of

Alexis Martin Neely of

Amy Oztan of and

Kim Pace of

Amy Platt of

Andi Silverman of

These women provided many very good tips for working with moms in the blogosphere. Among them:

- Read the blog before sending a release to determine if your product is a good fit for the mom and her audience

- Be honest and transparent

- Introduce yourself and speak to the moms as you would anyone else

- Present a mutually beneficial marketing idea

- Don't pay for placement but do remember that some blogs are a business

- Ultimately the blogger is loyal to her readers

I feel very fortunate to know mom bloggers and even more grateful that they are willing to share their insights with companies.

For more information about reaching mom bloggers or data on the mom blogosphere, visit

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Precious Girls Club

If you've read my blog, heard me on Mom Talk Radio or read one of my articles on Desexualizing Six Year Olds, you know that I've been working on an exciting new project, the Precious Girls ClubTM. It’s a new virtual world website and chapter book series for young girls. Since it’s from Precious Moments®, the site has all the same wholesome values we associate with this trusted brand and those we are trying to instill in our own children like loving, caring and responsibility. These values are reinforced throughout the site in fun and engaging experiences for girls and through a chapter book series and related products that go along with the site. The site just launched and the books are available in stores and online.

I hope you’ll take a minute to explore and share it with your daughter. Feel free to share the news of Precious Girls Club and the free access code which follows. Let them know that playing on the site is free, but they can also get a free month of premium Rainbow Club membership by entering 8137-KTQ1-NZCG on the web access code page. I think you’ll find this site to be different and refreshing – a place that encourages girls to be girls.

I am very passionate about providing young girls an environment and place to play which is safe and mirrors the values of friendship, caring, loving and more.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More from the Campaign Trail....

Since I’m always interested in the attitudes and intentions of Moms, we recently polled Moms nationwide on a topic that is on everyone’s minds these days: campaign 2008. We know that Moms are planning to come out to the polls and we know the hot-button issues in the Presidential race. But, debate topics aside, what do Moms really think about what they’re seeing on the campaign trail? Let’s find out. Here are some of the results of our most recent Presidential Campaign Survey.

Moms on the Election:

  • 63% try to stay abreast of major issues

- 22% read and watch everything, from political blogs to shows

· 85% plan to vote for President in 2008

- 10% are unsure

- 5% don’t plan to vote

On the Running Mate Decisions:

  • 65% have not changed their opinions of the candidates since the running mates were announced, while 15% have changed their feelings

- 20% are not sure if their feelings have changed

· Of those whose feelings have changed:

- 28% are still undecided

- 7% were previously undecided but now voting Republican

- 6% were previously leaning towards the Democrats but are now voting Republican

- 5% were previously undecided but now voting Democrat

- 3% were previously leaning towards the Republicans but are now voting Democrat

  • 78% said the running mate choice has a significant impact on their vote
  • 70% have not changed their feelings on John McCain since his running mate announcement

- Of those whose feelings changed, 53% are now more inclined to vote McCain/Palin

On Sarah Palin:

  • When asked to describe their feelings on Sarah Palin:

- 36% think she was a great choice and are planning on voting Republican

- 24% think it was a contrived political move

- 14% are encouraged that a woman could potentially be our VP but don’t agree with her stance on issues

- 11% like her a strong woman but are not planning on voting for her

- 9% don’t think it was a wise choice for John McCain

- 5% said they were unsure of their vote before, but don’t want to pass up the chance to see a woman in the white house

· When asked if Sarah Palin’s role as mother of 5 influences their view of her:

- 29% said yes

- 24% said somewhat

- 43% said no

- 4% don’t know

· 74% relate to Palin as a woman and mother

- Of those:

§ 75% relate to her facing family difficulties

§ 45% relate to the way she balances a career and family

§ 42% relate to her conservative views

§ 30% relate to her having children later in life

§ 24% relate to her having a child with a disability

§ 16% relate to her political aspirations

· When asked if they agreed with the way Palin is handling her pregnant daughter’s situation:

- 52% said Yes

- 32% said Somewhat

- 16% said No

· 63% believe that Palin’s family life will have a significant impact on her campaign

On Michelle Obama:

· 60% relate to Obama as a woman and mother

On Women/Moms in Politics:

· When asked if they would consider supporting a ticket that included a female candidate, even if they didn’t agree with the party’s view on the issues:

