OK, I don’t usually use this space to rant. But today, I just need to something off my chest.
Targeting “mommy bloggers” has officially become cliche.
There, I said it. Man, I feel better.
What do I mean by that statement?
I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine and great mommy (she’d probably prefer “lifestyle” blogger) in her own right, recently about a pitch she received. The pitch involved some pretty nice tickets to a big event. I asked her how many pitches of this sort she typically received. She said about 10 a week.
10 a week? If my math is correct, that’s 40 a month and 480 a year (I know other bloggers get many more).
We also talked about the kinds of pitches she typically receives. I started to note a common theme as she was rattling them off: Most involve some sort of free product or giveaway.
OK, understandable, right? That’s sometimes needed to get bloggers’ attention. I get it. But, I see a few trends that have continued to raise an eyebrow for me now the last few months:
Do “mommy bloggers” really have that much buying authority?
Sure, moms usually make the buying decisions around groceries and household products (not to mention their own purchases–hair, makeup, etc), but men factor in too, right? I mean, I’m a husband and a father. Last time I checked, I had a pretty big say in my household regarding what we buy and what we don’t. I’m not saying Mom’s don’t have a huge say (they do)–I just tend to think we over-exaggerate women’s buying influence in the household.
Does the “free stuff” approach really work?
I’ve listened and chatted with a lot of bloggers over the last few years (and not just mommy bloggers). When being pitched, bloggers now *expect* free products and services. And, over the last year-plus, the stakes have been raised to unprecedented levels (I know, blogging hasn’t been around that long, but still…). Not only do they expect free goods and services–they expect them along with VIP treatment, in many cases. That’s a big offer for brands (and in some cases, that big offer comes with a big price tag). Is it worth it? What are brands really getting in return? Not sure I have the answer, but for some of the giveaways I’ve seen, I’m sometimes left thinking “Was that really worth it for the brand?”
Back up: Is blogger outreach always the right approach?
Here’s where I think marketers/PRs have gotten a bit lazy. There are certainly instances where targeting mommy/lifestyle bloggers makes sense–when they’re your key audience as a brand, you could certainly make a pretty good case for getting to know these folks and getting them involved with your brand (i.e., not just giving them “free stuff”). But, again, I’ve seen a number of brands target mommy bloggers that just doesn’t make sense to me. Just because the mommy bloggers are there–doesn’t mean you have to go after them. Are they helping you hit your key audiences and helping you achieve your business goals? If not, don’t bother.
I’ve just heard a few too many examples recently of brands targeting mommy bloggers that made me say (out loud): Really? Are brands just targeting these bloggers because they’re one of the biggest forces online? Because of their online “reach”? Or, should they be re-thinking their marketing strategies and start implementing approaches that really help them hit their target audiences and further their organizational goals?
I may be way off here–would love to hear your thoughts.
Note: Photo is courtesy of ma che daverro via FlickR Creative Commons.