Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mommy Power and Pest Control
I'm an entomologist and not a marketer, nevertheless I wanted to share an intriguing marketing-related news item that I learned about on the radio yesterday. The radio story was on a relatively new online player (at least to me) called "mommy bloggers".
Now I've been blogging for well over a year, but have remained ignorant of a growing movement of what are called "blog-hers". In fact, like every other group larger than three people and a cat, they even have their own national conference and networking website. The BlogHer '09 conference in Chicago just concluded with over a thousand attendees. Next year's meeting in New York City is certain to attract even more, if writers like Austin American Statesman's report Omar Gallaga are to be believed. In fact, a recent survey by Nielsen Online concluded that online women aged 25-54 with at least one child make up about 20% of the active online population.
So what's this got to do with the pest control business? For one thing, according to Jessica Hogue, of Nielsen Online, "Mom blogs today are the epicenter for products reviews." One of the things mommy bloggers love to do is talk about consumer decisions they have made or are considering making. This makes sense if you consider that the woman of the house is often the key decision maker when it comes to significant household purchases, repairs, etc. Many retail manufacturers are acutely aware of this and are quickly recruiting mom bloggers into their marketing programs.
It should come at no surprise, then, that astute marketers with some of the larger pest control companies appear aware of this fact. A quick search of the terms "pest control" and "exterminator" on www.blogher.com reveals that Terminix and Orkin and other big name pest control companies are featured prominently on the site. My same search revealed hundreds of hits on these topics on different mommy blogs. Pest control is one of many things that are of intense interest to moms.
In many cases marketers are now providing freebies and samples to mommy bloggers in hopes of inducing them to blog (favorably) about their products. I'm not sure exactly how these techniques might relate to local pest management companies; but if you've been, like me, blissfully unaware of this growing online phenomenon, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
A starting point might be to visit www.blogher.com and search for mommy blogs in your community. You might discover some influential networks you didn't know existed. You might even persuade some of them to provide links or ads to your business.
On a more sober note, you might ask yourself, "is my company providing the best service possible to moms in my community?" With the growth and maturity of internet networking, bad reputations are as likely to spread as quickly as the good.
One thing I know, you want to maintain good relations with these moms. As the bumper sticker says, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"