Marketers and Moms: Talk with us, not just about us
Finally, a Canadian conference about Marketing to Moms Online! I've been wondering for years when this was going to happen, and it's such a relief that there's going to be a forum where online Moms can really talk to Marketers and have an honest, open conversation. We're bursting with things to say, things about who we are and what we do and how we can truly work together for mutual benefit. There's so much misconception about "moms online" and what we do and how we behave and think. It's wonderful to take advantage of the power in having a direct conversation, rather than having marketers just talk to other marketers about us instead of actually talking with us, or having some man present a study about "Meeting the 21st Century Mom".
Except, that direct conversation? is exactly what this conference is not doing.
I saw the link to the OpenDialogue Marketing to Digital Moms conference from MomCentral Canada on Twitter. And when I saw the link, I was initially delighted. Thinking it was equivalent to Mom 2.0 or BlogHer Business - places where marketers who so covet the Mom market, who are dying to figure out ways to get under our skin, can actually talk to us - I thought, what a great opportunity. A chance to talk to Canadian marketers! And to tell them that we don't just surf. We write. We talk to each other. We find our niches. We rally around causes. We speak out against injustice, against misconception, against cruelty, against fools. We brand ourselves, and when we don't have big business budgets for branding, we figure it out for ourselves, or we turn to each other and give each other small business opportunities. We get together and start things, fun things, cool things, things that mock those that mock us (because, trust me, we're mocked a lot) and turn their arguments in to nothing more than bitter ash.
But that's not what this conference is going to be. It's by marketers, for marketers. That's it. There are a few folks with "mom" in their job description who are presenting - Cora at MomCentral and Jen at UrbanMoms in particular. Both of these women are amazing, cool, successful pillars of awesomeness. And both are attending this conference in a marketing capacity rather than an online mom capacity, which still leaves the fundamental problem of "no moms". Now, of course, anyone can have a conference about anything and organize it however they like - fill your boots, dude - but it strikes me at odd that a conference about moms online will have few online moms actually participating.Sadly moms like myself, moms who are interested in what marketers have to say about us and who would have had something valuable and helpful to contribute, probably won't be able attend and participate in the discussion because the price point is far beyond mom-range. It's too bad, because there are a whole lot of Canadian women online with whom these marketers could use a conversation.
Here's the thing. We aren't dry data. We aren't just whatever a study or report says we are. We aren't some kind of scientific specimen to be prodded and studied and biopsied and analyzed from afar. We are much more complex than that. We're moms, and we work hard and play hard and love hardest of all. And that's what this conference is going to miss. Actual, vocal moms online aren't that rare, and it would have been very easy to have a few of us there on a panel to voice our opinions and share our ideas, because we love doing it. And it's too bad they missed that opportunity, because the thought of a room full of marketers congratulating themselves about how well they understand moms online - without the voice of one actual average everyday online mom in the room - pretty much illustrates that they don't understand us at all.