By Cynthia Nelson Thursday, July 9, 2009
It's no big news that moms are word-of-mouth mavens. From the beginning of time, women have been the communicators and the central point of all things home and family.
Luckily for advertisers, women have many facets (think diamond) that influence her ability to be a sparkling evangelist for a particular brand, product or service. The role of wife, mother, sister, aunt, chef, chauffeur, maid, teacher, referee, family CFO, PTA volunteer, and nurse all play a part in the products that she engages with at a particular life stage and how the success or failure is communicated to her peers.
With the advances in technology, access to the Internet, and now the near blinding growth of social networking, mom blogs, Twitter, etc., there are endless ways in which moms can talk about and influence other moms about your brand.
In our most recent study, which included over 10,000 Hispanic moms with children 0-5 in the home, over 50% of them said that they reach out to friends and family for advice -- this means they are having daily conversations about what products to buy, what works as a parent, what doesn't and where to find the brands, products and services that meet her family's needs.
If you are interested in developing Hispanic mom evangelists, below are valuable tips to finding success:
Be Careful What You Ask, You Might Not Like the Answer
Opening up your brand to consumer-to-consumer comments, blogs, forums, questions and comments is a scary and daunting task for most brands. Many times, we've drunk so much of our own Kool Aid -- meaning that we think our brand, product or service is already amazing -- we are not really ready to hear negative comments or air any dirty laundry in public.
One way to prepare your company for some potentially uncomfortable moments is develop a Social Media Strategy. The first thing to understand is that it is not the technology that you should be concerned about -- be it Facebook, Twitter, email, your own forum, call center or other method of consumer interaction -- but rather what as a brand you really want to get out of the conversation. And, to many brands, this means that engagement and a skin in the game from not only marketing, but also technology/development, R&D, Sales and Operations must be engaged and share a vested interest in understanding and being part of the strategy.
Developing a solid strategy includes not only definition of the target consumer, but also testing and measurement criteria and takes time, energy and leadership. Like social networking itself, your Social Media Strategy is a multi-layered and fluid community of key decision makers, influencers, and lots of players on the bench. It is also not a one-time, linear event -- if you are lucky it will evolve, grow, fail, change and continue to morph over time.
Ready, Set, Engage
Step One -- go fish where the fish are. The ability to quickly identify and leverage consumers who are already listening to you and are engaged in your brand is vital to starting up the conversation.
Step Two -- get personal. Rather than starting the first engagement about the brand itself, it is much more valuable to position the conversation around the life stage or facet of life where she engages with the brand. Think of it as consumer dating.
Some examples of appropriate consumer dating could include:
Interact with her where she lives -- Twitter, Facebook, whatever. Where she lives is where you should live with her. This may mean that your social strategy has different types of moms engaged at different times and with different points of view.
Be crystal clear about your relationship's intentions. Define what you are looking for from her, how long it will take, and what she may receive as part of the interaction.
Always acknowledge her issues with your brand quickly and honestly. You don't need to provide a solution but rather just a channel for her to open up and share.
Happy Moms Make Good Evangelists
Building a loyal, viral and active mom evangelist happens over time. By putting mom in the driver's seat, you'll gain valuable insights into her habits while placing your brand in the discussion. Keep these tips in mind:
Continue the relationship as you come out with new products or work on new campaigns to ensure relevant messages and continued trust.
Offer giveaways for moms and those who they influence (friends, family, their social network).
Make sure all conversations speak to not at your moms to keep them coming back for more.
Listen, listen, and listen. Repite por favor.