Moms & Mums Are Heroes!
by Ellen Z. Elwell
In the early '90s, I began my lifelong marketing specialization: mothers. In rapid succession, my own agency became an agency-of-record for Beech-Nut Baby Food (owned by Ralston-Purina), Baby Orajel, A+D Ointment, Brainy Baby, Wonder Bread, Stonyfield Farm, Chex and Clorox brands to name a few.
Then, however, the only way to "hear" what Moms wanted and needed was focus groups and research data. The representation was small and the assumptions were high.
Today . . .Thanks to Social Media, marketers can get to know what moms and mums really want and need. Chat resources like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram allow any mom to make friends and influence people. And we can meet women who share our own interests - from pregnancy to cooking to losing weight to photography.
Can you imagine my amazement when I started to use Twitter? So many different conversations between moms and mums, so many different perspectives!
Revelation (to me): most mothers are insecure
I used to think I was the most insecure, inadequate mother in the world. Even though my beautiful, smart, sweet and wonderful daughter is happily married and has given me a wondrous granddaughter, I still feel that way. The combination of intense work and travel with running a household, arranging child care and school - not to mention being a wife - was overwhelming.Now, after following thousands of moms and mums online for several years, I feel that I was in the majority and just didn't know it. Most moms feel we're lacking next to the "supermoms" who always look great and seem happy, who claim they have great love affairs with their husbands, have quiet little children . . . well, you get the picture.
Conversely, if you're like me, you look in the mirror and feel out of shape, stressed and tired. And every single day, wonder how and when you'll get everything - or even anything - back together. This is the real picture that I see every day on Twitter!
About a year ago, I started following Pippa at @Story of Mum - a blogger in the United Kingdom. Her website/blog is totally amazing: it's all about mums speaking to one another - through Twitter - to understand how beautiful they are.
What's amazing is that Pippa actually gets mums to "tell" their most personal feelings, stories and photos along with projects and letters/articles on the blog to tell their own stories. Some are painful; others are uplifting. But they're all REAL. You have to visit the site to believe it. Mums actually help other mums feel better.
You can follow Story of Mum on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Storify. Pippa also has "Make Dates" (a UK expression) on Twitter two times a month. They are not sponsored and they're not designed to be giveaways. What they "give" is a feeling of community and support, and advice for and among mums who participate..
Until next time, I'll see you @ellenZelwell and #MomTips.