Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Marketing to Moms who Blog: In which I become one of THOSE moms

I'm reading: Marketing to Moms who Blog: In which I become one of THOSE momsTweet this!

I don't mean to sound like a greedy, whiny momblogger. After all, I blog with integrity. But when my youngest boy was leaving for camp this morning, the UPS guy dropped off a package from an office supply store, I forget which one, LOL. I'm participating in a webinar the company is sponsoring later this week on back-to-school organization, something I really need, and I recalled a mention of the sponsor sending related product.

I gave my eager 11-year-old son permission to pry open the mystery box, and what good have been a nice surprise, left us saying, "What are we going to do with all this stuff?" See, the box full of goodies went from boom to bust because it was filled with pink, heart and flower-filled folders, notepads and whatnot. Honestly, I'd have to go back and inventory the contents. All my boy and I saw was girl.

No boy in my house is going to show up at school with any of that stuff. I'm open minded, if they want to carry around purple heart notepads, I'm all for it. Believe me; they don't want to.

So the boys are out and I don't need the items myself. The bounty is now a burden.

I won't throw it out. I'm not going to host a giveaway because then I have to pay for shipping. Do I donate it to the school? A women's shelter? Now I'm spending my increasingly precious brain space (believe me) and time (camp ends in three days!) on what to do with these items.

I'm not resentful, just a bit annoyed. I would have kindly passed on the package had I known the contents. I hate to see things to go waste, so the fact that someone wasted effort to send me product that I don't want frustrates me. Also, maybe I have PMS. At any rate, this gets me thinking about an old post of mine: Mommy Bloggers are Pro-Choice.

It also recalls a conversation I heard from the MOB (Mothers of Boys) at BlogHer. It seems there is a perception that mommybloggers only raise future mommybloggers*, that is, girls. But you know us mommybloggers, always something to whine about....

*(Though hooray for PBS for gender-neutral booklights. That is, if moms of girls consider black gender neutral. And kudos to Lego for providing Lego keychains in a whole rainbow of colors.)

Click to read my more coherent thoughts on marketing to mommybloggers.

19 comments:

Cinnamon said...

Ask you son's camp counselor/teacher if someone in his class may find it useful. I imagine there has to be one little girl near you that will have a brighter start to the school year with a package like that.

Veronica said...

As a mom blogger who hates gender specific items, I say BOOO!! to them as well.

You'll find a good home for them pretty quickly.

And my PBS booklight didn't work. *pout*

Mercedes said...

That's odd that they wouldn't ask and just assume. Just wanted to stop by that you school would probably be thrilled to get this. Lots of budget cuts this year.

Mercedes

Cindy C. said...

As a mom of both genders, I can understand your comments. I'm not a fan of making everything gender neutral, though, as my kids don't care one whit for that stuff. Look at it this way, now you get to bless some little girl's life who may not have been able to get those things. Most schools will be able to take it off your hands and distribute it to someone in real need. ;) Then,too, maybe it will be a wake up call to people who want to work w/bloggers...#1 rule - KNOW your market.

Carl Weaver said...

Your idea of giving it to a women's shelter is a good one. When I worked at a homeless shelter the women would scramble for anything "girly" like that (forgive the use of that term - it's not my favorite). They enjoyed having something pretty and had great fun with it, even though they were adults. It's a small thing but it can brighten someone's day.

Probably the school can use that stuff as well. Family shelters are a good place too if you want kids to get this stuff.

RL Julia said...

I say send it to your niece. She'll either keep or distribute to her friends.

I have found that anything that isn't pink, teal or purple is generally considered to be gender neutral.... provided it doesn't have a dragon or hello kitty painted on it. Although my daugher's desire for an exclusively brown wardrobe I think is making brown into a "girl" color at my house.

Boston Mamas said...

Bad call on agency's part to not ask about gender. One way to avoid tracking that data would have been to just send a mixed assortment. That way, you're happy if you have one of each and you're satisfied if you just have a boy or girl (the remaining items could be given to a friend).

I say pass the contents along to a friend or school or shelter and stop wasting precious brain space on it. :-)

-Christine

TheAngelForever said...

I agree with everyone else I think it would be a wonderful gesture to donate the items to a local home or school.

As the mother of two little boys, I understand what you mean. I often get offers for items that are only for girls. It has become a fact of life that often bothers me from time to time. Even when you go to a toy store, there seems to be more girls items.

I think people need to realize that there are a lot of men bloggers out there too. My boys see both TechyDad and me writing on our blogs all the time. My almost six year old son is intrigued with what we do and I can see him wanting to blog down the road.

Tech Savvy Mama said...

Yes, definitely donate to your kids' school! With the majority of teaching staff women, chance are those supplies will be snatched up in no time. And I'm with you in saying kudos to PBS about their gender neutral PBS booklights and colorful Lego keychains.

Kristina said...

FIrst, I want to second you re PBS Parents book light. Zoe, a 4 yr old girl, loves it, as does my boy toddler, Ryan.

As for the supplies: Could your niece use them? Do your sons get invited to girl birthday parties, so you could make a gift? Or create a basket for a school/organization silent auction for fundraising? Or just give to school. Budgets are hurting.

As for your broader point, I get the girl heavy products. I have one of each, and I see it. Companies and PR companies should be savvier about knowing the mom and who her children are (ages, sex, etc).

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) said...

There are lots of places collecting school supplies in my community.
Maybe you can google "donate school supplies + nameOfYourCity" and something will come up.
I got the same box and I'm actually excited about it. My 4 year old son ran off with the cute owl clipboard. I lurve office supplies.

Carrie said...

I don't mind some hearts and flowers stuff, but really, does EVERYTHING have to be coded by sex? It wasn't that way when we were kids.

Condo Blues said...

Is there a school or local charity you can donate the items? We have a couple of places in my city that do school supply drives for the kids that can't afford them. Our local news did a story on it. Looks like a lot of kids are going to ask them for school supplies this year :(

Karen @ If I Could Escape . . . said...

I am participating in the same webinar and excitely opened my box yesterday only to feel much the same as you -- I have three boys! I think I will use some of the items and then give the others to one of my neices. Great post!

laughingatchaos said...

Gah. I feel your pain. As if trying to find shoes for boys wasn't hard enough. Drop 'em at a preschool or women's shelter and call it a day. But, yeah, it does frustrate me that moms of all boys tend to be ignored a wee bit.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I'm participating in the call tomorrow, too, and honestly it did not cross my mind but I have two girls. However, you can bet I would have been perplexed if the box contained all boy oriented school supplies! Honestly I'm probably going to use the file folder organizer for me. ;)

It's a very valid point to bring up to the sponsors of the call.

Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom said...

I totally did not get a book light. I should have spent some time in the Expo Hall instead of going to sessions. Silly me for thinking the conference was about the sessions ;)

RL Julia said...

O.K. I have one child of each gender and I have to comment about the perception of there being more "girl" stuff out there than "boy" stuff. There may well be more of this stuff but I honestly can't see who might actually buy tons of the super-girly product. Much of it seems to scream four year old prostitute - which really isn't the look I am going for for either child. On the boy side of the equation what becomes of the little boy whose favorite color isn't black, brown, red, blue or green - or maybe orange.

I personally think I have spent months if not years looking for plain, unadorned t-shirts of all colors.

Naomi said...

My mom stole that booklight, before either of my kids got to it. Oh, well.