Marketers: Deaf and Dumb?


Oh please. Can we marketers really be that blind – or, perhaps in this case, I should say, deaf?


According to an article in today’s Brandweek, “Marketers have made great strides in recent years to better understand and connect with moms. But in trying to perfect the message, many have forgotten to listen to the very consumer they are trying to woo.”


The article continues: “According to M2Moms, 60% of moms feel that marketers are ignoring their needs, and 73% feel that advertisers don’t really understand what it’s like to be a mom.”


No sane marketer today is going to implement a plan for moms without consulting them. So chances are, yes, moms have been “listened to.” The question becomes: How broad a listening program does a company need to make its efforts – and resulting messaging — legitimate? Do focus groups and other traditional forms of research no longer serve their purpose? Are the only mom-views worth listening to those expressed by influential bloggers and Twitterers? What if a company listens carefully, receives a multitude of conflicting opinions, chooses one direction – then gets blasted by everyone holding the opposite point of view?


The fact that everyone can now very publicly voice an opinion on anything and everything means that marketers should just expect to encounter negatives, regardless of how well they’ve done their research, which moms have given initial input, or what approach the company has settled on. These days, along with ad buys and coupon programs, marketers need to add crisis planning – how to respond to those negatives — into any marketing mix. When it comes to moms, “listening” is an ongoing process.


Moms, marketers – what do you think?