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Blogging Moms May Be Just What Your Business Needs Right Now

Blogging Moms May Be Just What Your Business Needs Right Now

July 22, 2008

What do blogging moms have to do with growing your business?

More than you'd think.

Check this out. Procter & Gamble, makers of household brands like Pampers and Crest, is giving a number of "mommy bloggers" all-expenses-paid trips to P&G's headquarters, according to Ad Age.

The PR spin meisters say the trips are just to get the feedback of these outspoken mothers, not to sway them. "We've made it clear that this is not really about pitching products per se," says P&G's PR manager, "but exploring areas of common interest, such as baby development and how to help moms in this topsy-turvy time in their lives."

But to paraphrase Shakespeare's Gertrude, "me thinks the multinational mega-corporation doth protest too much."

P&G has figured out who their Hungry Fish are (moms), who their Endorser Fish are (mommy bloggers), and used targeted marketing (attention, bribes, standard red-carpet media kit stuff) to attract these "new influencers."

All of this was forecasted in the landmark book, The Anatomy of Buzz. In it, Emanuel Rosen argues that most purchase decisions aren't made by flipping through magazines or surfing from one consumer review website to another. Instead, buyers look to key "influencers" to make their choices.

Think about it. If you wanted to buy a new digital camera, what would you do?

You'd probably spend some time researching different options online. You might go to Best Buy to check out a few different models. You may even refer to Consumer Reports for their evaluations.

But the single best source most of us refer to is our "electronic gadget friend." You know, the guy who buys all the newest technology, who knows where to get the best deal, who can tell you which tech toys are hot and which are buggy, overpriced disasters.

Your buddy has powerful sway with his circle of influence. And if Sony or Canon could market to him directly, they'd have a much better chance of making the sale to you -- and all of your friends.

How mommy bloggers and Oprah affect sales

Influencers create "buzz," and they affect the buying decisions of hundreds or thousands of others. Think Oprah to books, or Sarah Jessica Parker to footwear.

What does this mean to you?

If you can identify who the key "influencers" are for your product, you can stop shooting and start aiming. You can stop mass marketing and start targeting those influencers.

Here's what you should do:

1. Identify your "hungry fish." Find out who makes up your current customers and your prospects.

2. Speak to them. Ask them who they turn to for advice in making their decisions about your product or service.

3. Research the influencers. Who are they? What do they want? What are they looking for? What can you do for them?

4. Create a marketing plan specifically targeting the most influential "buzz-makers" in your industry.

5. Influence the influencers. Consider P&G's model and use a full-frontal marketing campaign to win your influencers over.

You may not be able to convince Oprah to endorse you. And you may not need "mommy bloggers" on your side to increase your sales. But you might be surprised to find out who really matters when it comes to your business.

Stop shooting and start aiming. Get out there and "see the people." Target like crazy, and use your ammunition where it counts most. And let me know what this strategy does for you.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon