Welcome to the second segment of Inside the Marketing, where I talk specifically about what I do at Scandinavian Child, as well as answer some of your specific questions about marketing in general. Please email me if you have any ideas on a topic segment.
If there is one thing that constantly amazes me as I come to work every day, it’s the changes that have occurred in the blogging world over the past five years. When I first started as Marketing Manager at Scandinavian Child, I would read my top favorite parenting sites every day (Cool Mom Picks, Mommies With Style, DaddyTypes and a few others), email them when we had something new and exciting and if I came across a really neat blog/site, I would reach out to the author to see if we could start a relationship. We would occasionally get an email (outside of traditional media) requesting to review our product but honestly, it was quite rare. We dealt primarily with print publications.
Now… we get at least twenty requests a week! It’s truly overwhelming at times. My team has had to really take a good hard look at who we work with and why. So for today’s segment, I’d like to expand upon The Art of the Pitch and really hone in on why we work with certain reviewers over others.
It really boils down to two things.
1) The answer to “Why do you want to work with my company? I need to know why your blog is better than the next one. I need to know why Scandinavian Child is a good fit for you and your family. If you can’t tell me that, then you really don’t have any business writing to us. We know we’re not a fit for everyone. In order for us to have a working relationship, we need to know why we should do business together.
2) Good, quality writing skills. No offense, but there are some sites out there with, um, let me put this nicely – subpar writing skills. And that might not matter to some brands, but it does to Scandinavian Child and the brands which we represent. We want you to dig into the products you review and really tell us what works and doesn’t work for you family. We want to feel your personality come through the post and we want to understand how you felt about the product we sent. Your input is crucial to future product development so any ideas or comments you have are important to share.
These two things feel sort of obvious to me now that I’ve committed them to writing, but honestly I receive dozens of pitches that are either 1) form letters (BLECH!) or 2) give me no insight whatsoever into who the person is or why Scandinavian Child is a good match for their site. This is important information worth sharing with ANY company that you might pitch.
My blog is NOT a review blog, but I have and will continue to do a review here and there if it fits into my life and whatever happens to be going on at the time. Most of the time, I will talk about things just because I love them or they work for my family. But occasionally, I might approach a company if I think it suits both of our interests.
Last summer I contacted several organic baby food companies because I was interested in trying a variety out with the Bug. I emailed all of them and let them know a little about me, what stage of development my son was at and then asked if they might be willing to send me a sample to try. Four out of five companies responded and I was able to try them all. I posted about three as the fourth one didn’t really jive with my son. I know the companies chose to work with me because of the specific detail I gave them about what I was looking for and what I wanted.
That’s really all I think companies want in your pitch – DETAIL. It’s what I want when I open our folder of pitches each week. Detail about the ever important why. Why should I work with you? Why are you a good fit? Why is your blog better for us than Susie Q’s (who has also pitched me)? Why does this relationship make sense?
We have been lucky to form some fabulous relationships with some of our blog partners. We’ve chosen to advertise on some of their sites and have gone on to collaborate on other initiatives. I think most companies would be foolish to ignore this segment of the media (yes, I believe bloggers should be qualified as media, at least in the juvenile industry.) But…please remember it has to be the right relationship. It has to work for both the blogger and the company. This will be fodder for my next topic – PARTNERSHIPS – so tune in next week.
Questions? Shoot me an email.