- 53% said no

- 26% didn’t know

- 21% said yes

· When asked how much the parenting styles of Michelle Obama or Sarah Palin play into their decision

- 47% give it some consideration

- 40% said it makes no impact

- 11% give it a lot of consideration

- 3% said it greatly impacts their vote

· 80% think there is a double standard facing women in politics

· When asked if they believe a mother can adequately balance family and a position such as VP of the US

- 63% said Yes

- 24% aren’t sure

- 14% said No

· 56% believe that it’s equally taxing to balance the roles of both Vice President and First Lady with motherhood

- 30% think it’s easier balancing motherhood as the First Lady

- 5% think it’s easier balancing motherhood as the Vice President

On Candidates Speaking to Motherhood:

· 47% think Barack Obama is doing a better job speaking to the issues that are important to mothers

· 40% think John McCain is doing the better job

Friday, August 1, 2008

Relationships Are Key When Marketing to Mothers

What is your agency’s definition of “relationship”?

For almost two decades, I’ve written and preached about the importance of relationships when it comes to marketing to mothers. Today more than ever, taking the time to establish meaningful relationships is imperative, particularly with mommy bloggers. The backlash that can occur when public relations and marketing agencies don’t take the time to get to know their target consumers has been well chronicled online in blog posts, tweets and social networks. Nothing can ignite the fuse between bloggers and marketers faster than an irrelevant press release or pitch sent blindly to a mom blogger. The marketing world seems to have learned from the mistakes of peers and recently made more attempts to learn something about the mom behind the blog. However, there is still a long road to go in getting it right.

The mistake I see marketers currently making lies in trusting the definition of “relationship” when their agencies say, “we have a relationships with bloggers.” What does this really mean? What kind of relationship? Does it mean that the blogger accepts email from the agency or does it mean they actually know the blogger by her first name? I find, as an objective observer, that the definition of “relationship” differs greatly from agency to agency and project to project. Let’s face it. Your agency knows that mommy bloggers are hot. They know you want the buzz a few good posts can provide and they want to please you, their client. All too often, I hear, “we have relationships” only to find out later that the “relationship” doesn’t even include knowing the topics that the mommy blogger addresses.

Recently, a company asked me to look over a list of bloggers their agency had recommended to them. Bloggers the agency apparently had relationships with. Two blogs on the list didn’t even exist anymore because I personally know the women who folded them. Another had the wrong contact name attached to it. Another was the name of a blog that is actually a network of over 50 mom bloggers. Does this mean they have a relationship with all 50 mom bloggers?

I will be the first to admit that it is time consuming to maintain a relationship with hundreds of mommy bloggers. I know this first hand. I have a relationship with over 700 of them. However, that relationship is maintained on different levels. Some I only know by name and content while others invite me to their baby showers. It’s sometime a point of necessity to leverage the relationships of others; however, as a marketer who owns your brand, its just as important to define the relationship you are leveraging. Take the time to ask some of the following questions of your agency:

- How long have you known this blogger?
- Have you worked with her before?
- What are the topics and characteristics of her blog that make her a good fit for my brand?
- How often do you use her for your programs? Is she willing to do so much so often?
- What are the ages of her children?
- How active are her readers? Do they engage with comments?

If they can’t answer at least a few of these questions, you should question their level of relationship with their suggested mommy bloggers. The level of relationship between the mommy blogger and the company is directly proportional to the level of results you will gain through your marketing efforts.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some call it the happiest place on earth; I call it the richest data mine on Earth, particularly when it comes to marketing to moms. I am poolside at Walt Disney World where there is more validation of mom trends, insights and research than one could find in a week of focus groups. Yes, it’s Saturday afternoon and some might say that I should take the day off but when I'm at Disney, I'm the happiest person on Earth for reasons beyond the thrill of Space Mountain or the excitement of meeting Buzz Lightyear. I am immersed in the greatest cross section of moms in the world and there's no shortage of things to learn. Maybe this is why my kids hate to wait in lines with me at Disney- I strategically position myself so we are sandwiched between moms in line. This way, if I can't get one engaged in a conversation, I can turn behind me and hopefully engage another. The questions are endless and I've been known to get an entire personal history along with buying behaviors, ages of children and online engagement habits in the time it takes to get on Peter Pan. The longer the line the better! No FASTPASS for this hardy researcher!

