Inc Well | Small Business Advice for Chicago Entrepreneurs
A how-to blog for Chicago business

How to Market to Moms with a Web Company: Part Five

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    The third and final phase of marketing to moms is your brand-marketing phase. This phase should be anywhere from one to three years, and usually is accompanied by a series B round. (Your existing investors should help you find new ones -- series B rounds are much easier to raise than series A rounds.) In this phase, you are targeting two things. First, a more typical mom who has a use for the Internet but standard reservations around privacy, secondly, moms that will need your product at some point, but not necessarily now. As in phase two, location matters. In your first phase, you proved your model on the ground in a local area or two, and got supporting data. In your second phase, pick at least eight or nine more cities (aiming for a total of 10) and begin to bring the idea nationwide. In your final, third, phase, expand your focus to include at least ten more cities, and take on a national mindset with your approach. In this phase, you should keep the previous tactics that we mentioned before in phases one and two, but layer in on top of them TV and display and outdoor advertising (with caveats).

    TV and display and outdoor advertising are some of the most tricky kinds of advertising to generate returns from. I’ve talked to a number of large companies who found that their TV and outdoor was not taking at all for a period of time and that, just when things became alarming, it began to work, creating a sweat-inducing curve that left them worried about going out of business and then shaking their heads at a near miss. The best thing to do here is employ an agency, since at this point you should have the money to do it. Be aware that this information, while it’s worked for me, is dating itself while you read this. The trouble with TV is the entire industry is breaking down. YouTube, Hulu, iTunes and Netflix are working so hard to change the industry that you need to work hard to figure out while methods generate that best return. I find Google TV is a great place to get initial statistics, but make sure to try these other channels, since the number of people who simply turn on a TV vs. use a tablet is declining fast. As for outdoor? People are becoming immune to it. So don’t just use the traditional methods, like billboards. Try new things like car wraps, building wraps or anything that can surprise people and draw their eyes to itself.

    What to do about your existing methods from the first two phases? Again, just modify them to suit your new situation and resources…don’t stop them. Consider amping up your radio to suit your TV spend, since that will generate people going directly to your domain after they see you on TV and note that you exist in their minds. How many impressions do you need to convert customers? That’s a hard question, since it depends on the product, but often, I find that anywhere from four to six will get you to convert a mom. Then it’s just a matter of making your registration and payment process simple -- hello, Amazon.com -- and converting her fast.

    Genevieve Thiers is the founder of Sittercity.com and a co-founder of Contactkarma.com and OperaModa.com. She lives in Chicago, IL.