Spring '13 Infocus

June 4-6, 2013 | Chicago, Illinois

How to transform influencers into storytellers

breakthrough

Brands want to connect with digital influencers. But more importantly, they want those people to become brand storytellers. Here's how to make this transition with moms.

Everyone's talking about the rise of the digital mom. The smartphone is the greatest tool for a mom because she is fundamentally a multi-tasker. In a survey, 50 percent of moms said they always have their phone within arm's reach (even while sleeping), and half of moms also said they would rather give up their wedding rings than their technology. In a world where moms turn to technology for almost everything, many questions are raised. How do we, as marketers, reach them? How do we cut through the noise? And how do we allow them to speak for the brands they rely on most?

At Disney Interactive Family's Spotlight presentation at the iMedia InFocus Summit in Chicago, Ill., Brooke Chaffin, SVP of women and family at Disney Interactive Family, and Catherine Connors, editor-in-chief at Disney Interactive Family, walked attendees through the process of creating and nurturing storytellers -- the ultimate influencers for your brand. At a summit where the theme was "What Women Want from Brands," Chaffin and Connors brought many unique considerations to the table.

According to Chaffin, engaging and elevating women as storytellers in their communities is a powerful and lucrative move. At Disney Interactive Family, the products are designed for moms, and the most important thing to remember about this demographic is that moms are multi-dimensional. While there are many things moms have in common, the greatest trait they share is that they have their own individual needs, and they won't stand for being oversimplified.

Chaffin and Connors cited three important rules to consider when attempting connect with moms:

Make sense of what moms already have

According to Chaffin, the answer to what moms want is nothing. Today's digital mom is overwhelmed with information -- she has much more than she needs. If anything, she needs a tool to reduce the noise. The most useful channels to her are streaming video (Netflix), mobile, and social (Pinterest). Moms these days have enough coming at them. What they need is help deciding what products are best and what tools are most helpful.

Moms are women too

Connors echoed that it is imperative to look at women as multi-dimensional people. And that means that when a woman becomes a mom, she doesn't stop being a woman -- and she doesn't stop being herself. Every mom has her own story to tell, and it is through her own individual experience that she can connect with other moms.

One thing that connects moms is that they listen to other moms. Forty-four percent of moms are more likely to purchase from a company they "like" on Facebook. In addition, moms take note of what their friends and other moms "like." But they want to know why. These moms don't just want a simple recommendation; they want the whole story.

Moms needs to connect and be heard

Women are more skilled communicators than men, and they need to communicate more often, said Connors, adding that while women speak more than 7,000 words per day on average, men only speak about 2,000. So there's no question that women want to tell their stories, and they want someone to listen.

So how do you get your brand into her story? This cannot be forced. A great brand storyteller must be empowered, and women want to tell stories on their own terms. They don't want to tell a brand's story; they want to tell their own stories. They don't want to be sellers; they want to be essential voices in the community.

So what can we do as marketers? Amplification is the key! Women already want to speak and connect, but we have to help make sure their voices are heard. Only then can we start to see a new generation of women driving engagement and awareness around leading brands and products.