Today I've already observed a dozen things. First and foremost, I realized sitting here that I definitely do not fit into any mainstream mom segment. It didn't take long to realize that I was the only mom joyfully reading Brandweek, DM News and an old article on Brand Influencers. I can honestly say I'm a one-of-a-kind mom. After all I'm the only mom on Earth who takes such joy in writing about Mom Marketing. I only point out my self observation because it a confirmation to my loyal readers that I WILL NEVER base my mom insights on my own behaviors.

My next observation- 60 percent of moms want healthy food choices for their children according to the BSM Media Obesity Report. They may answer such on a poll but by the number of ice cream sundaes and buckets of French fries passing my chair, they aren't buying them. Disney actually does an amazing job offering healthy fare, and it’s in fact a company wide initiative, but apparently even Mickey can't talk a kid into the carrots and celery.

My next observation-Friendly competition is alive and well among moms. I've heard no fewer that 6 conversations on doing Disney right and "little known secrets" that only the lucky mom disclosing them knows. By the way, two out of six moms dished out inaccurate information in an attempt to look more knowledgeable than the others about shuffling kids through the park. Finally, word of mouth is by far the most effective means of marketing to moms. Today the Maria Bailey question of the day was, "how did you plan your trip to Disney?". Overwhelmingly, they garnered their recommendations and tips from another mom. It might have been a classmate’s mom, The Disney Moms Panel or a blog post but it still was another mom.

My legs are turning red and my sunscreen needs to be reapplied and my daughters are approaching my chair. It’s time for me to put away the Blackberry, grab my towel and get back to being a mom.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Excerpt from Maria Bailey's upcoming new book, "Mom 3.0"

In over a decade of formally studying moms, I have never seen as much of a frenzy surrounding one type of marketing initiative as I’ve seen with mom bloggers. In the recent history of marketing to moms there have been certain initiatives that gather attention of media, marketers and the consumer. Few will forget the popularity of affiliate marketing in the hay day of the Internet. It was a popular way for companies to form an alliance with mom webmasters that included a revenue stream for the mom and access to the mom’s peers. Freebie offers and online coupons soon followed giving moms access to special discounts they could electronically share with their friends. Chat rooms and message boards created forums for dialogues between, moms, brands and experts. Technology evolved and then podcasting became a popular way to connect with moms. Attention turned to consumer generated content as word of mouth marketing formalized itself into a national association and Time put YOU on the cover in 2006 as Person of the Year. Through all these stages of marketing to moms the media has never focused so much on the involvement and engagement of companies and moms as it has on Mommy Bloggers. Companies have never scrambled so quickly to understand mom bloggers. I’ve watched media buyers, public relations and advertising managers blindly spend unallocated budgets on mommy blogger programs with little regard for reach, impressions or other measurements. Adding to the rush to play are the accidental business women formerly known as mom bloggers. Mothers who simply started a blog to chronicle their journey as a mother or to find like-minded women with children are suddenly receiving hundreds of product samples, special event invitations and free merchandise in their in-boxes. In fact, the present activity in the mom blogosphere makes this chapter the most exciting to write yet the most difficult. My fear is that the mom blogosphere is changing and evolving so quickly that what I write today will not be relevant six months or a year from now. However I remind myself that there is a great of knowledge in understanding the evolution of a media as well as knowing how to execute successful campaigns with it. As I write this book, blogging is the most explosive marketing initiative in the marketplace today; however I feel it is only halfway to maturity. I believe the progression of mom blogging as it approaches maturity will affect not only how marketers of the future will deliver their messages but also what consumers expect from companies when they deliver that message to their peers. The days of free word of mouth marketing might be coming to an end. Only time will tell.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mom Marketing Clearinghouse: Opportunities and Partnerships

BSM Media is immersed in the Mom Market- globally and locally. Along the way, we find unique and creative opportunities for companies to reach moms. We bring you this Mom Marketing Clearinghouse as a service to make reaching moms easier and more cost effective. For information on these initatives, feel free to contact the group directly or email Amy Shiman at

Moms Group hosting fundraiser for breast cancer research looking for corporate sponsors and donations of raffle prizes. Varying levels of sponsor packages available as well as sampling opportunity. Event will draw between 300-500 moms in NY/NJ area. Act fast as event is in early May. Contact Amy Platt at for more details.

