Brand chat reaches far

September 24, 2009

Here is more evidence why brands need to influence the influencers online today.

Here is more evidence why brands need to influence the influencers online today. More than nine out of 10 mothers (93.6%) regularly or occasionally seek the advice of others before buying a service or product. Nearly 10 out of 10 mothers (97.2%) advise others about products or services they have purchased.

So indicate results of a new white paper, All About Moms, issued by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF). The paper reports on a poll of more than 22,000 adults, including 4,200 moms with children at home who are younger than age 18, conducted this spring by BIGresearch.

“Retailers who aren’t engaging customers through social media could be missing the boat. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are becoming increasingly popular with moms as they search for coupons or deals and keep in touch with loved ones,” notes Mike Gatti, executive director, RAMA. “The Web provides efficient, convenient ways for brands to stay in front of their most loyal shoppers and attract new ones.”

Moms flourish in the online space significantly more than average adults, according to the survey findings. They’re likelier to use Facebook (60.3% vs. 50.2%), MySpace (42.4% vs. 34.4%) and Twitter (16.5% vs. 15.0%). Moreover, 15.3% maintain their own blog.

Retailers and brands that interact with moms online can most effectively influence their purchase behavior by focusing moms on promotions they identified as their favorites: product samples in the store (3.8 on a scale of 5), product samples delivered to the home (3.6), loyalty cards (3.5) and special displays (3.4), the survey found.

The good, bad and the ugly of brand and shopping experiences come out in these exchanges. “Moms like to talk,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president-strategic initiatives at BIGresearch. “Having coffee with a friend or updating their Facebook status, these women are eager and willing to share experiences.”

In our view at, as retailers and brands delve deeper into social media, they’ll become even more productive when they segment beyond moms vs. the general adult population; and that is just the beginning. It is time to think about daddybloggers, grandparentbloggers and the like. There is nothing more powerful than “word-of-mouth” and with social networking as the engine feeding tens of thousands of messages there is a new more powerful media. By refining their messages to more specific target audiences, they’ll become more personalized and more in rhythm with the needs and behaviors of each group. The challenge is to communicate and listen well; and with such talkative populations, there’s no limit to the insights they’ll acquire and the leverage of positive buzz.