Archive for March, 2008

Unlocking the secrets of Miley Cyrus’ and Marketing to Moms

Say two words to any mom of a 4-15 year ol girl, “Miley Cyrus” or “Hannah Montana” and you are certain to evoke some type of response. In most cases, it will be positive. “Oh, my daughter loves her” to “Her music is so affirming.” But what makes Miley Cyrus so appealing to mothers? The secret lies in the core values and key motivators of mothers. Disney has produced a marketing to moms initative that is so strong it exceeds American Girl and Build A Bear Workshop, two brands built on leveraging mom’s approval to drive repeat purchases and brand loyalty. To fully understand the creation of this powerful machine called Hannah Montana, let’s peel back the layers and take a look inside.

Achy Breaky Heart
It all starts with Billy Ray Cyrus, her father. Tell a mom that you don’t know who Miley is and she will most often tell you, “she’s Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter.” The same Billy Ray that wooed the hearts of 40 something boomers with his Achy Breaky Heart twang. Moms can immediately relate to the good times and memories they had singing along to the older Cyrus in the early 90s. With music being one of those pop culture wedges that drive generations apart, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus offer moms and daughters the opportunity to share rather than distance themselves from each other. A very good start in earning mom’s approval.

Good Wholesome Entertainment
Bratz dolls may have outsold Barbie last Christmas but there is a growing trend of anti-Libby Lu moms. Moms who want their little girls to remain little girls. They are visiting sites such as, where they can share their views with other like-minded spiritual and conservative mothers. They have had enough of idols such as Lindsey Lohan and Brittany Spears and are searching for good role models for their daughters. In two and half hours of Miley’s current concert performance, not once did any of her costumes reveal a breast or even a belly button. Her dancers managed to entertain young concert goers without girating or pulsing their pelvic muscles. This is the kind of safe environment, cyber-fearing moms are desire for their young girls.

Miles of Smiles
Many brands have been built on selling products to moms but few have truly mastered the art of winning the hearts of her child at the same time. Think about American Girl. If you’ve ever been in their flagship store on any given Saturday and watched the bulging arms of moms eager to purchase product than you know what I’m about to describe. Truly remarkable brands win mom over so well that they buy product even without the influence of the nag factor. Moms aspire to give their daughters the “tea party” they remember from their childhood, so they flock to the American Girl store to brunch with $80 dolls whose cloths cost more than their favorite pair of jeans. Miley presents the same opportunity to create a smile on the faces of their daughters. At a recent concert, I watched as mothers happily shelled out $35 for concert t-shirts and relished in the delight of seeing their girls go crazy. Best of all she could share it with her.

Bonding Before the Teen Years Set In
It’s not surprising to professionals who study moms that Miley Cyrus’ concert was a sellout in every city. Her concert presents mothers with the chance to share an experience that she knows has a very short shelf life in the eyes of her tween: going to a concert with mom. Think back to the time when these boomer moms were teens. Chances are they didn’t go to their first concert with their mothers. No, they saw Lynryd Skynyrd at the sportatorium with their peers after swearing their life away to their mom who sat up in the kitchen until they got home. Mily Cyrus’ Tour allows mom to share in the first concert experience before she becomes uncool in the minds of her precious daughters.

As Miley would say, “Rock On.”

Connecting with Mom Influencers

“Help! I’m getting pressure from my manager and executive team to tap mom influencers.”

It’s a cry that I hear everyday from even the most experienced marketers. Cultivating relationships with the millions of mom bloggers out there could take years yet you have sales goals this month.

So where do you begin? The first thing to do is to stop long enough to determine who is your target market? Is it Gen X moms with new babies or boomers with teens? Knowing how you need to deliver to your message will help you to shrink the universe of 83 million moms. Then it’s important to find the right influencers. We call them Mom Mavens but regardless of what you call them, influential moms will deliver your message to other moms if you empower them with it. We believe that these influencers will become more and more important as marketing budgets shrink and you need a greater ROI. Engaging Mom Mavens or Alpha Moms to deliver the message not only costs less than traditional media buys but delivers your message with intense credibility.

We caution marketers however to approach Mom Mavens carefully. It’s not about mailing a few samples and hoping the mom spreads the word. It’s about creating a relationship with the right mom and engaging her in a mutually beneficial partnership. BSM Media has developed the Mom Matrix©, a system of 18 common behaviors which Mom Mavens exhibit on a regular basis. Among these traits you will find: the number of children she has, the roles she plays in her community and the career path she has chosen. It’s important to identify the right mom to carry your message.