Major Christian-oriented brand looking for cross promotion partner for product launch in June. For more information, contact Holly Edger at

ONLINE VIDEO DESTINATION FOR MOMS Throughout the month of May, will be featuring products in our giveaway promotion and sweepstakes. For the opportunity to showcase your product and receive promotional space on, contact Natalie at

Yahoo Group with 2,000+ members willing to post product reviews and appropriate website links. To be considered, companies/websites must offer educational content or tools free of charge. For more information, contact Lori Seaborg at

Mom Bloggers: Mom bloggers seeking sponsorships to attend BlogHer Conference July 2008. This is your opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with mom bloggers. Sponsorships vary from $500 to $2000. On site promotion and inclusion in future blogs. For more information contact Natalie at

Long Island company looking for products, coupons, magazines and samples to be included in 10,000+ goodie bags distributed in OB/GYN offices. For more information, contact Amy Platt at

Monday, April 21, 2008

1-2-3 Easy Programs to Jump Start Your Marketing to Moms Efforts!

Today's Mom Market holds the key to over $2.1 trillion dollars in annual US spending. Effectively tapping into this market can be lucrative to the bottom line, brand awareness and overall growth of your business. It amazes me that even today, in a world of consumer generated media and YouTube marketing, that many marketers still believe it is necessary to buy expensive television time and print ads in national parenting magazine. Although these efforts reach a large number of moms in one swoop, they don't provide the relationship, customization or personalization with a brand that moms are seeking. This is good news for companies with small marketing budgets or shrinking resources. As technology, socialization and consumerism have changed, the opportunities to connect with the mom market have expanded in way that increases both ROI and sales for your business. Let's take a look at three easy and effective ways to reach moms.

Mom Mavens

You've heard about the power of word of mouth and you've read the headlines about Mom Influencers. Also known as the "Go-To" moms, these women share information on products, services and retailers regularly with other moms. As you might guess, Mom Mavens earn their spot at the top of the pyramid of peers from their extensive breath of knowledge. We have identified that Mom Mavens share common behaviors and traits that make them an influencer.

BSM Media has developed the Mom Matrix, a system of 18 common behaviors that position a mom to be a distributor of marketing, product and brand information. Some of these qualities include mothers who are group leaders such as PTOs, moms of multiples and moms who run businesses. A combination of two or three of these behaviors allows you to identify moms who have strong established social networks. In word of mouth marketing, these networks are leveraged as outlets for her to share marketing messages. In order to engage these influencers with your message it is necessary to supply them with some type of exclusive nugget of information that elevates them among her peers. It’s important to also give her something to share with others as well as something to share with her child. You might consider hosting a special preview night in your store or providing mom mavens with special discounts they can share with friends.

To identify local mom mavens we suggest scouring the pages of regional parenting publications or local Websites. Identifying the leaders of these groups can be your first step to developing meaningful relationships with Mom Mavens.

Mom Bloggers

Mommy bloggers have been a hot topic in the media recently. Research conducted by BSM Media cites almost 50% of moms now read a blog with a growing number of moms going to blogs for product recommendations. These technology savvy mothers can be an effective way to market your business. Consider them Mom Mavens on steroids. Some mom bloggers have audiences of over 8 million readers and subscribers. However, marketing through bloggers takes time and a great deal of relationship building.

As companies are scrambling to have mom bloggers post about their stores, product and services a great many of them are making severe mistakes along the way. This is one instance where learning from others’ mistakes is invaluable and doing it right is best learned with a list of "What Not to Dos."

Don't Google "Mom Bloggers" to pull the names of the top searches and blindly contact them. There have been many documented debacles in the blogosphere about companies who have done just that. One company sent Easter information to a Jewish Mom blogger while another emailed child product samples to a childless women. Spending a few minutes to read the blog and learn about the blogger can go a long way to avoiding such blunders. Get to know the writer so that you establish a meaningful relationship.

Don't assume the Mom Blogger wants your coupons, samples or product information. After reading the blog for several days, reach out to the mom blogger with a friendly, sincere introduction. Tell her your goals and ask her permission to communicate with her in the future.

Don't be one-sided. A true relationship flows in two directions. Mom bloggers are looking for special information to share with their audiences. Many run contests or giveaways in their posts as well. Ask the mom writer how you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship and express your willingness to help her reach her goals as well as yours.

