Magazine article ADWEEK

MotherHood Site Suggests the Strength of Numbers: Why Marketing to a Social Network Might Forge Deeper Connections

Magazine article ADWEEK

MotherHood Site Suggests the Strength of Numbers: Why Marketing to a Social Network Might Forge Deeper Connections

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO When MindShare launched In the MotherHood for Sprint and Unilever's Suave in April--a social marketing site where mothers can submit short scripts about their lives, see them acted out by a cast including King of Queens star Leah Remini and vote on their favorites--mommy bloggers were skeptical that women as busy as they would have time to participate. "Pay me what I'm worth and we'll talk," went a typical remark.

But the site's success thus far--more than 3,000 women have written and submitted material and more than 50,000 users have voted-suggests that even harried morns will find time to participate in a marketing effort that allows them to connect to like-minded people. It's a finding echoed by an Accenture study about social marketing released earlier this year.

Kevin Townsend, managing partner for Science + Fiction, San Francisco, which produced the site, said its success so far comes from allowing mothers to "have a [personal] conversation with thousands of [their] closest girlfriends." The idea, he said, was to "get women talking and to access the personal networks of these women" on behalf of these brands. Much of this was achieved by having a celebrity who resonated with the target audience, giving it "the shorthand of familiarity," he said.

According to the Accenture study, marketers who understand the community aspects of advertising will achieve greater revenue gains and market share than those who aim their marketing at individuals. The March 2007 study, called "Mastering Social Ecosystem Marketing," said marketers should examine the social and household networks of their target audience and use that information to market to the network as a whole.

"The buying-decision process is now much more household- and ecosystem-centric than individualistic," said the study. Thanks to technology, "consumers are accessing various forms of content with different devices; creating digital content themselves; and interacting within an extended household and social network. …

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