A few months ago a conversation started in the MumPanel office about brands focussing a little too much on social media and in the process forgetting about where they could connect with mums every day.
I’m an early adopter of technology. Most of my friends aren’t. Most of my friends are mums. If you take notice of the media and rafts of marketing information coming your way you might be convinced that every single person (including mums) are spending their entire life on facebook and twitter. They’re permanently attached to their smartphone and asking all their parenting questions on forums.
But this isn’t the whole story. I know most of the mums in my daughter’s class pretty well now and only about a third are on facebook (even less use it every day), I’m one of a handful on twitter and many don’t own a smartphone. Some even share an email account with their husband.
Surprised? We aren’t. We’re hearing the same story from mums across the UK, irrespective of their location, income or ethnicity. As the trend to push brands online has grown we worry that marketers have forgotten that mums HAVE to connect in real life, every day and in many different ways.
If you have children, regardless of the amount of time you may choose to spend online, you have to do the school run, go and buy new shoes, do drop offs and pick ups at classes and organise outings to keep them occupied at the weekends. That doesn’t mean to say we don’t use technology – I’m often checking directions to somewhere on my smartphone or asking a question of mums on Facebook.
But every single morning I stand with 10 other mums and we share information – this morning it was personal recommendations about where to buy a new kitchen table. And because I know and trust these mums then that word of mouth recommendation sticks. I’m much more likely to act on this than on a tweet. Mums take social media to the next level – they integrate it with their day to day social interactions – turning it into social living. But what does that all mean for brands? Firstly social media is great - if your audience is there (and you should test this). Secondly don’t let social media or online activity stand alone – you are missing the opportunity to connect with mums on a wider and deeper level. Finally, never forget where mums are everyday – in the supermarket, at the school gate, living socially. Find ways to connect and build on natural word of mouth recommendation.
Drop me a line to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a copy of our Soreen case study on integrating spreading the word marketing online and at the school gate.