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When Moms Speak Corporate America Listens?

2010 March 31
by Dick Schaefer

Note from Ann Smarty: OK, I understand (and appreciate) the reaction to this post. Since I am co-owner of this blog, it reflects on me. But it is NOT how I think (just to be clear). Also, please check out this post to get the discussion further the rant:

Should Businesses Pay Mommy Bloggers?

My friend and fellow blogger Ann Smarty and I have differing opinions about moms who blog.  She claims that chatter in the mommy blogosphere captures the attention of retailers and product makers and that mom bloggers have influence on their fellow shoppers as well. This may be true about a very limited number of mom’s who blog but as far as your everyday, average mom goes, my opinion still stands, and that is instead of wasting their precious mom time on endeavors better left to experts, that their time is better spent on making a good home for their working husbands.

When Moms Speak Do Retailers Listen?

Ann also suggests that these same retailers and product makers are listening,  as evidenced by a few companies like Gap, Walmart and Old Navy, companies who are asserting that these moms are “the voice of our customers, ” and that “we are working harder to develop and maintain their trust by responding to their feedback.” Or  “we see moms who blog as a vital force for our brand strategy.”

Gag me, this is typical corporate-speak from their respective public relations departments if you ask me. It makes for good copy but I am not convinced that these efforts are for real. I keep imagining the suits at retailer corporate meetings saying ” let’s make these so-called mommy bloggers feel important, that way we can humanize our company and make a show of how moms opinions matter, when we are going to do what we want to anyway.” They should be listening to their consumers but that’s what they get paid the big bucks for, telling the consumer what they know is good for them.

I admit that moms may have had some marketplace muscle in the brick and mortar world but the jury is still out on the idea that their online talk accomplishes anything other than discovering new and cheap ways to make ground beef taste better.  A mom with something to say that has the power to create a real influence on the shopping habits of millions of people takes the equivalent of a female Darren Rouse, it’s not something that your average housewife is capable of.

Blogging takes time,  dedication and hard work if you want to build a following and be successful at it and moms who blog about complaints, advice on coupon clipping, low-budget meals and family finance may be reflecting the views of a few bored women, voicing their own frustrations in the bargain, but influencing  millions of moms? I just don’t see it.

Ann tells me I’m full of you-know-what and it’s not the first time that has been said about me. But that’s the beauty of blogging, isn’t it? Opinions, good, bad or indifferent are what make the world go round. She keeps telling me that a new frugality driven by our lousy economy, housing ills and a depressed job outlook has women exercising their market-place power more than ever, especially on the Internet.

I am all about people being successful at blogging, that’s what I do and that’s what I teach. It took years for me to build a following and understand the power of social media to the point where I felt comfortable about using it to make money online. So I wouldn’t want to give anyone the idea that they too can be successful unless they know upfront that blogging is not get rich quick income and are willing to sacrifice both their free time and their not-so-free time. Kids need their mothers, husbands need their wives, it’s that simple.

But never one to pass up a challenge, I have accepted the gauntlet that Ann has thrown down. Money-saving strategies are fashionable now. Her claim is that any mom can be a successful blogger, given the tools and the know how. She asserts that between the two of us, we can make your average mom blogger successful, just like Erin Chase (who is one in a million), a mom who shares daily tips on how she plans and shops for nutritious $5. dinners for her family of four. Gee, I would love to be a dinner guest for one of those, seconds, anyone?

My contention is that their are only a few moms out there like Erin who are capable of this type of success. Ann says that any mom can do it and is out to prove it. I say the’s are exceptions, few and far between, blogs written by special women. Big audiences and newfound influence have led to opportunities for some of the most prominent bloggers. Is there room for more? Maybe.

If Ann has her way, any mom who wants to try her hand at blogging is a potential influencer of millions and just maybe, with the right tools,  she says that with our expertise and coaching that we can offer here that we can help uncover more mom bloggers out there, the next  Erin Chase or a  Melissa Garcia, she of, a blog with over 30,000 people a month! Now, that’s powerful!

Are you a mom seeking to go viral?, have retailers calling you for your opinions on their products like they do for, a blog with over 900,000 visitors in March alone! Do you have something important to say to other moms? Are you one of those moms who thinks they have what it takes to have major brands send you free samples of their merchandise for testing?

I contend that blogs such as, and others such as are flukes. They were in the right place at the right time when the economy collapsed, making frugality the new buzz-word. When things bounce back, as they usually do, what will these moms do then? Will success as a mom blogger carry too high a price? Neither Ann nor I know the answers to those questions. What we do know is that we can teach you the things that you must know to be successful as a blogger. We can offer shortcuts, tips and even secrets on this blog that you won’t get elsewhere.

Do YOU want to be a ViralMom?

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Brenda permalink
    July 19, 2010

    Wow. I’m not even a mom and I’m offended. “their time is better spent on making a good home for their working husbands?”…” not something that your average housewife is capable of?” Okay, so maybe mom bloggers might not have as much influence as they would like, but you chose really poor words to make your point. Are you actually trying to attract customers with this?

  2. July 19, 2010

    Seriously? Your strategy for attracting mom clients is insulting them and telling them that their place is in the home, serving their “working husbands” and kids? Maybe I’m reading this wrong and it’s not a totally misogynistic diatribe about how the “average housewife” is not capable of, well anything beyond taking care of their husbands and kids….but sadly I don’t think so.


  3. May 7, 2011

    To all moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day! And also to the admin of Viral Mom, I know this season is for you. I know you’re a hardworking mom. A very great woman!

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