The Alpha Mom: Shop & Buy Like Me!


Via MarketingVox, USA Today recently ran an article about alpha mom shoppers, and how just a few of them can drive a market:

In Los Angeles, [Nintendo] treated 35 moms to an evening at the chic Chateau Marmont. Among those tapped was Linda Perry of Venice Beach, who has two kids, is a full-time legal assistant and leads a Yahoo parenting group that reaches 7,000 tech-savvy moms.

Perry went bonkers for Wii — so much so, she says, that more than 200 women in her e-mail group have bought the $250 console on her recommendations.

With the help of Alpha Moms, Wii became the nation's top-selling game system in January.

If search engines just follow people, and if marketers can easily directly access trend setters, what does that do to search relevancy and the value of auction based PPC ads? It seems as though if you were trying to buy your way up the ladder you never could in competitive markets unless you had a way to target the alpha moms (or equivalent group) first.


That's pretty interesting

Particularly if you're going after that type of market -- a market which, as the article points out, influences other consumers.

Although Alpha Moms (like Soccer Moms before them, apparently) influence a market, there may be more such groups that don't fall until a nice sound-bite ready-made title. It's interesting to look at in terms of who the influencers might be in any given sphere.

In the past, such influence was also wielded by television and magazine ads, department stores, elegant billboards (think: designer cologne, designer clothing); MTV and billboards (music and clothing styles -- hey, I'm in L.A.); heck, even what you see in the office parking lot (elegant and/or fast automobiles).

Aaron, you have a point about "buying your way up" in auction-based PPC ads ... but I suspect you're giving away a bit too much. ;)

> giving away a bit too

> giving away a bit too much. ;)

I am trying to offset the trite shite that Wheel was unimpressed with. Most stuff gets ignored or called shite anyway. :)

You're right. Seems tempers

You're right. Seems tempers might be a little high lately. :(

Forget buying your way...

I was giving a talk to some high school kids at the local high school last week. After the talk, the IT teacher was telling me how he teaches all of his students to just skip over PPC because he called them ads. He heads the IT department for the entire district and told me all of his colleagues do the same thing.

My point, forget alpha moms if you run PPC. You might want to get to the junior/senior high school teachers before the next generation makes them irrelevant.

Alpha moms trendset nursery patterns more than teen toys

alpha mom or not, while I strongly believe in peer power, I don't think that two hundred women coughed up for a $250 item solely on her recommendations, there would also have been a strong advertising and pester power element before she said "yeah and the kids are quiet for hours at a time".

I wouldn't underestimate the importance of trend setters but for this market its most likely the kids did the deal by wanting them for Christmas rather than the moms in January. Negative comments from Moms in january could have caused huge problems though.....

Can someone send some of those tachers over here..

..a generation that ignores PPC ads would be great for those doing organic SEO.

Search engines follow people purely in the words that they use to search. Three years ago being #1 for the word 'wii' would have been considered a waste of time, now it is a different matter.

Other keywords value doesn't change anywhere near as quickly.

As for following trend setters, if your business is 'fashion' based, and I use that term loosely then it is a good idea to get in with the trendsetters - there are many other industries where this strategy is just not applicable.

My thoughts....

>>>In the past, such influence was also wielded by

True, but in the past, segmented groups with influence were limited to yielding that influence in their local areas. Not anymore. The Internet has allowed these segments to reach out across the country and internationally.

>>>I don't think that two hundred women coughed up for a $250 item solely on her recommendations, there would also have been a strong advertising and pester power element

I'm surprised any successful Internet marketer could think that to be honest. We see it happen within our own industry. That's exactly why makers of SEO related products email people like Aaron or graywolf offering them a free product in an exchange for them reviewing or giving their thoughts on the product. There are many faces within our own industry who can probably sell 200 of something based on their recommendations. This segment of moms is no different. Get enough respect, trust and enough of a following and one recommendation can drive a high number of sales from the right person. When Seth Godin blogs about a new book and says that any serious marketer must own it, I'd be willing to bet he influences many, many people to buy it based on his sole recommendation.

>>>but for this market its most likely the kids did the deal by wanting them

I'd say you may be wrong on that - with *this* particular segment. I'm sure some was based on kids wanting it, but I'll be honest and say I have an xbox 360 live that my kids aren't allowed to touch (they're too young, and it's mine). And when a friend gets a new game and likes it, a group of us who plays online together a lot will all go out and grab that same game - with no testing or previous playing or knowledge of it. Same concept, smaller following.

By this article's definition, I am an "Alpha Mom" - a tech-savvy type A mom with money to spend and control of how my household spends it (this was true even when I was married) and when I spend that money, if I'm happy, I'm likely to spread the word via word of mouth, online groups and forums I belong to and my blog. Hell, I own a "sh-mop" (a type of mop) simple because it came highly recommended by the main website of a busy forum I belonged to five years ago when I bought it) - no prior experience, but I still plunked down 60 bucks on it because a site I trusted (i.e. the person behind it) said it was the best mop I would ever own (and later I found they were right).

"Alpha Moms" are simply one group where the term for the trendsetters online and networking socially has been named. There are many other groups out there with the same power, aimed at both larger and smaller segments.

My two cents...

>I have an xbox 360 live

>I have an xbox 360 live that my kids aren't allowed to touch (they're too young, and it's mine)

alpha moms among us ;)

great post Rae

Tipping Point

if you get the "innovators" with or talking about a product in front of the "early adopters" in any well defined market you can make it happen. Happened with twitter at SWSX. Want to sell something as simple as a blue laser pointer get them in the hands of every presenter the week before any big tech friendly conference like SES or Blog World. Sure maybe only 25% of the presenters will use them but if you don't think by the 5th or 6th time people see someone using non red laser pointer there will be some geek envy you don't get viral marketing.

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