YouTube for Mom

Over 75% of moms have viewed at least one online video in the last 7 days. In fact, BSM Media research points to online video as the next preferred media among moms. Think about it - online video allows moms to hear and perhaps watch your message while stirring macaroni and cheese and answering homework questions too! It's perfect for delivering your message when moms have time to listen. Creating video that showcases your product or retail location doesn't require expensive production crews or pages of well crafted scripts. The most popular online videos are conversational in nature and run 3-4 minutes in length.

Moms are more likely to watch solution based videos. If you are marketing a product, focus on the solution it provides rather than its features. For instance, if you are selling a stroller with the latest in mobility, create a video titled, "Navigating Narrow Store Aisles with Baby In Tow" and feature ways to make shopping easier for moms rather than focusing on the turning ability of the stroller. Of course, you'll mention your stroller as one of the solutions for moms but she's more likely to click on it and watch if it provides a solution to a challenging problem.

Once you've produced your video segments there are plenty of online destinations for distribution. YouTube is of course the largest platform for distribution but there are many others.,, allows moms to learn, creates, share and archive videos and offers companies the opportunity to upload videos at no cost. Through the use of a viewer or widget, videos can also enhance the experience of visitors to your website.

While many of these programs require a more significant time commitment than placing an advertisement in a magazine, the end results are sure to be well worth it. Taking the time to cultivate lasting relationships between moms and your brand will translate into brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth communication- both invaluable to your business’s bottom line. And whose bottom line couldn’t afford a piece of Mom’s trillion dollar pie?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Web-savvy retailers marketing to 'mommy bloggers'

Published: April, 03 2008 By Thomas A. Prais

The Internet has long been compared to the “anything-goes” Wild West. New trends, however, suggest it is becoming an updated version of the sewing circle of yesteryear.

“Mommy blogs” and related mom-oriented social networks enable merchants to communicate with consumers in a space where they are actively engaged in product discussions. According to Maria Bailey of the consulting firm BSM Media and author of “Trillion Dollar Moms,” as well as an upcoming book about moms and the Internet, there are 10,000 active mommy bloggers (moms who post at least once a month) in the United States. Bailey’s research found that 60 percent of moms read blogs at least once a week and 75 percent said blogs are the medium they are most excited about.

Product evaluations are of special importance on mommy blogs. “Among moms, knowledge confers social status,” Bailey explained. “And knowing about new, useful products or good deals is highly valued.”

A white paper (“Online Communities: What Should Retailers Do?”) published in mid-March by Internet application developer Optaros articulated the advantage this will have for Web-savvy retailers: “What if a store can be placed where the customers are spending their time, rather than trying to get the customers to come to the [store’s Web site]?”

According to Bailey, one of the keys to reaching the online mom community is authenticity. “It’s very, very important,” said Bailey, “if you try to reach out to mommy bloggers, that you don’t just send them a press release.”

Kathy Ireland Worldwide has authenticity in spades. While the company hasn’t gone so far as to actively create an online network, it does allow members to communicate with Ireland. Sometimes, this communication takes unexpected turns. “I get a lot—a lot—of e-mails that are faith-related,” said Ireland. “It’s something that I’m very mindful of, because I never want to exploit my faith. That’s tricky when you sell stuff, but it’s such a huge part of who I am.”

Discussions of faith may seem pretty far afield from mainstream, brand-building operating procedure. But, according to Bailey, authenticity is the coin of the digital realm, in contrast to the lifeless, board-approved copy of press releases.

Not all communications are so personal. Ireland shared a recently received e-mail with Furniture Style as an example: “Your company is rather limited in window treatments. I own some hard window treatments that you've made, but I don’t want that in my bedroom. Why have you not addressed this lack of service, and where should I go to find soft window treatments that coordinate with the area rug in my bedroom and my top-of-bed, both of which are from your European Country style guide?”

According to Ireland, her team will respond quickly and might “ask [the customer] to e-mail us a photo of her rug, and we’ll help her tie it together with other items in the room. Any product we don’t carry, we’ll do some research, and find good manufacturers who are in line with our pricing.”

