By Stephen Rhodes
Jeff Bowman’s piece Monday, on the inventor of disposable diapers, reminded me of an article I read about the power of mommy bloggers last week.
On Friday Hollie Shaw wrote a piece in the Financial Post titled “Don’t mess with mom bloggers” and described the impact moms had on the launch of a new diaper by the Procter & Gamble Co. The diaper purports to be more environmentally friendly, while 20 % thinner and 20% more absorbent, which on the surface seems like a winner.
The new diaper arrived in some test markets and one Louisiana Mom complained they leaked. She got her money back, but complained online that P&G should have warned customers of its planned changes before going to market. Soon P&G was in full crisis management, battling negative reviews by bloggers on some 75 websites and facing a Facebook campaign to bring back the old diaper, even before the new diaper had been rolled out.
Shaw points out in her story:
A social-media study last year by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners said 43% of women visit blogs to get advice or recommendations, while more than 40% of women believe blogs are a reliable source of information and advice. More than half said blogs influenced their buying decisions.
Today’s moms use the Internet as a resource. They research and share their experiences with each other through blogging, Twitter and Facebook. This bring back the old Pampers Facebook group has 481 members, but the reach is so much farther.
P&G is no slouch in product testing and marketing. The company spent 10 years testing this product before coming to market. And they have responded to the onslaught.
But much has changed in 10 years. This campaign was started by a disgruntled mom, who rallied other moms across and country. P&G has undoubtedly devoted a lot of time and money fighting a rear-guard action. They will survive because good brands do.
Two things emerge here.
Brands need to be talking and more importantly listening to the digital world.
Through social media they can engage customers like never before and they need to use these tools to consult and dialogue with customers.
Because, otherwise, in the blink of an eye……….