Sites must tailor to 'Googling moms'

Mothers are known as problem-solvers - whether it's searching for a recipe for a quick meal or a way to stop the kids from fighting. A certain kind of mom, however, is in a constant state of searching. Instinctively, she seeks out answers for herself, her family, and others. She is the "Googling mom."

Mothers are known as problem-solvers - whether it's searching for a recipe for a quick meal or a way to stop the kids from fighting. A certain kind of mom, however, is in a constant state of searching. Instinctively, she seeks out answers for herself, her family, and others. She is the "Googling mom."

Search engines are one of her primary tools. Women, in general, tend to use search engines slightly more than men. According to a 2007 media usage survey conducted by Ketchum and the University of Southern California, 69% of women use search engines, compared to 66% of men.

The Googling mom does much more than just use search engines. She treats online resources like friends and family - turning to the Web for wisdom on questions that she is certain that someone must have asked before her.

Online or off, the Googling mom is constantly searching for answers, so she doesn't rely
on search engines alone. The answers might come from a long-time friend or simply the person she's standing next to in line at the supermarket. It could just as easily come from a useful Web site, social network, or the label printed on the packaging of a product.

This presents a great opportunity for marketers who want to target moms.

Take the e-retailer that gives a mother everything she needs to return unwanted purchases, including an adhesive return label and a sealable return pouch she can stuff into her mailbox. By eliminating another undesirable trip to the post office, the marketers are able to address the Googling mom's concerns more than most words ever could.

Similarly, executives must also rethink the way they position their company online. First, they must realize that having a Web presence is, at most, 1% about showcasing their wares to the world, and 99% about fulfilling the needs of their target constituencies.

Toward that end, companies must produce content that is both relevant and
conversational.

PR can help companies and their brands evaluate the wide array of conversational assets they have at their disposal, and prepare them to use those assets in two ways:

1. Maximize dissemination. Content must be created in a way that effectively taps into society's conversational realities, ensuring it spreads like wildfire - online as well as offline.

2. Take advantage of the Web's native indexing mechanisms. The next time a Googling mom is searching for answers online, the brand should be easily accessed as a ready resource, with content relevant to moms' concerns.

Simply put: Companies that successfully provide answers to Googling moms at their most critical moments of search are much more likely to engender a lifetime of loyalty.

Gur Tsabar is global VP for interactive strategies at Ketchum.

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