Such back-and-forth communication is a far cry from traditional advertising, where a brand delivers a marketing message—whether through a print, television or banner ad—that the consumer may or may not be receptive to at the time of delivery. Mommy blogs and networks give retailers, including those specializing in home furnishings, the opportunity to engage their primary consumer in a way that is far more meaningful than the typical “Labor Day Sales Event” ad buy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Unlocking the secrets of Miley Cyrus' and Marketing to Moms

Say two words to any mom of a 4-15 year ol girl, "Miley Cyrus" or "Hannah Montana" and you are certain to evoke some type of response. In most cases, it will be positive. "Oh, my daughter loves her" to "Her music is so affirming." But what makes Miley Cyrus so appealing to mothers? The secret lies in the core values and key motivators of mothers. Disney has produced a marketing to moms initative that is so strong it exceeds American Girl and Build A Bear Workshop, two brands built on leveraging mom's approval to drive repeat purchases and brand loyalty. To fully understand the creation of this powerful machine called Hannah Montana, let's peel back the layers and take a look inside.

Achy Breaky Heart
It all starts with Billy Ray Cyrus, her father. Tell a mom that you don't know who Miley is and she will most often tell you, "she's Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter." The same Billy Ray that wooed the hearts of 40 something boomers with his Achy Breaky Heart twang. Moms can immediately relate to the good times and memories they had singing along to the older Cyrus in the early 90s. With music being one of those pop culture wedges that drive generations apart, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus offer moms and daughters the opportunity to share rather than distance themselves from each other. A very good start in earning mom's approval.

Good Wholesome Entertainment
Bratz dolls may have outsold Barbie last Christmas but there is a growing trend of anti-Libby Lu moms. Moms who want their little girls to remain little girls. They are visiting sites such as, where they can share their views with other like-minded spiritual and conservative mothers. They have had enough of idols such as Lindsey Lohan and Brittany Spears and are searching for good role models for their daughters. In two and half hours of Miley's current concert performance, not once did any of her costumes reveal a breast or even a belly button. Her dancers managed to entertain young concert goers without girating or pulsing their pelvic muscles. This is the kind of safe environment, cyber-fearing moms are desire for their young girls.

Miles of Smiles
Many brands have been built on selling products to moms but few have truly mastered the art of winning the hearts of her child at the same time. Think about American Girl. If you've ever been in their flagship store on any given Saturday and watched the bulging arms of moms eager to purchase product than you know what I'm about to describe. Truly remarkable brands win mom over so well that they buy product even without the influence of the nag factor. Moms aspire to give their daughters the "tea party" they remember from their childhood, so they flock to the American Girl store to brunch with $80 dolls whose cloths cost more than their favorite pair of jeans. Miley presents the same opportunity to create a smile on the faces of their daughters. At a recent concert, I watched as mothers happily shelled out $35 for concert t-shirts and relished in the delight of seeing their girls go crazy. Best of all she could share it with her.

Bonding Before the Teen Years Set In
It's not surprising to professionals who study moms that Miley Cyrus' concert was a sellout in every city. Her concert presents mothers with the chance to share an experience that she knows has a very short shelf life in the eyes of her tween: going to a concert with mom. Think back to the time when these boomer moms were teens. Chances are they didn't go to their first concert with their mothers. No, they saw Lynryd Skynyrd at the sportatorium with their peers after swearing their life away to their mom who sat up in the kitchen until they got home. Mily Cyrus' Tour allows mom to share in the first concert experience before she becomes uncool in the minds of her precious daughters.

As Miley would say, “Rock On.”

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Connecting with Mom Influencers

“Help! I’m getting pressure from my manager and executive team to tap mom influencers.”

It’s a cry that I hear everyday from even the most experienced marketers. Cultivating relationships with the millions of mom bloggers out there could take years yet you have sales goals this month.

So where do you begin? The first thing to do is to stop long enough to determine who is your target market? Is it Gen X moms with new babies or boomers with teens? Knowing how you need to deliver to your message will help you to shrink the universe of 83 million moms. Then it’s important to find the right influencers. We call them Mom Mavens but regardless of what you call them, influential moms will deliver your message to other moms if you empower them with it. We believe that these influencers will become more and more important as marketing budgets shrink and you need a greater ROI. Engaging Mom Mavens or Alpha Moms to deliver the message not only costs less than traditional media buys but delivers your message with intense credibility.

We caution marketers however to approach Mom Mavens carefully. It's not about mailing a few samples and hoping the mom spreads the word. It's about creating a relationship with the right mom and engaging her in a mutually beneficial partnership. BSM Media has developed the Mom Matrix©, a system of 18 common behaviors which Mom Mavens exhibit on a regular basis. Among these traits you will find: the number of children she has, the roles she plays in her community and the career path she has chosen. It's important to identify the right mom to carry your message.