The second phase of marketing to moms is your direct-marketing phase. This phase should be anywhere from one to three years, and usually is accompanied by a series A round. (Since you proved your concept on the ground, investment should be now within your reach.) In this phase, you are targeting two things. First, a mom who is considered a “first mover,” meaning she is mobile and Internet savvy, and secondly, a mom who needs your product right now. Also, location is a factor. 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 cities and begin to bring the idea nationwide. (A total of 10 cities opened in this phase is ideal, if not more.) In this phase, you should keep the previous tactics that we mentioned above, but layer in on top of them paid search, radio, affiliate and commission-based marketing (if applicable to your model) and some print.
Let’s break these additional tactics down. When doing paid search, you generally want to start with a 40/30/30 split between Google paid search, Facebook ads and Yahoo/Bing/MSN and similar networks. What you are trying to do is get to the cost per acquisition of your customers quickly. Once you have this, you can ramp your spend. Again, I highly recommend using a firm for this. (Visit contactkarma.com for a list of the best paid search firms Chicago entrepreneurs are using, and deals on them.) Radio is a spectacular way to reach moms, particularly NPR. Affiliate marketing through channels like Commission Junction, CJ and Shareasale can be hugely helpful too, if it’s relevant to your model. Commission based marketing, through sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and mom-targeted sites like Zulily.com and Babysteals.com should generate a return. And finally, print can generate some great return, if targeted correctly. Local mom guides and OBGYN publications can have great returns, since mom is in buying mode while pregnant with her first child. (She has the time to buy things. That will change.)
What to do about your existing methods from the first phase? Just modify them to suit your new situation and resources. Don’t stop them. Consider hiring a PR firm instead of doing it yourself, but make sure to push hard for ongoing results. Dial online partnerships down to a minimum and switch your social media efforts from offensive (getting the word out) to defensive (monitoring for unhappy customers and doing whatever is needed to make them happy again.)